The Senior Education Toolkit is the result of a grant applied for by the District of Clearwater and supported by the Union of BC Municipalities.
Linda Selbee and Pearl Broswick were hired to create an information toolkit to be used by others to help improve the safety of seniors.
Over the past year many seniors have benefited from this program.
Information about Emergency Social Services, fire safety in public buildings, local transit, advance care planning, and understanding dementia have been presented to appreciative audiences. Thirty or more people attended each workshop, with over 60 attending the December luncheon sponsored by Wells Gray Country Seniors Society at which Linda and Pearl gave their final report.
The Emergency Information Kits provide easy accessible information in case of medical emergency or a community disaster. Sixty personal kits have been completed. There is a plan to complete more kits in the future.
A senior’s directory has also been printed and distributed. This little book gives a place to record medical and emergency information. It contains a calendar for the year and has a quick reference for phone numbers.
Encouraging and educating seniors in the use of local transit has contributed to an increase in ridership. Seniors participated in a bus ride to Kamloops and gave recommendation that helped improve the system. Input from seniors has also contributed to an experiment with more frequent local runs.
Advance Care Planning began with a presentation of what is needed at the hospital. Dr. Bob Mackenzie, Linda Mackenzie, Janice Wyatt and Crystal Wadlegger assisted in this process.
Hospice members and members of the community were trained to assist people to fill out the paper work using the My Voice manual. This paperwork is to assist people in making healt decisions while they are able in preparation for when they cannot make their own decisions. Over 50 Advance Care Kits have been completed.
An initial “Understanding Dementia” workshop presented by Tara Hildebrand of the Alzheimer Society of BC was well received, with 60 people participating. A second workshop about dementia was organized and “Changing Behaviour and Perspectives” attracted 54 participants.
The sobering thought left with the crowd was that the person with dementia is not able to change his or her behaviour so it is up to the caregiver to change his or her attitudes and behaviour.
A Phone Buddy Program is underway. All callers have criminal record checks and provide either a once a week or more phone call to chat and checkup with their buddy. There are six callers. Over 36 calls are made a week. Both men and women participate in this program.
This grant is now completed. These programs are now available for others to build on.