The Work Continues

Dave Price, Seniors Needs Coordinator

Lloyd Frank, president of the Tumbler Ridge 49 Forever Society, checks out the deep freeze full of food that was donated by Major Drilling. 49 Forever is sharing the winfall with the Lions Club and the Family Assistance Program, but the majority of the food will go towards luncheons for the seniors.

At this time of year, the Seniors’ Needs Task Force reviews the successes (and disappointments) of the past year, and looks to prioritize the goals for the coming year. As noted in the numerous columns during 2012, it was a busy and productive year. The group continues to produce more advantages and programs for seniors in the district and one of the highlights was finding out that Tumbler Ridge was the envy of many of the municipalities, not only in BC but, in all of Canada when it came to creating a town where people could “age in place”.

After four years of hard work and many changes, it would be easy for the group to rest on their laurels. The Task Force did (briefly) consider reducing the energies put forth by reducing the meetings of every two weeks to a monthly meeting now that the major objectives have been achieved. It is a significant tribute to the dedication of the group that, after some discussion, it was decided to continue with the bi-weekly sessions in order to ensure that the momentum attained is not lost. Although the group has accomplished great things, it is agreed that there is much more to be done, and they are determined to continue the task.

Items on the “to do” list include such things as developing an in-town transportation system for those who cannot afford conventional services, improvement of the relationship between the District and BC Housing, regarding the Seniors’ Housing complex, to ensure that those with needs are provided with the opportunity to live there and to attain future expansion of the facility, more opportunities for inclusion of seniors in the life of the town, the creation of a purpose-built Seniors’ Centre, and the opportunity to work with Northern Health on their Master Plan to ensure that the aging, and disabled, have the level of services that they require and deserve.

There is a newly developed service that deserves some notice. It is call the K.I.T. (Keep In Touch) program, and it provides a way to monitor elderly citizens who are living alone to ensure their safety. It is coordinated through the Seniors’ Corner and should be considered by any aging individual who is on their own.

In conclusion, I cannot say enough about the dedication of the volunteer members of the Task Force, and the continuing support of the Town Council, that have brought about such impressive changes in a town that was originally created for the young and healthy. Their decision to continue on a schedule that would wear out most individuals is worthy of our respect and gratitude. It is a privilege to work with such a determined group.