West Quesnel community garden proposed

Seniors meeting discusses many aspects to their lives including wait time for services

The slogan on the back of a tee shirt I saw recently read ‘When you’re over the hill you speed up.’ How true if one is physically able.

How many would use a community garden if it was available in West Quesnel?

About 18 months ago Priscilla Poluk spoke to a clerk in city hall about the possibility of such a project. She is aware of a community garden in North Quesnel but transportation prevents her and no doubt others from tending it regularly. She feels strongly that there is a need for seniors on a fixed income and would welcome the opportunity to work and grow fresh produce through the summer.

Several locations were suggested, including the site of the former Cariboo Secondary School. The availability of water, good lighting, and the close proximity of people living in apartments to volunteer and tend the garden make this an ideal location.

If the groundwork, no pun intended, is done this year there could be a possibility of having the garden ready for next spring.

Those interested in becoming involved may phone Priscilla Poluk at 250-992-5070. She realizes it is a lot of work but a healthy, rewarding, and beneficial activity.

ALZHEIMER SOCIETY

Leanne Jones, support and education coordinator and Laurie DeCroos, First Link coordinator of the Alzheimer Society in Prince George attended the monthly Community Response Network meeting May 8 in Quesnel in an effort to establish a much needed support group here. The program is based on mutual aid and self help. Training for volunteers is available.

The First Link program has been designed for individuals who have been newly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia and their families. They work together to link individuals and families to a community of learning, services and support.

Over the years, many myths have evolved about what Alzheimer’s disease is, who gets it and how it affects people who have it. These myths can add to the stigma attached to the disease and stand in the way of our ability to understand and help people with it. The Alzheimer Society believes the sooner they dispel the myths, the better they’ll be able to respond to the reality. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain. It most often occurs in people over 65 but can affect adults at an earlier age.

Those at the Alzheimer Society would like to put an end to the myths surrounding Alzheimer’s. They urge people to learn about the disease, seek help and treat people with the disease with respect. For information contact Alzheimer Society website at www.alzheimer.ca. If you wish to be involved in the local support group call First Link coordinator Laurie De Croos, LPN, toll free 1-888-645-2288

OVER 80 TEA

The 62 seniors who attended the Over 80 Tea at the OAPO Golden Centre want to convey deep appreciation to the volunteers of the Golden Centre. It was wonderful to see old friends able to socialize and enjoy happy chatter with one another while munching on sandwiches, ice cream and cookies. Entertainment was provided by the Campfire singers and many joined in singing old familiar songs.

Flowers were presented to two seniors who were 102 years of age and those whose age ranged from 100 years to 85 also received flowers. It was also Lloyd, 89, and Mae, 87, Miller’s third wedding anniversary.

Everyone received a carnation upon leaving.This event was initiated by Dorothy Thom when she was president of the OAPO branch more than 30 years ago and has since continued.

The Royal Canadian Legion branch 94 hosted the monthly Seniors’ Care meeting May 17, with 42 seniors attending. With a focus on health care, Peter Nielsen invited Michael McMillan, chief operating officer for Northern Health, Margaret Sadlon, Home Support in Quesnel and Kettie McLellan of Home Care.

They outlined programs such as Home Support requiring a doctor’s referral, Community Rehabilitation and Long Term Care. The goal is to return the patient home as soon as possible. They reported on staffing levels and wait lists. There is no wait list for Home Support, Palliative Care or the Day Program at Dunrovin Park Lodge attended by 12 clients.

The wait list for long term care is under eight months, however there are four respite beds available at Dunrovin. They have a total of 117 including Baker and Maple House. The wait list for assisted living at Maeford Place is between 12 and 18 months. Two registered nurses work with an Elderly Care Team which started in 1907 to help seniors deal with health care issues, but wait time is about three months.

Michael McMillan mentioned a master plan for 2037 and looking for ways to improve health care. He said that Quesnel compares favourably to Prince George regarding assisted living beds. There is a real push for home dialysis now, but two persons are travelling to Prince George regularly for treatment.The next meeting is June 21, 2 p.m. at the Legion.

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

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