West Vancouver Seniors Centre aims to be a place where everyone can thrive. That includes offering a wide variety of programs to meet seniors’ needs.
In addition to the food security program, the centre also offers a help line for one-on-one support calls and group conference calls with friends from programs. In addition, it now has a mobile food delivery service for seniors who are unable to visit the centre.
West Vancouver Seniors Centre offers a wide range of activities, programs and services to help seniors stay active, socialize and make new friends. From fitness classes to arts and learning, the centre is a vibrant place where people can get busy and enjoy their retirement years.
One of the most important things for aging adults is keeping connected to their community, and the West Vancouver Seniors Centre strives to support that goal. The centre’s staff and volunteers are committed to making a positive impact on the lives of local residents, including seniors.
During the pandemic, many older people were isolated from their families and friends, and that made it harder for them to keep up with their daily routines. But a recent study by Simon Fraser University found that socialization, and especially physical activity, played an important role in maintaining mental health and preventing the worsening of chronic illness.
For Hilary Clark, who was 89 when the coronavirus pandemic hit in spring 2020, staying physically active was crucial to her health and well-being. She was a regular at three exercise classes and walked on the treadmill regularly to keep her heart healthy. She also volunteered at her church and choir practices, and regularly sang in the ukulele choir.
But when the pandemic swept her community two years ago, she had to find ways to make ends meet. She stayed home from work, went to her neighbourhood church for Sunday morning service and did odd jobs around the house for cash in exchange for groceries.
A lack of financial resources left her feeling hopeless and depressed, she told Postmedia. But when she heard about the West Vancouver Seniors Centre’s food program, which delivers nutritious meals thrice a week to seniors, she was grateful for the assistance.
With the support of her neighbours and a small donation from her daughter, Jane now has a meal for lunch each day. And she plans to continue doing that until she can afford her own apartment.
The West Vancouver Seniors Centre’s food security program is funded by the West Vancouver Foundation and supported by B.C. Housing, the Kiwanis Seniors Housing Society of West Vancouver and local businesses.
Health & Well-Being
The West Vancouver Seniors Centre offers a variety of health and well-being services to help older adults lead healthier lives. Programs range from fitness classes to social activities, and seniors can also get free blood pressure checks and massages.
The Centre provides a safe, friendly and welcoming environment for seniors to connect with others. Its community programs promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce the risk of loneliness and isolation.
A new seniors’ service has been launched to help people stay connected and independent by providing information and referrals for social services, support and other resources. LibraryConnect is a free, confidential phone service available to anyone over the age of 18. Trained staff will be on hand seven days a week and can walk callers through how to use their phones and computers.
Through a partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health, the centre is able to offer free meals to vulnerable seniors who are in need. This includes low-income seniors, those with mental health challenges and those living alone or in temporary housing.
It was during the Ebola outbreak that the centre started to re-think its role. When first responders began to ask seniors if they were OK, the centre began to realize that there was a need for a new way of connecting and caring for at-risk older residents in the neighbourhood.
With the help of the West Vancouver Police Department, Vancouver Coastal Health and other partners, the Centre established a food delivery system. The system now enables people to pick up a box of food from the centre, which can be delivered straight to their door.
In addition to the meal program, the Centre is also focusing on reducing anxiety among seniors. Through the Seniors’ Outreach Committee, the centre is working with seniors living in low-income buildings to create a more inclusive community.
This Committee, which includes representatives from the District of West Vancouver, Vancouver Coastal Health, B.C. Housing, local churches and District staff, is helping to identify at-risk seniors and identifying what services they need.
The team is also working on a new intergenerational programming approach to reducing stigma and ageism in the community by involving local grade school children in projects where they partner with a senior for a biography project. They are also teaching students from the high schools woodworking skills and have been collaborating with local First Nations Pulling Together to provide paddling trips to seniors.
Education & Training
The West Vancouver Seniors Centre offers a variety of educational and training programs. They focus on enhancing skills and improving health.
The Centre also provides access to community resources and activities. Some of these include a One-Stop Information Line, The Green Book directory to North Shore agencies, and the Oak Tree Project Adult Abuse Prevention & Response Directory.
