VICTORIA – Elders have knowledge and experiences to pass to younger generations to guide them through life, but what happens when Elders need support? With this in mind, the First Nations Health Authority and the B.C. Ministry of Health developed the BC Elders Guide, based on the popular BC Seniors’ Guide, to help Elders find resources as they age in the community, while still acknowledging their strength and wisdom.
“With the creation of The BC Elders Guide, we are breathing new life into the Partnership Accord,” said Cliff Atleo Sr., First Nations Health Council, Vancouver Island representative. “It was really something to see the Elders Guide fly off the shelves when we released it this summer in Penticton. Our people are aging as well, and they came in wheelchairs, with walkers, and with canes, about 3,000 of them. Our partnership with Health Canada, the Province and health authorities presents a tremendous opportunity to work together to help improve the health of our Elders.”
For First Nations and Aboriginal communities, Elders play a pivotal role in the health and wellness of their communities. Elders are sought out for guidance and advice. Today, it is more important than ever that Elders are supported to live long and healthy lives so they are there to provide support for the next generation.
“I love the strong visuals represented in the BC Elders Guide. The excellent photographs drew me in, and I was thrilled to see such lovely representations of Elders,” said Cindy Maxwell, a social worker with Island Health. “I think we can add even more First Nations details, for example, in the morning when Elders wake up, it’s not just having a bowl of oatmeal that refreshes them and provides them with nourishment. Elders wake up and thank the creator for a safe passage through the night. That is how they start the day, by nourishing the soul. I’m proud to see the input from Elders in the guide and think we are making great progress. I made sure to share the BC Elders Guide with many, and I’m excited to see what they think of it.”
Meeting the spiritual, financial, family and friendship needs of Elders is incredibly important, and the BC Elders Guide is designed to provide help to find resources Elders may need as they age. Both the First Nations Health Authority together with the B.C. Ministry of Health hope the guide can help strengthen the connections between Elders, their territory and each other.