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Better at Home seeks more volunteers as it expands its local service area, comes under new organization
The Better at Home program is looking for a number of new volunteers as it comes under a new organization and expands its service area.
Formerly known as CASI Osoyoos (Community Action for Seniors’ Independence), the organization is now recognized as South Okanagan Better at Home.
The program’s objective of helping seniors to stay independent and remain in their homes longer remains the same.
And Stacy Little continues to serve as the program manager, just as she did when it was run as CASI from the Osoyoos Seniors Centre.
But Better at Home is now expanding to serve Oliver, and it has also come under the wing of Desert Sun Resource and Counselling Centre and has relocated to their Osoyoos office at 8307 72 Ave.
“The program initially with CASI was a pilot project and so the seniors centre took it on on behalf of Osoyoos,” said Roxie Van Aller, executive director of Desert Sun.
“Now that the project has rolled out provincially and its mandate was expanded, the idea is to expand it into other communities.”
The seniors centre organization is made up entirely of volunteers, Van Aller said, whereas Desert Sun has an administrative and accounting structure that will give the program the support it needs to grow.
Van Aller also noted there are synergies between Better at Home and Desert Sun, which provides family counselling.
“Some of our programs such as our community kitchen have been expanded to include seniors and we’re looking at bridging the intergenerational gap between young families and seniors,” said Van Aller. “Some of our other programs such as counselling might be something that some of the seniors would be interested in being involved with.”
The services offered by Better at Home will remain the same, Little said. These include providing transportation for seniors, light housekeeping, friendly visitations and assistance with grocery shopping.
The same services are being offered in Oliver and Little says she will be spending a day or two each week at the Oliver office of Desert Sun.
Services in Oliver have started already, she said, adding there are already a few clients for transportation and housekeeping.
Volunteers are needed in both communities, Little said.
Positions include van drivers, data entry, office clerks, volunteer income tax preparers, vehicle drivers, companions and special event volunteers.
Van drivers require a Class 4 license, but Better at Home will assist volunteers with costs of obtaining this.
Students are welcome to volunteer for the clerical positions and they can obtain credits for school.
Criminal record checks are required for all volunteers.
Desert Sun officially took over Better at Home on July 1, but the office move only took place in early August, Van Aller said. The new office is located next to the Osoyoos Bottle Depot.
Van Aller, who is based in Oliver, says she will be providing support for the program and helping it to expand into that community.
She is helping Little to connect with groups in Oliver to raise awareness and support for the program. Little will continue to spend the bulk of her time in Osoyoos, Van Aller added.
Little says she loves working with seniors and hopes for the same kind of success in Oliver and she has enjoyed in Osoyoos.
Those wishing to volunteer or find out more about the program can call Better at Home at 250-495-6925.