Seniors group reaches out

Older residents being asked to take part in Seniors Task Force

A local seniors group is hoping to bring together older adults in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to find gaps in local services, and advocate for them regionally.

The Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, and Katzie Seniors Network is made up of individual seniors as well as representatives of local businesses, non-profit groups and various agencies.

The group hopes to develop a seniors-only Seniors Task Force aimed at increasing the participation of local seniors in the Network.

“We want to provide as much opportunity to include the voices of our older adults in our discussions as possible,” said Seniors Network coordinator Heather Treleaven.

“This is our chance to get seniors out to talk about what is important to them and what is working and not working for them in areas such as housing, transportation, food security, health care and safety.”

There are many different opportunities to participate with the Seniors Task Force. Individuals may wish to only attend one meeting or they can join a Task Group or sub-committee to pursue longer term issues. The important thing is to come out and have a voice in seniors issues locally.

“We want to find seniors willing to share their views on issues like seniors transportation and safety, housing, food security and health care,” said Treleaven.

“We want to know what barriers older adults face to getting around locally and to medical appointments out of town. Can they find nutritious affordable food and housing, access the medical care they need and do they feel safe in their homes and in our community.”

The group is planning their first meeting for Feb. 27, from 10 a.m. to noon at the Ridge Meadows Seniors Centre, 12150 224th Street in Maple Ridge.

The Seniors’ Network is also hosting a meeting of local seniors’ housing building managers.

“Often these seniors do not have any family support or the financial means to purchase assistance so the building managers are the ones looking out for them, making sure they are okay and often driving them to hospital,” said Treleaven.

The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 22, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion. Staff from the Senior Services Society will be there to present  their seniors building managers workshop. Representatives from Ridge Meadows RCMP, Service Canada, Alouette Home Start Society, and various community services groups will be on hand to provide support and information. All local building managers are welcome to attend.

For more information, or to register, call 604-786 7404, or e-mail htreleaven@shaw.ca.