Volunteer peer support, assistance with household tasks after surgery, and simple companionship are among the services offered by Victoria-based Seniors Serving Seniors. Photo contributed

Volunteer peer support, assistance with household tasks after surgery, and simple companionship are among the services offered by Victoria-based Seniors Serving Seniors. Photo contributed

Lending vulnerable seniors a helping hand in Greater Victoria

Long-established organization connected to numerous services and support agencies

For over 37 years, Seniors Serving Seniors has been providing valuable services for vulnerable elders in Greater Victoria, but not everyone is familiar with their offerings.

Those in the local health care industry are, however, and work quite closely with this mostly volunteer-based organization through its Return to Health program.

The service sees volunteers assigned to patients who have had medical procedures done in hospital and have been identified by medical staff as “vulnerable.”

For a period of one to three months after the individual returns home – the time varies depending on the individual’s needs and vulnerability – a volunteer senior is matched up with them to help with a variety of tasks. Those range from basic companionship, going for walks and ensuring there are groceries in the house, to getting them set up for the Sendial or HandiDart programs, going through mail that has accumulated, and other non-medical functions.

“The goal is to support these people back to independence,” says Julie Gray, Seniors Serving Seniors’ executive director. “It’s an important goal to ensure they don’t relapse and end up back in hospital. The hope is that they get [familiar with] a community centre … and hopefully regain some of their self worth and their dignity through the connections that our volunteers help them make.”

The organization is currently recruiting volunteer seniors to do this work, starting in the fall.

“Our volunteers report tremendous satisfaction in knowing they’re assisted someone who was vulnerable, that they learned new skills on a number of topics, or that they developed more confidence,” Gray says.

Other functions it serves direct the region’s seniors to local programs and activities.

Its Senior Link phone line sees volunteers direct seniors, their family members or concerned friends to the appropriate community agencies and businesses that answer questions or provide services. Seniors Serving Seniors volunteers field roughly 1,700 calls a year on the line.

“It could be serious stuff, like, my neighbour is being neglected and I’m wondering who to call about this,” Gray says. “We’re a resource of information; not that we resolve the issue, but we direct people to the right place. We assist seniors and their families to find the information and support they need.”

Seniors Serving Seniors also generates a comprehensive directory featuring a diverse list of more than 500 community resources available to people. They range from health-related services to activity and recreation centres and day programs offered around Greater Victoria, complete with phone numbers and website addresses.

A total of 25,000 hard copies of the directory are produced every two years and they are available for pickup at 20 different sites around the region (call 250-382-4331 for locations), as well as online at seniorsservingseniors.bc.ca/service-directory/.

For more information about volunteering for Return to Health or the availability of services, call the office at 250-382-4331, or visit them online at seniorsservingseniors.bc.ca.

editor@vicnews.com

Seniors

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Mann family lived in a coach house attached to the old stables – which once stood across from where the beer bottles were found – from about 1911 to the '30s. This historical photograph shows members of the Mann family passing around a beer bottle similar to the ones found recently. (Photos courtesy Cindy MacDougall)
Cheers to history: 100-year-old beer bottles unearthed at Royal Roads University

Four bottles from Victoria Brewing Co., Silver Springs Brewery date back to early 1900s

Tighe Archer with a Winter Tree that he cut and assembled in Esquimalt High wood shop. Students in ten high school wood shops are cutting the raw materials and packaging them into kits that are delivered to Grade 3 and 4 elementary classes in the district to assemble. 
(Lindsay Johnson Photo)
Greater Victoria high schoolers cut Winter Trees for Grade 3 classes

Apprenticing carpentry students bring a little season to younger peers

Evelyn Turner, Jen Rashleigh and Steve Duck with Circular Farm and Food: Vancouver Island stand outside the Sandown Agricultural Lands, future site of the Sandown Centre for Regenerative Agriculture. North Saanich council is considering a draft agreement with the future operators for final approval Monday. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich close to inking final agreement with Sandown operators

Future operators of Sandown Agricultural Lands have confidence in their vision

Victoria-based driving instructors are concerned for their own and the community’s safety with the continued number of residents from COVID hotspots in the Lower Mainland coming to the city to take their driving road tests. (Black Press Media file photo)
Students from COVID hotspots travel to Victoria for driving tests

Union leader calls on government to institute stronger travel ban

(Courtesy Saanich Police Dept.)
Police hope boot search will help find missing Saanich man

Sean Hart is known to walk for miles, with or without his boots

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Dec. 6 to 12

Mountain Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Lard Day are all coming up this week

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Montreal Alouettes’ Michael Sam is set to make his pro football debut as he warms up before the first half of a CFL game against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Sam became the first publicly gay player to be drafted in the NFL. He signed with the Montreal Alouettes after being released by St. Louis, but abruptly left after playing one game. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Study finds Canada a ‘laggard’ on homophobia in sports

Among females, 44 per cent of Canadians who’ve come out to teammates reported being victimized

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Information about the number of COVID-19 cases in Abbotsford and other municipalities poses a danger to the public, the Provincial Health Services Authority says. (Photo: Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)
More city-level COVID-19 data would jeopardize public health, B.C. provincial health agency says

Agency refuses to release weekly COVID-19 case counts, citing privacy and public health concerns

The opening day on Mount Washington this year was Dec. 4. Screenshot
Mount Washington opens on time, COVID-19 protocols in place

“We’re super excited - it’s been six months in the planning.”

Most Read