Kelowna, British Columbia
Every person has a need for social inclusion. As people age, the need for meaningful social networks is even more important. Seniors Centre Without Walls, a new program offered by Seniors Outreach and Resource Centre, makes social participation not only possible, but easy. We offer online sessions using Zoom, where community resources like tours of the Kelowna Art Gallery exhibitions, YMCA exercise programs, engaging travelogue presentations, or a face to face coffee chat group, with stimulating conversation, is welcoming for all participants. For Seniors without access to technology, who find themselves isolated at home, we offer convenient social programs using the telephone. Participants receive a phone call and immediately join the group in fun activities such as bingo, live music, learning a language, coffee chat group, trivia, brain teasers, mindfulness, birthday celebrations for each month and more. In the short time we have been offering these sessions, participants have expressed gratitude for the programs. They have also been excited to interact with others, engage their brains in interesting topics and activities, all while having the opportunity to forge new friendships with others. Seniors have found they can participate easily regardless of any challenges they might face. The collaborative support they receive to accommodate their needs overcomes any barriers, and the goal of social inclusion becomes achievable for them. Seniors have expressed that they enjoy the connection and comradery they experience as they participate in the Seniors Centre Without Walls social programs. Registrations are ongoing and no cost. For more information or to register please visit www.seniorsoutreach.ca , email SCWW@seniorsoutreach.ca or call (250) 861-6180 Ext.1.
We provide programs that help seniors maintain independence, safety, housing and other non-medical needs. These include Information and Referral, Coffee Breaks, resource and housing directories, crisis counselling, income tax preparation, house cleaning, friendly visitors, yard care, snow shoveling, transportation, grocery shopping, Book Swap Program, Santa to a Senior and an annual Seniors Safety Fair, focused on abuse prevention. In 2020, we started our Seniors' Centre Without Walls which offers telephone and virtual social opportunities to reduce isolation, especially during this pandemic.
The work we do with seniors is preventative, and lessens demand on the health care system, reducing visits to physicians for non-medical needs and to the emergency department of the hospital. We help to provide services that prolong independence, promote safety and prevent abuse, link seniors to needed services and resources and each other. Isolation is known to affect health as much as smoking does, and our services help to reduce isolation and create a sense of belonging and hope. In 2020 we responded to more than 13,000 phone calls, provided 5230 non-medical home supports. We were happy to welcome 237 new volunteers in 2020 and 43 seniors in dire need received Christmas gifts!
"You do really amazing work here. I hope you know that"
"Thank you so much; this has changed my life!"
~client who had 10 years of taxes completed
"I really don't know what I would do without you and your service."
"I was so stressed about where to take my taxes. I will actually sleep tonight."
"Thank you. I don't have to choose between filing my taxes or buying food"
"There's nowhere else like this place in the community where my clients can get the help they need! I'm excited for how these returns will change their lives!"
~outreach worker from another local non-profit
Our mission is to enhance the lives of seniors, either through direct service provision or by connecting them to other needed services and resources. This prolongs independence, reduces isolation. provides hope and prevents abuse, neglect and self-neglect.