West Vancouver Seniors Activity Centre (WVCAC) members range in age from 62 to 97. Many participate in fitness classes and swim, while others are involved in weekly Grouse Grinds and half marathons. Twenty-two members have completed the West Vancouver Masters Mile Run, and over forty-five have joined walking groups or fitness classes.
The Fit Fellas at West Vancouver Seniors Active Centre are an active group of volunteers that take part in a variety of physical activities. Founded in 2011, the group has worked with the Seniors Activity Centre and staff from the District of West Vancouver to provide online fitness classes that last one hour. Most weeks, between 55 and 75 men log on to take part. Besides providing online fitness classes, the group also organizes group walks in the Dundarave neighbourhood.
The West Vancouver Seniors Activity Centre runs the Feed the Need program to help seniors in the community who need a nutritious meal. The meal delivery program is accessible to any senior in the community. The program delivers nutritious meals to seniors’ homes seven days a week, and the program also provides milk, eggs, toilet paper, and other necessities.
The members of the Fit Fellas at West Vancouver Seniors Activities Centre range in age, from 62 years old to 97 years old. Many of them participate in swimming, tennis, and fitness classes. Others have even completed half marathons and weekly Grouse Grinds. Twenty-two members have participated in the West Vancouver Masters Mile Run and over forty-five have attended various fitness classes.
The District of West Vancouver posted a notice about the positive COVID-19 test the day before. Vancouver Coastal Health is investigating the matter and will continue to monitor the case. Meanwhile, many fitness classes will be suspended until spring 2020.
The Keep Well at West Vancouver Seniors Activity Centre is home to a variety of programs for seniors and is operated by the West Vancouver Foundation, a member of the Community Foundation of Canada. This organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life for seniors and promoting healthy aging. The activities offered at this senior’s activity centre are open to the public and are designed to keep people active in their later years.
The program is run by qualified volunteers who teach classes, conduct instructor-training workshops, and provide information to participants via quarterly newsletters. About 800 volunteers contribute countless hours of their time each year. In addition to their time at the centre, they also volunteer at other programs, serve on committees, and participate in community events.
The Centre’s Feed the Need program provides nutritious home-cooked meals to seniors in the community. Since the pandemic began, the Centre has provided over 22,000 nutritious meals to seniors in need. The Centre will continue to deliver meals until 2021. In addition to meals, the Centre offers other necessities, such as milk, eggs, and toilet paper, to those in need.
The Keep Well program offers exercise classes for seniors and is held every week throughout the year. It also includes health coaching, massage, speakers, and social time. The activities are available seven days a week and are free of charge.
Information and referrals
West Vancouver Seniors Activity Centre has several different programs for senior citizens. These include recreational activities, leadership opportunities, special events, and more. The centre also has a library, computer lab, and a pool room. Seniors can also take part in arts and crafts and other activities. They can also join groups that focus on cultural activities, such as bridge.
The Centre is run by volunteers and offers a wide variety of programs to seniors in the area. Its volunteers provide referrals, follow-up, and general information on seniors and their needs. Programs include special events, educational workshops, transportation services, and social and intergenerational events.
For seniors who live alone or with limited mobility, there are also services that provide transportation to medical appointments and other critical events. These services are provided by trained volunteer drivers and are subsidized. To qualify, seniors must be at least 55 years old and must be experiencing mobility challenges. In addition, seniors must be able to safely complete day-to-day tasks.
The Centre offers weekly support groups and community education sessions for those who are affected by addiction. The Centre is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5 pm. There is also a special program to help seniors afford their rent. The SAFER program (Seniors Assistance for Elderly Renters) makes rent affordable for BC residents on low incomes. Eligible BC seniors can get a monthly cash payment that is applied to their rent.
One of the Centre’s programs is the Feed the Need program, which provides hot, nutritious meals to low-income seniors. The program is open to all seniors in the community, and meals are delivered to recipients at home. Meals are also available for pick-up seven days a week. The Centre also provides milk, eggs, toilet paper, and other essentials for seniors.
The Centre offers free bus transportation for seniors, with curbside stops to allow the elderly to get to community medical services, shopping locations, and other services. The bus runs Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with priority given to senior residents with mobility issues. The buses feature automatic lifts and room for walkers.
West Vancouver Seniors Activity Centre offers bus transportation for seniors who want to go to the movies, the grocery store, or to a doctor’s appointment. The centre also offers transportation for seniors with mobility issues and/or dementia. Bus services are wheelchair accessible and personal attendants are welcome.
West Vancouver’s Seniors Activity Centre is collaborating with the West Vancouver Memorial Library to offer a new program called LibraryConnect. The program helps senior citizens find resources in their area. Callers can receive one-on-one support or join a group conference call. The program is free and available for all seniors in the community. The centre also provides meals for seniors who do not have the means to buy them themselves.
Jill Lawlor, manager of the District of West Vancouver’s community wellness department, understands that many seniors struggle to make ends meet. But she had no idea just how many senior citizens were impoverished until the pandemic hit the city. And she said many of them were reluctant to come forward for help.
The Centre’s cafe has been a lifeline for many seniors who are unable to access food. After the Pandemic, it has started providing meals to residents in need of assistance. The Centre has also been partnering with other agencies to address the issue. With the assistance of the West Vancouver Police Department, it has become possible to identify and provide food to seniors who are most vulnerable and at risk.
The West Vancouver Foundation is also contributing to the community in many ways. Its North Shore Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund supports charitable organizations that provide frontline services for vulnerable populations in the region. This fund accepts donations online, by mail, or by phone.
Funding for the West Vancouver Seniors Activity Centre is coming from several different sources. The West Vancouver Foundation, Kiwanis, and the firefighters’ charitable society are all contributing to the project. In addition, the community of West Vancouver has also been contributing to the project. If you are able to donate to the West Vancouver Seniors Activity Centre, you will be helping seniors in the community stay active and healthy.
The Centre has also received funding from the Ian and Rosemary Mottershead Fund, a charitable trust administered by the West Vancouver Foundation. This fund matches donations up to $100,000. Funding from these two foundations will help the Centre provide meals for vulnerable West Vancouver seniors, who often do not have the financial means to eat on a regular basis.
The Centre is run by Jill Lawlor, the community wellness manager for the District of West Vancouver. She has seen first-hand the hardships facing seniors. Before the pandemic, she didn’t even realize how many seniors lived in poverty. She also knew that many of them were reluctant to reach out for help.
The West Vancouver District is seeking community input for a new arts and culture facility. The West Vancouver District’s Arts and Culture Strategy lays the groundwork for improving facilities and services. Council created an Arts Facilities Advisory Committee in 2018 to study the current and future needs for arts and culture activities in West Vancouver. They identified the need for a new facility, which would be about 25,000 square feet.
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.