In addition, the Centre also has a Seniors Outreach Committee that connects vulnerable seniors in low-income buildings with local first responders. The Committee includes representatives from the West Vancouver Police Department, West Vancouver Fire and Rescue, library, local churches and District of West Vancouver staff, among others.
Through these relationships, the Seniors Centre was able to identify at-risk seniors and reach out with support and guidance. This has allowed them to provide more services and programs that help to create an age friendly community.
To reduce stigma and ageism, the Centre is also partnering with local grade school children to learn about their heritage and to partner senior craftsmen with youth services to teach woodworking. This helps to promote healthy and active lifestyles.
As well as education and training, the Centre also provides a number of community grants for a range of charitable projects. These grants are directed to the areas of greatest need based on the West Vancouver Foundation’s VitalSigns research and allocated by the volunteer Community Grants Committee.
There are also several funds that support a variety of different causes, including those related to the arts and health. These include the Kay Meek Arts Fund, which was established in 1988 by Mrs. Kathleen (Kay) Meek, to provide funding for the Arts Centre and support community-based arts, culture, medical research and physical improvement in West Vancouver.
Another fund is the Adine Mees and David Van Seters Family Fund. This is a permanent fund that supports a variety of important charitable projects and programs in the community, including those that are linked to the health and wellness of the elderly, animal welfare, sports and fitness, environmental conservation and access to nature and food security.
In addition to these funds, the West Vancouver Seniors Centre has a number of other special funds that support a variety of different programs and initiatives. These include the Kay Meek Arts Fund, the West Vancouver Artists’ Fund and the Daphne Nicholson Memorial Fund.
The West Vancouver Seniors Centre offers a variety of volunteer opportunities. Whether you are interested in supporting older adults, volunteering at local parks, or mentoring teens, there is something for everyone.
You can also find volunteering opportunities at the city and district levels, such as for community centres or in the health sector. The Lions Gate Hospital and at Vancouver Coastal Health, for example, both have a volunteer program.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, you must first complete an application process which may take four to eight weeks. This includes a Ministry of Justice criminal record check, personal interview, reference checks and orientation session.
A screened and trained volunteer driver is available for transportation to medical appointments, accompanied grocery shopping, and social events in Kitsilano for seniors who live in the catchment area of Kerrisdale, Oakridge, Marpole, Dunbar and Southlands (living south of King Edward to the Fraser river and between Blanca and Ontario). Service fees are on a sliding scale based on income.
Volunteers in this position can also provide companionship to older adult clients who have dementia and other memory-related conditions. This is a great way to support your peers and help them to remain active in their homes.
This is a great opportunity for anyone who enjoys meeting new people and helping those in need. You can work with a team to provide social, recreational and therapeutic activities to the elderly in a group setting.
There are a few different positions to choose from, such as the Food Assistance and Home Maintenance roles, which are aimed at senior clients who are unable to manage their own home activities. You can provide food preparation and support, yard care, and help with program administration, among other tasks.
You can even get involved with the Thrive program, which focuses on helping individuals who are experiencing chronic health problems or cognitive decline. The Thrive volunteers receive training in communication, self-care and personal boundaries.
You can also assist the GO Bus, which provides free shuttle buses to West Vancouver and North Vancouver seniors who have limited mobility or cannot drive. The GO Bus operates on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with routes from West Vancouver and North Vancouver to many locations within those communities.
Among many other things, David A. Grantham is a contributing author to UmassExtension West Vancouver Blo. He is a renowned expert on real estate in BC.
Born in North Vancouver, Louisiana, Dr. Grantham grew up in Lower Lonsdale. He then went on to complete his business degree at the University British Columbia. As of this writing, Grantham has completed over 100 projects, including the development of a high rise building in Vancouver.
He is a husband, father, son, brother, and friend. He was a dedicated outdoorsman and enjoyed sports such as hunting, fishing, scuba diving, and snow skiing. His wife, Alison Grantham, and their two daughters survived him. He is survived by his wife Alison Martin Grantham and two daughters.