For the past nine months, we have watched a fledgling service in the Alberni Valley nurture our population of seniors, creating a network of services that give a hand up to those who need it in order to stay in their own homes.
Better at Home is not a new program—there are 60 such non-profit programs running in various communities across British Columbia—but it is new to Port Alberni.
We hope it becomes a permanent fixture in our city.
While there are home care services in the Alberni Valley that do a great job of helping people (not just seniors) in their own homes, Better at Home fulfills a niche that has been missing: pairing seniors who need a little assistance here and there, with a variety of tasks.
Prior to Christmas, for example, operators Barb Stevenson and Lynn Turner put the call out for ‘Snow Angels’—people willing to shovel snow for seniors in their neighbourhoods in the event of a snowfall. While expected storm warnings did not come to fruition, it must have been comforting to our seniors to know that someone would come and clear their walks, steps or driveways to allow them better mobility.
This was just one proactive service that Better at Home provides in an effort to keep seniors in their own homes longer.
At a time when we see waiting lists for seniors’ homes and assisted living facilities, this is an ideal alternative.
Soon, we expect the Better at Home program will have to justify its budget for 2015.
We hope this program will continue, for it has quickly become a vital service in our community.
—Alberni Valley News