In view of recent news articles regarding a senior found deceased in his home, I would like to assure the community that efforts are being made to prevent these types of incidents through the programs offered by the South Okanagan Seniors Wellness Society.
We have a very active ‘Friendly Visitor/Tele Friend’ program, where screened volunteer visitors are matched with seniors who are alone, lonely, isolated, etc., for regular weekly visits. In some cases visits are done by telephone.
While most of our clients are referred through agencies or family members, seniors (55+) can contact us directly to be part of these programs. Should a senior wish only a weekly ‘check in’ telephone call, this can be provided.
Plans are also in place to expand our Seniors Outreach Programs, starting in January. These will include monthly interest sessions which will cover topics of interest to seniors and provide a social outlet as well. The first session will take place on Jan. 25 and as space is limited, pre-registration is suggested. The topic will be ‘Caring Connections’, which will be starting in the new year. This program prepares the community, i.e. business people, neighbours, etc., to identify and refer their concerns regarding at risk seniors to the appropriate agency.
Other planned programs include Elder Abuse Prevention workshops, Seniors Support Program, and Information and Referral Services.
Further information on these programs is only a telephone call away. Anyone interested in volunteering can also obtain information by visiting our office at our new location, #102 – 301 Main St., Penticton, or by telephone at 250-487-7455.
Evelyn Blaine, co-ordinator of outreach programs
South Okanagan Seniors Wellness Society