Yellowhead Community Services have a program designed for seniors that helps them to live independently in their own home for as long as possible. (Metro Creative photo)

Yellowhead Community Services have a program designed for seniors that helps them to live independently in their own home for as long as possible. (Metro Creative photo)

Helping seniors to live at home in the Barriere area

Supporting seniors to live independently in their own homes in the Barriere area is a service that Yellowhead Community Services (YCS) takes to heart.

YCS Chief Operating Officer Susanne Butcher says, ” At the moment YCS offers a couple of programs for seniors. The Better at Home Program, which is funded through United Way of the Lower Mainland, and Seniors at Home which is funded by YCS – both programs offer the same services.”

Butcher explains that services for fee are calculated on a subsidized sliding scale according to the seniors last year’s tax return, and vary from fully paying to fully subsidized.

“At this time our only fee service is housekeeping,” said Butcher, “We are hoping to recruit a gardener/yard worker, a handy person and snow remover. All services provided are ‘light’ in terms of the time we can allot to each older adult, and the duties the worker performs. The idea is that services support the senior to live independently in their own home for as long as possible.”

Free services that are provided include program volunteers who carry out transportation, friendly phone calls, friendly visiting, and grocery and prescription delivery.

Butcher says, “The services are very affected by COVID-19 at this time, which has seen an increase in isolation and stress for seniors, being one of the more vulnerable groups to potential infection of the virus, so we are taking extra precautions.”

She notes that YCS also offers a program called Community Response Network (CRN) which brings an awareness to abuse and neglect of seniors, including self neglect.

The CRN is a tool that seniors or those concerned for seniors can access for advice on groups and persons who can provide support, direction and assistance. The CRN doesn’t provide direct services itself but rather links people together and brings awareness to senior abuse.

“We are hoping, when COVID abates, to explore the potential of providing a talking newspaper through funding offered by CRN. YCS offers this program specifically in Barriere, not Clearwater,” says Butcher, noting that the Clearwater group is run by the Clearwater Seniors organization.

For more information call Yellowhead Community Services in Barriere at 250-672-9773, or go to: www.yellowheadcs.ca

Yellowhead Community Services offices can be found in the Ridge School (District of Barriere) at 4936 Barriere Town Road, Barriere, B.C.