Last year (2017) marked the 40th anniversary of this service agency located in Surrey and White Rock, British Columbia, Canada. It has been a very successful enterprise serving seniors with day programs. community lunches, care giver support, and referral services among many other programs. They have an active volunteer program with several locations. According to their website they are a: “ Non-profit organization established in 1977 providing Community Support Programs and Day Programs for Seniors in Surrey and White Rock”.
One of their most interesting programs is the Peers Reaching Out program designed for seniors who are isolated and feeling cut off from services and social contacts. For those who sign up, they are assigned a volunteer peer for 6 weeks. The peer often accompanies the fellow senior to events and services and introduces them to other seniors as well as useful services. There is a higher success rate than just contacting them by phone. The funding for the program is sponsored by the Peace Arch Hospital Foundation, Fraser Health, New Horizons for Seniors Program, United Way, the City of Surrey, and the City of White Rock. Of course they accept new volunteers to this program. Each volunteer receives training before starting to work. The number of volunteer hours is set by each volunteer to meet the individual’s schedule.
The day programs are organized with activities at their 3 locations. Some are recreation but most are social such as discussion groups, crafts, music or games such as bingo. The monthly calendars are listed on their website, and those who become members receive the calendars by e-mail. There are special events in which groups of seniors are transported to various places.
There is a special group for care givers. These people, often family members with little or no training or support, are very much in need of peer support from other care givers as well as professional leaders who can help these people cope with their very difficult jobs. The care givers groups meet every week. There are volunteers who can stay in the homes so that these people can attend the groups.
Seniors Come Share is a good example for other communities. I highly recommend contacting them or at least going to their very complete website to find out more information.