Better At Home keeps making it better for seniors

The program has been in Nakusp for about a year now, and so far things are going very well.

It’s been a year since the Better At Home pilot program was launched in Nakusp.

The program is a provincial program, funded by the B.C. government and managed by the United Way of the lower mainland. It’s delivered in each community by local organizations.

For the Arrow Lakes region, it’s the Arrow and Slocan Lakes Community Services that’s delivering the program.

The goal of Better At Home is to help seniors who are living independently in their homes and stay independent for as long as possible. To help in this endeavour, the program offers services such as light housework and yard work, light maintenance, snow shovelling, and transportation for grocery trips or medical appointments.

“People know that living at home is better for seniors, so we try to help them live at home for as long as possible,” said Susan Kostuch, the Better At Home coordinator for the Arrow Lakes region. “We don’t get into deep cleaning, so we wouldn’t do things like clean out the fridge, or wash walls or windows, nothing like that. We’re just coming in and trying to take care of things for them so their day or their week is easier.”

About 30 seniors are signed up for Better At Home. Some use it regularly, while some use it only as needed.

The program is run partially through volunteers, and partially through paid staff. Housework and yard work are done by Better At Home staff, while home maintenance is done by a contractor. Snow shovelling, transportation and home visits are volunteer-based.

Kostuch said while there are volunteers taking part, Better At Home will never say no to more, especially if there is a big need for them, such as transportation. She said while there are transportation programs already in place, they sometimes cannot meet the needs of seniors.

“What I get requests for are things like trips to medical appointments or grocery shopping that don’t fit within the times that are set for public transportation,” she said. “In the winter, some of our seniors don’t feel as comfortable going out walking because a lot of them walk to the grocery store or to their appointments in the warmer months. But in the winter, with the roads being icy and the temperatures being colder, they don’t feel as comfortable, so it’s nice to have volunteers who can take them to a medical appointment, or grocery shopping.”

The snow shovelling program is also in need of volunteers, especially now that snow has begun to fall in earnest in the area.

Reaction to the program has been very positive. Seniors enjoy what is being offered and appreciate being able to live in their own homes for a longer period of time.

Kostuch thinks there is lots of potential for Better At Home to be even more important in Nakusp.

“I think as we’re developing, we’ll reach out to another group of seniors that we haven’t engaged with before, that weren’t using the programs we have,” she said “I think we’ll be able to reach a wider range of people the more that we get going.”

Kostuch would like to see the program extended beyond Nakusp to Arrow Park, Burton, Fauquier, and Edgewood. In fact, Better At Home is launching a new shopping program down the lake.

The first excursion will be on Tuesday, Dec. 20, and will be going down to Edgewood on the old medical bus. Priority will be given to seniors and those with medical appointments, but others are able to ride the bus as well.

Anyone looking for more information can call Susan Kostuch at 250-265-8747.

 

Just Posted

Andrew Bellerby out as RDCK’s regional fire chief

Bellerby held the job since January 2016

Craft cannabis development planned for Castlegar

Plans are underway for one of the first craft cannabis industrial parks in the province.

Annual Columbia Basin Culture tour coming up Aug 10 and 11

There are locations across the region participating

Abra Brynne wins Kootenay-Columbia Green Party nomination

Brynne is one of three candidates who will challenge MP Wayne Stetski

Police call Appledale death a homicide

But few other details being released

Feds lowered poverty line, reducing the number of seniors in need: documents

Liberals introduced a poverty line that was below the prior low-income cutoff

BCHL: Alberni Valley Bulldogs have been sold

Victoria company has purchased BCHL team, but will keep it in Port Alberni

“Does Kirby care?” B.C. First Nation’s group using geo-targeted ads in Houston, Texas for justice

The Heiltsuk Tribal Council has called out Kirby Corporation for the Nathan E. Stewart oil spill

Trudeau announces $79M investment for 118 more public transit buses across B.C.

Contributions from municipal to federal level to fund more buses in a bid to cut commutes

B.C. woman wins record $2.1 million on casino slot machine

‘That night was so surreal … I wasn’t able to sleep or eat for the first two days,’ she said

After B.C. dad’s death, Technical Safety BC wants changes to trampoline park rules

Jay Greenwood, 46, did ‘a series of acrobatic manoeuvres prior to a fall that caused serious injury and cardiac arrest’

$900M settlement reached in class action on sexual misconduct in Canadian military

After facing criticism, the government moved to begin settlement proceedings in early 2018

Tax take stays ahead of increased B.C. government spending

Tax revenue $2.1 billion higher than budget in 2018-19

Two toddler siblings found drowned on First Nation in Alberta

The siblings were found drowned on their family’s property, according to RCMP

Most Read