“The Better at Home program is very important to me because I like my independence. I think a lot of seniors need this type of help and appreciate it.”
This is just one of the comments from one of the Better at Home clients. Volunteers are the key to success of the program. With 156 clients, the 49 active volunteers keep on their toes with friendly visiting, grocery shopping and other transportation needs, covering the coast from Egmont to Langdale.
On April 29 the program celebrated its Second Annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner, creating an opportunity for the dedicated group of volunteers to network, exchange experiences, and celebrate the success of the program. To date the program has provided clients with 967 friendly visits, and made 947 trips to the grocery store or appointments on the Sunshine Coast – a total of 2,871 volunteer hours.
Another client wrote, “The Better at Home program has made an enormous difference to me. Having someone come and visit and occasionally escort me to the store or my doctor’s appointment is a godsend.” And when volunteers are asked for the benefits they derive from their service, most cite the relationships they have built with their elderly clients as a hugely rewarding motivator.
People need people, and seniors are often afraid to ask for help. Most seniors value their independence and would appreciate a bit of help with tasks like shopping, cleaning, home repairs or yard work. This is where Better At Home steps in. The local program is now in its third year.
The program is funded by the government of British Columbia and managed by United Way of the Lower Mainland. Sunshine Coast Community Services Society was awarded the management for the Lower Sunshine Coast. Volunteers receive training and are invited to regular continuing development and education workshops.
With the arrival of summer, some of our volunteers go away on holiday. Others have moved away from the coast. And as more seniors request help, our waiting list is growing. If we had more volunteers, we would be able to help more seniors.
For more information, call the program at 604 885 2644, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or drop by for a chat on Tuesdays or Thursdays between 10am – 4pm at their Trail Avenue office in the Community Resources building.