This and that for seniors: tips on staying safe

Ruth Scoullar’s monthly column gives advice for seniors in Quesnel

Now that the smoke has, for the most part, cleared away, the calendar prompts us seniors to get into high gear and get involved in the activities/organizations high on your agenda.

It does, however, make it awkward when two important meetings are held at the same time. A case in point was the quarterly directors-general quarterly meeting of the Quesnel & District Senior’s Centre and the OAPO Branch 77, also quarterly, in the Golden Centre which had their meetings Sept. 28 on the same afternoon.

It makes it awkward for those of us who are members of both. In attendance at the OAPO meeting hosted by Quesnel were delegates from Williams Lake and Lac La Hache. They shared information about activities in their branches.

Guest speakers RCMP constable Nutley and Adelle Wilson, Community policing & bylaw enforcement officer gave a Seniors Safety and Crime Prevention presentation promoted by BC Hydro Power Pioneers. They stressed the need to lock doors when going out or at night before going to bed.

Seniors on their own especially may become easy targets for criminals. They gave us reassuring little tricks to use so that we may be less vulnerable. Some of the many tips included: If you arrive home and suspect there is a stranger in your house or apartment or it appears you have robbed do not go inside. Go to the nearest available phone and call 911.

One of the topics they touched on was if you are approached and asked for money while at an ATM or in front of the bank, to contact the bank and the police. Another tip was that if you plan to be away from home for an extended period, have a family member or friend check the house regularly.

Each of the branches provided information of activities in their branch. Regional director Tina Doerkson informed members of the importance of submitting resolutions to be drawn up, submitted, and voted on a conference next spring. As each community’s needs for the well being of seniors differ requirements also vary. Resolutions passed by the members are either sent to the provincial or federal governments where applicable. Many branches do take advantage of this and have received help for their area in the past.

Time to sign up for new season

Now that holidays are over, it’s time to get involved in your favourite activities. Leave time to volunteer with some community organization that fits your passion. Most of them really do need more members to help out as some of the older members have had to drop out.

As well as the satisfaction of helping out, the feeling of working together for a common purpose and camaraderie is so beneficial. You get more out of it than you put in.

Don’t forget to schedule leisure time for yourself to enjoy what you like doing best.

Birds fly south

The sight of Canada Geese heading south reminded my friend Shirley Heaton of when a mother goose had been run over on the road near their 10 Mile Lake home about 15 years ago.

Shirley’s daughter Valerie and husband Brian Duncan caught all the goslings. Her husband Jack built a pen with chicken wire. As they got older they were let out into the yard. They would follow Jack as long as he was wore his gum boots.

A young conservation officer advised them to clip their wings, but they didn’t agree. They felt it would be crippling the birds. In the fall they watched other geese fly over then follow briefly and come back. Eventually they followed a flock which headed south.

The Heatons thought the geese were gone for good. Early next spring a small flock landed in their yard. Their seven geese had come back. Fewer come each year, and this year there were three. One of them would fly up on the porch roof and he was back again this spring.

Ruth Scoullar is a seniors’ advocate and regular Observer contributor.

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