| Jan 15, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - January 15, 2009 New seniors’ centre in Sharbot Lake

by Julie Druker

Catherine Tysick in front of the United Church Manse.

The Community Support Services program that is run out of Northern Frontenac Community Services (NFCS) will soon be opening a brand new seniors’ centre in Sharbot Lake.

The location of the new centre is the old manse of the Sharbot Lake United Church, directly across from the Freshmart.

Programs like the adult day program, which is currently being run out of the second floor of the Sharbot Lake Seniors Home, will be moved to the new centre, which is easily accessible, central, and spacious. The new centre will be able to facilitate the needs of Central and North Frontenac seniors who choose to live at home and remain independent but are need of community services.

Grants have been instrumental in supporting the project. United Way Kingston supplied a $25,000 grant and another $4000 was granted by the Community of Greater Kingston.

Catherine Tysick, who heads up the Community Support Services for NFCS and who has been on board since the project’s first inception, adds that community members have also generously donated to the cause. The donations and grants are being used to renovate the building. Renovations began in December and are well underway.

Already a large ramp has been added to the entrance, making it wheelchair accessible. Inside, a space on the main floor is in the process of becoming a wheelchair accessible washroom facility that will be equipped with a bath. Tysick points out, “With the Adult Day Program, a big part of it is providing personal care and so bathroom facilities are very important.”

While the space is being designed to serve the needs of existing programs like the Adult Day Program, the Foot Care Clinic, and the Caregivers’ Support Group, Tysick also envisions the space as providing facilities that currently are not available due to lack of space.

Hearing aid clinics, blood pressure clinics, and services and programs offered by the Alzheimers Society (with whom NFCS has partnered on this project), are all potential and viable services that Tysick sees as coming to fruition in this new location.

She points out that the main floor kitchen facility may be used by volunteers to provide a cooking program where participants can cook meals, which then could be taken home by the seniors.

The building is a two storey, 3 bedroom house and Tysick points out the possibility of designating one of the bedrooms on the second floor to be used as a respite space to give relief to full-time caregivers.

She explains, “Caregivers who don’t have other alternative places to rest could come here for a whole day, rest and relax and get a break.”

Other second floor rooms will be used as meeting spaces and for storage. There is also a washer and dryer in the building as well. The backyard offers a potential outdoor space that could be made available to the seniors in the warmer months.

Tysick adds, “It takes time. We don’t have big, big plans, but we do have a plan and we are waiting to see how it unfolds. A lot of that will be determined by the community and financial resources too.”

Tysick explains, “It’s a work in progress and we’ve been asking clients ‘What do you think would be the value of having this designated place?’”

Tysick is thankful to the United Church Centenary Pastoral Charge, which includes Maberly, Parham & Sharbot Lake United Churches, who have been instrumental in making the project a reality by providing an affordable space for lease. She says, “They are really partnering with us to make this possible.”

Tysick is hoping that the facility will be usable by March of this year. “Everything takes time and we were hoping that we would be ready by Christmas, but now we’re hoping for March.”

This is an exciting project that holds a lot of potential for increasing services to seniors in the area. Tysick says, “It offers us the opportunity to do more.” 

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