Better at Home is a program that helps seniors with simple day-to-day tasks so that they can continue to live independently in their own homes and remain connected to their communities. The program is funded by the Government of BC and managed by the United Way of the Lower Mainland. The Better at Home program is designed to address the specific needs of local seniors, allowing communities to assess their local strengths, identify gaps in services for seniors, and design Better at Home to enhance local capacities to bridge these non-medical seniors support service gaps.
The range of Better at Home services varies from community to community depending on the specific needs of local seniors. Robson Valley Support Society will be working hard to best support the needs that are identified for seniors living in the region between Dome Creek and Albreda BC. Services will be delivered by a mix of: empowering a person’s supports (family & friends); volunteers; contractors; and paid staff – these will all depend on the resources available in the local communities. One service all communities will benefit from is a formalized information resource where we hope to conglomerate all senior service information in one document. It is hoped that this document will help to inform seniors to find services such as where to access various medical needs, to information regarding which business will give seniors discounts.
Examples of other Better at Home Services will include:
- Friendly Visiting
- Light Yard Work
- Minor Home Repairs
- Light Housekeeping
- Grocery Shopping
- Snow Shovelling
- Other services as supplied by volunteers (for example, we have a volunteer willing to do free hair services in one community)
RVSS’s well-known Handyperson services funded by Northern Health will now fall under the Better at Home umbrella. Coordinating both programs under the one umbrella will allow for better delivery of services while avoiding duplication. Individuals who were previously accessing the handyperson services will automatically be made aware of other services which might be beneficial
for them. Clients do not have to be concerned that they can only access one or the other – under the Better at Home model seniors will have more opportunity to express their needs and RVSS will have more resources to try to meet these needs.
Only six rural and remote communities were funded for the pilot project and the Robson Valley is very fortunate to be one of them. The pilot project will test new approaches for delivering Better at Home services in hard to serve rural and remote BC communities and inform Better at Home’s efforts to effectively serve seniors in these areas. We really hope to bring community together even more with this program. Our BAH Program Coordinator Cathy Pittman will be engaging schools and local community groups to encourage volunteerism on another level.
Volunteering can be fun, informative, and rewarding for all ages. From children (with their parents) to youth gaining volunteer hours for graduation credits, to adults and seniors themselves, helping out others is always a feel good experience.
RVSS’s Better at Home program is in the initial stages of development, we do not yet have all the volunteers or manpower in place to offer all the services listed above. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, contractor, or would like to receive services once in place, please contact:
Better at Home Coordinator, Robson Valley Support Society
Valemount: 250 566-4431
PHOTO: UNITED WAY CANADA