Cen­tre of­fi­cially opens in Spa­niard’s Bay

Staff build­ing in­for­ma­tion li­brary of re­sources for se­niors

The Compass - - OPINION - BY LIL­LIAN SIM­MONS

The new Se­niors Re­source Cen­tre Bac­calieu Trail satel­lite of­fice of­fi­cially opened in Spa­niard’s Bay June 5.

“We had 110 ac­tual sig­na­tures in our guest book and an­other 10 to 15 who didn’t sign the book, so we’re pleased with the turnout,” said Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee Chair­woman Cathy Klein­wort.“It seems we’ve been go­ing up­hill but with every­one work­ing, it came to­gether.”

The rib­bon cut­ting took place at the cen­tre and af­ter a walk­through of the satel­lite of­fice lo­cated in the town hall build­ing, a re­cep­tion was held at the Spa­niard’s Bay Re­cre- ation Cen­tre with an of­fi­cial cake cut­ting, re­fresh­ments and en­ter­tain­ment.

“All lev­els of gov­ern­ment were rep­re­sented,” Klein­wort said.

As­cen­sion Col­le­giate stu­dents - Mitchell Gosse, Jenny Smith, Scott Vokey and Kelly Young - helped out with nametags, served re­fresh­ments and “washed ev­ery dish.”

“They were ex­cel­lent! They were here from 1:30 un­til 5:30. And every­one loved the mu­sic. We had Piper Gor­don Par­sons, Tony Men­chions, and Ray Chip­man and the Le­gion Boys — Fred Hum­ber,Lloyd Hor­lick,Len Power and Don Finch.”

The cen­tre had in­vited 42 church rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Trin­ity Con­cep­tion and Klein­wort said there was good rep­re­sen­ta­tion from all groups.

Next step

The chair­woman out­lined how the cen­tre will go about as­sist­ing se­niors on the Bac­calieu Trail.

“Now that the of­fi­cial open­ing is done the next step will be­gin with Marie (Ryan), the co­or­di­na­tor, de­sign­ing and set­ting up group pre­sen­ta­tions for se­niors and do­ing up an in­for­ma­tion kit to hand out at the in­for­ma­tion ses­sions,” she said.

The cen­tre has al­ready had sev­eral re­quests for pre­sen­ta­tions - from the Sal­va­tion Army Women’s Aux­il­iary in Bay Roberts and the Con-Tri Re­tired Teach­ers As­so­ci­a­tion in Har­bour Grace, along with the Le­gion in Bay Roberts, where they will present the ses­sion June 22.

The of­fice is in the process of ap­ply­ing for New Hori­zons fund­ing.

“We need let­ters from se­niors or­ga­ni­za­tions in sup­port of the of­fice be­ing open in the area,” said Klein­wort.“The fund­ing will al­low us to out­reach and de­velop ser­vices and pro­grams to meet the needs of the se­niors on the Bac­calieu Trail.

As­sis­tant Shel­ley Grant pointed out the of­fice is al­ready re­ceiv­ing calls for in­for­ma­tion.

“We’ve had calls about the tax re­bates for home re­pairs; re­quests about el­i­gi­bil­ity for grants for home re­pairs, what kinds of re­pairs are el­i­gi­ble for re­bates, and an­other caller wanted to know where he could get rid of a hot wa­ter tank.”

“We want to let se­niors know, no ques­tion is too small, we’ll look into it.”

Real peo­ple

The re­source cen­tre satel­lite of­fice is aim­ing to pro­vide as much in­for­ma­tion and op­por­tu­nity as pos­si­ble to se­niors in or­der to in­crease their in­de­pen­dence and of­fer sup­port.

Grant said the cen­tre has a list of di­rect line num­bers where se­niors can call and ac­tu­ally speak to a real per­son, as op­posed to an an­swer­ing ma­chine.

“We have num­bers for or­ga­ni­za­tions deal­ing with arthri­tis, Alzheimer’s, the CNIB, the VON, the Cana­dian Hard of Hear­ing As­so­ci­a­tion — ev­ery sin­gle num­ber­hasan­ac­tu­alper­son­on­theother end,” she em­pha­sized.

The new cen­tre is hop­ing to net­work with those or­ga­ni­za­tions and have rep­re­sen­ta­tives at­tend in­for­ma­tion ses­sions as well.

The satel­lite of­fice has a list of all es­sen­tial ser­vices - like doc­tors and am­bu­lances — on the Bac­calieu Trail on file, should any- one need them.

“We’ve got three men on our list who build hand­i­cap ramps and we want to list all ser­vices like taxi driv­ers, or who to call if you need your lock changed; fam­ily doc­tors that are tak­ing on new pa­tients, all the busi­nesses in each com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing those who pro­vide se­niors dis­counts.

“We’ve found places where peo­ple can rent chairs and walk­ing canes and com­modes and walk­ers. And we’d love to see a re­cy­cle pro­gram for de­vices for the dis­abled,” Grant said.“That would be a great ser­vice; per­haps they could be do­nated to one of the ser­vice clubs.”

Klein­wort added the of­fice is try­ing to “re­cruit se­niors in­ter­ested in form­ing peer ad­vo­cate groups and friendly vis­it­ing.Train­ing will be avail­able for those pro­grams.”

That ser­vice would pro­vide links for se­niors who are shut in or iso­lated.

“And we would be able to make them aware of all the in­for­ma­tion we have to of­fer,” said Klein­wort.

“We hope se­niors will be able to make in­formed de­ci­sions and take mu­tual sup­port from all in­volved.”

Project lead­er­ship is pro­vided by the Spa­niard’s Bay satel­lite of­fice and the ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee, with sup­port from the Se­nior Re­source Cen­tre board and staff (St. John’s), which will as­sist the satel­lite of­fice in iden­ti­fy­ing pro­grams to help se­niors.

Con­tact the of­fice toll free at 1-800-563-5599 or at 786INFO (4630).

Photo sub­mit­ted

RIB­BON CUT­TING - At­tend­ing the of­fi­cial rib­bon cut­ting for the Se­niors Re­source Cen­tre NL Bac­calieu Trail Satel­lite of­fice, Spa­niard’s Bay were: Spa­niard’s Bay Mayor John Drover; MHA Roland But­ler; MP Scott An­drews; Par­lia­men­tary As­sis­tant Terry French; Kelly Heisz, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor for the St. John’s Se­niors Re­source of­fice; Marilyn Beaton, chair­woman for the St. John’s Ad­vi­sory Board; Jack Har­ring­ton, ex­ec­u­tive as­sis­tant to MHA Jerome Kennedy; Cathy Klein­wort, chair­woman, Bac­calieu Trail Ad­vi­sory Board and Leo Bon­nell, chair­man for the Pro­vin­cial Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil on Ag­ing and Se­niors.

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