The Cowichan Seniors Community Foundation works to ensure seniors living in the Cowichan region can age in place, where their community connections, friends and family are close by.
With the number of people signing up for their services, they urgently need new volunteers.
At times, just a ride to a medical appointment or a regular meal can be a barrier to allowing someone to stay at home safely. The Meals on Wheels and Supported Transportation programs are invaluable services to seniors who no longer drive or no longer have the capacity to cook a nutritious meal.
In the Cowichan region these programs are provided by a small army of volunteers. Currently there are nearly 50 volunteers on the roster.
“That is not enough when you consider the consequences of flu season, summer vacations, winter vacations, and even retirement of volunteers,” says Vicki Holman, executive director of the Foundation. “As our programs continue to grow we improve upon our services and we receive more referrals from health care practitioners. Then we need more and more volunteers.”
The Foundation is seeing a dramatic increase in participation of both programs.
“Comparing this year with last year we believe that by the end of the year the Meals on Wheels program will have doubled, serving over 3,000 meals, and the number of rides provided through the Supported Transportation program will be up over 45 per cent with an estimated 1,700 rides. At the same time, we are working with the same number of volunteers,” said Holman. “Some of our volunteers work for both programs and we are beginning to be concerned about overworking our most valuable resource, our people. The gift of time we receive through our volunteers is greatly appreciated by the seniors and their families who rely on their services.”
The programs offered by the Foundation provide two types of experiences for different types of volunteers. One opportunity, the Meals on Wheels program, offers a regular weekly shift either rotating by week or month. The Supported Transportation program offers an opportunity to provide random acts of kindness for someone who may not be able to commit to a regular schedule.
If you are someone, or if you know someone, who has an hour or two to spare each week or each month please call the Foundation at 250-715-6481 to find out more about the programs.