Tuesday September 02, 2014





Home-support program to start in new year

'We’re the first community to be up and running with it in B.C.'

A volunteer-based, home-support program for seniors, the first of its kind in B.C., is about to be launched in Kamloops.

Offering non-medical intervention such as housekeeping, the Better at Home program has received provincial government funding based on a United Way pilot project run in five Lower Mainland communities.

“We’re the first community to be up and running with it in B.C.,” said Ann McCarthy, a community consultant hired to lay the groundwork for the program here. “This money is coming to our community — $100,000 a year for three years.”

McCarthy said she has been working with United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo to identify the best agency to deliver the program, but they’ve yet to announce the agency. They expect to make that announcement in January 2013.

“We’re waiting for guidance from the United Way of the Lower Mainland.”

Kamloops was selected as the launch site specifically because a core of other support programs is already available here, McCarthy said. A similar program was offered on a pilot basis by the Centre for Seniors Information from 2009 to 2011 until funds ran out.

The goal of the Better at Home pilot project operated by United Way of the Lower Mainland was to serve as a springboard for expansion into 60 communities provincewide. The intent of the program is to help seniors with simple day-to-day tasks so that they can continue to live independently in their own homes.

Based on the Lower Mainland website, Better at Home complements existing community services, offering assistance with transportation, light yard work, minor home repairs, light housekeeping, grocery shopping and snow shoveling.





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