Better at Home recruiting volunteers for Elk Valley
By Erin Knutson
Better at Home is here to stay – the program that assists senior citizens with aging in place has gained traction in the Columbia Valley and is branching out into the Elk Valley.
“Elk Valley is in the beginning stages of fostering the Better at Home program that has seen much success in the valley. We are currently looking for a coordinator to run the program – in the meantime, I’m acting as interim coordinator,” said Family Dynamix Better at Home Program Coordinator Jennifer Lindal.
Lindal has been running the program for eight years and has watched it grow immensely.
The non-medical initiative complements seniors’ daily activities, enhancing their quality of life and relieving stress on the individual, family, and the health care system by providing the opportunity for seniors to enjoy their golden years in the comfort of their homes.
United Way and the provincial government of British Columbia joined forces to create a program that caters to seniors 65 and up. An assessment discovered a need for aging-in-place services in rural areas, and Family Dynamix in Invermere was instrumental in the pilot to get the project on its feet.
With the help of volunteers and a tailored program to assist clients with things like housework, yard work, and shuttling to medical appointments, seniors in the community can preserve their independence.
“This program is to assist seniors where they need help, not to discourage them from things they can do independently – it should enhance their daily routine,” said Lindal.
Volunteers spend time in training and are prepared to handle the responsibilities and the requirements of the role.
Lindal’s goal is to make sure volunteers feel comfortable and appreciated.
“Clients are very appreciative of the volunteers. Seniors deal with loneliness, and several families are geographically distant from their parents or relatives, so when a volunteer stops by for a cup of tea or to play a game of cards, it’s like having an extra friend and that little bit of extra emotional support,” she said.
Volunteers are essential to the program, which calls for a diversity of people with different backgrounds and skill sets to fill positions in the Elk Valley and the Columbia Valley. According to Lindal, they are still actively seeking an Elk Valley program coordinator, a role she is happy to continue to fulfill in the meantime.
“Government sponsors have acknowledged the program’s value, and increasing funding is going toward a prevalent need in the community,” she said.
To learn more about this program and to apply for one of the volunteer positions, please call Jennifer Lindal at 250-278-5844 or Family Dynamix at 250-342-5566, email [email protected] or visit: Better at Home Program – Family Dynamix – NEW
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