Centre officially opens in Spaniard’s Bay
Staff building information library of resources for seniors
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.
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.”
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).
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.