Service helps seniors stay at home longer

Cindy Faulkner is the coordinator for Better at Home, a new seniors program set to start in the 100 Mile area. (Fiona Grisswell photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Cindy Faulkner is the coordinator for Better at Home, a new seniors program set to start in the 100 Mile area. (Fiona Grisswell photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Cindy Faulkner is the coordinator for Better at Home, a new seniors program set to start in the 100 Mile area. (Fiona Grisswell photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Cindy Faulkner is the coordinator for Better at Home, a new seniors program set to start in the 100 Mile area. (Fiona Grisswell photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Cindy Faulkner is the coordinator for Better at Home, a new seniors program set to start in the 100 Mile area. (Fiona Grisswell photo - 100 Mile Free Press)Cindy Faulkner is the coordinator for Better at Home, a new seniors program set to start in the 100 Mile area. (Fiona Grisswell photo - 100 Mile Free Press)
Better at Home offers monthly workshops for seniors on a variety of topics ranging from fraud prevention to emergency preparedness. The free workshops are held at the 100 Mile Community hall. (File submitted)Better at Home offers monthly workshops for seniors on a variety of topics ranging from fraud prevention to emergency preparedness. The free workshops are held at the 100 Mile Community hall. (File submitted)

Seniors in the 100 Mile House area are getting a helping hand with a new Better-At-Home service.

The program, funded by the provincial government and managed by the United Way, is designed to help seniors with simple day-to-day tasks. These include housekeeping, snow removal, and help to get to appointments.

“It helps enable them to stay home longer without having to go into a care home,” said program coordinator Cindy Faulkner.

Friendly visits also are an important part of the program.

“There a lot of seniors that are shut-ins that maybe don’t have any family or friends up here and are alone for long periods of time,” Faulkner said.

The service is mainly delivered by volunteers with the exception of snow removal, housekeeping or minor house repairs. The organization hires qualified contractors for these types of jobs. The rate for the service is based on an average contractors’ rate. Low-income individuals can qualify for 80 per cent to 100 per cent of the fees based on their previous year’s tax returns.

Not all seniors are in financial need of subsidization but they still turn to the organization to help find resources, Faulkner said.

“Some seniors aren’t computer savvy or comfortable with that so they might not be on Facebook and see who is out there doing snow removal or housecleaning. Coming through us means you’re getting someone who’s had their criminal record check and they are a safe, reliable contact” said Faulkner.

Seniors have really fallen through the cracks in terms of services so the program fits in well in the community, she said. She added the Age-Friendly Society of the South Cariboo is “getting going again which is beautiful. We can help get people socialized in their activities.”

Age-Friendly Society chair Ralph Fossum said there are some new directions the society will take in the new year, which could lead to some joint activity. The first set of Better at Home volunteers have been trained but the program is not quite up and running yet.

Meanwhile, Faulkner has applied through the United Way for a $25,000 extreme weather and emergency preparedness grant. The funding will pay for a series of Emergency Preparedness workshops. A Fraud Awareness and Prevention workshop will be held Dec. 20 at 2 p.m. at the 100 Mile House Community Hall.

January’s topic is Advanced Care Planning and in February, the workshop will centre around evacuation preparedness.

Faulkner has also ordered around 200 evacuation kits (go bags) to hand out. In the event of an evacuation, the kit contains supplies to cover a 72-hour period of time.

She said anyone interested in attending one of the workshops but needs a ride should call the organization and they will try to get them transportation, Faulkner said. She has been in contact with BC Transit and discussed special event transportation. If there is a demand from outlying areas to attend the workshops they may be able to arrange for transit to pick people up.

Anyone interested in learning more about the program or volunteering may contact Faulkner at 778-444-5133 or email cindyisbetterathome@shaw.ca.



fiona.grisswell@100milefreepress.net

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