There is a very important meeting coming up for area seniors and for everyone interested in making a difference for seniors in our community.
An Age-friendly BC Planning Café will be held in the Valley Room (behind the Red Coach Inn) in 100 Mile House on June 24 from 10 a.m. to noon.
Anyone who wants to help provide a better lifestyle for seniors in the South Cariboo is urged to attend. Last year, we received a $20,000 from the Age-friendly Community Planning and Project Grant program.
The money was used to carry out an assessment of the strengths and challenges of aging in the South Cariboo.
The research identified several untapped resources and wealth of people with the skills, knowledge and the desire to make the seniors’ lifestyles better.
Fifty people attended the first Age-friendly Community Café on May 8, 2013, and pinpointed communication systems; relationships with seniors in the community and across the ages; how to keep active as key issues. The one issue that came up in every table’s conversation was transportation.
Since then District of 100 Mile House Councillor Ralph Fossum and newly appointed Age-friendly community co-ordinator Lea Smirfitt have talked to a lot of seniors who are willing and able to move forward as leaders of the age-friendly initiative.
Another $20,000 grant has been received to help the South Cariboo become more age-friendly.
The goal for this next stage of the initiative is setting up working committees that will brainstorm and research specific challenges that were identified at the first café and provide suggestions on possible solutions.
Folks who attend the June 24 café will be asked to choose an area of interest that they would be willing to put some time and resources into.
They include communication, food and nutrition, active living, housing and supported living, education and awareness, health care, advocacy and transportation.
Some of the solutions could be costly and, therefore, take a long time to put in place.
Transportation for seniors would fit into this category if people were considering a shuttle bus service to and from the rural areas.
However, a volunteer, family-friends-and-neighbours service would serve the purpose if it was organized properly.
It would involve a broad-based communication system to get the word out and link the folks who need a ride to and from 100 Mile House to the folks who could offer rides.
It would be worth investigating and, possibly, solve the No. 1 concern.
It would be a Cariboo solution, and it’s already working on a smaller scale now.