Are we properly taking care of our seniors?
The head of Pincher Creek and District Family and Community Support Services believes we can do better.
“In 2023, we provided funding to 12 different organizations,” said Andrea Hlady, co-ordinator of the area’s FCSS program, but none of the grants were geared directly toward the elderly.
Under its mandate, FCSS funding is given to community groups to help improve the quality of life and promote family wellness for the town, the MD and the village of Cowley.
“What we really need is a really good strategy for how to care for our seniors,” Hlady said, “and the good thing is — my experience with the seniors … they’re very vibrant and robust and contribute greatly in many ways to the community.”
Although Hlady finds it “comforting” to see their involvement, she’s concerned there’s no dedicated program in place that looks after all of their day-to-day needs.
“Communities in Bloom or the Pincher Planters or the Huddleston Centre, you name it. When you look at the list of volunteers, many are seniors, but it’s piecemeal,” she added.
“I get requests for help for moving or cleaning or meal prep. Oftentimes, it’s the adult child calling to find out what services are out there.”
And, paying for a service isn’t always an option.
Without a solid seniors strategy in place, the FCSS co-ordinator terms it “really tricky” as she tries to provide direction.
“I try to refer people as best I can to an appropriate agency or organization, but oftentimes that will only get them so far.”
Under provincial regulations, FCSS can fund only non-profit groups, Hlady explained. For example, it couldn’t fund an individual or company, but it could if the applicant were a local registered charity. In turn, that group or society could provide seniors with a service like moving or cleaning.
Although the deadline to submit requests for 2024 FCSS funding has passed, other grants are available. But the question remains — are we properly taking care of all of the needs of our seniors?
It’s food for thought.