Laura Kliewer and Carmin Lewis take part in a sing-along during a pre-Halloween celebration at the Seniors’ Resource Centre on Friday, Oct. 26. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)

Seniors’ Resource Centre offers services and socializing in Salmon Arm

Programs are provided by three part-time staff and 80 volunteers

Animated conversation and laughter are the backdrop for a Halloween party held Friday, Oct. 26 at the Seniors’ Resource Centre.

Located on Second Avenue NE, next to Fletcher Park, the centre offers many programs to seniors.

Volunteer co-ordinator Marilyn Bjorkman says the centre is a place for seniors to socialize and access services.

One of the most popular programs is Day Away, which takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. It starts with a social time over coffee and goodies and is followed by an exercise or craft session, or a speaker. Lunch is followed by another activity such as board games or entertainment.

Foot care including nails cut, treatment and massage is available on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at a cost of $35.

Friendly Check-in is a program for those who are unable to go to the centre, says Bjorkman.

Volunteers call shut-ins who don’t get out on their own or have family visit them.

Related: Rethinking how to care for B.C. seniors

“Calls are made on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to make sure they’re OK,” Bjorkman says. “It lets them know someone cares about them and is thinking about them.”

Lunch With Friends is another popular program that is held from 11:30 to 1 p.m. every Tuesday between September and June in the hall at St. Joseph’s Church. The meal is followed by bingo. Call 250-832-7000 to register for this program.

“Each card is only 25 cents and they might win a dollar, but, hey, they love it,” says Bjorkman.

Resource centre clients who register in the Monday Morning Market program are picked up by the HandiDart and taken to downtown Askew’s Foods to shop. After shopping, seniors enjoy a social time over coffee and cookies supplied by Askew’s at the New Bombay Restaurant and are then driven back home by HandiDart.

“Their groceries are carried into their kitchen for them by volunteers,” says Bjorkman, noting help with shopping is available if the senior would like it.”

Seniors who are not able to get out of their homes to shop can register through the centre, then phone their grocery orders in to downtown Askew’s Foods on Monday or Tuesday and the groceries are delivered to them the following day. Shoppers must buy a minimum of $25 in groceries but there is no charge for delivery.

A caregivers’ support group from 10 a.m. to noon on the second and fourth Monday of the month is for anyone who is caring for someone in cognitive decline.

”We have two facilitators who have been through it with their own spouses, so they know the path these people are on,” Bjorkman says.

Related: Shuswap offers one-stop wellness for seniors

Clients can access rides to medical appointments locally or to Kamloops or Kelowna for a fee – $5 for a local trip and $65 for longer runs.

Volunteers will do non-complicated income tax returns for lower income singles and couples during March and April and a senior adviser is available to help seniors complete government forms.

Residents who are in a rush or don’t want to cook can pick up three-course meals, which cost $6.75 each, through the Better Meals program.

Another program that is gaining ground throughout the province is the Blue Bottle Program, sponsored by Remedy’s RX and Shoppers Drug Mart, in which donated bottles provide emergency personnel with all medical information, including medications, allergies, doctor’s name, blood type and next of kin.

“It also contains information on who will take care of your pets and a magnet and label to put on your entry door,” Bjorkman says.

The centre keeps an information list on rental housing, home support, people willing to bake, or do things around the house and information on local seniors’ homes.

“They each charge their own amount so we tell clients to ask lots of questions so it’s a good fit for them,” adds Bjorkman.

The centre at 320A Second Ave. NE is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and is run by three part-time staff and approximately 80 volunteers.


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