Christi Laundrie | Apr 15, 2010

Susan Andrew Allen speaks at the fair. Photo Christi Laundrie..

The Seniors’ Advisory Committee organized a Land O’Lakes Committee Services Resources Fair at the Denbigh Hall on Monday, April 12. Yours truly was impressed with the wealth of information. I had no idea we had such a vast variety of resources at our disposal.

Seniors’ Group member Betty Bass introduced the individual speakers. Susan Andrew-Allen, Executive Director of Land o’Lakes Community Services (LOLCS) spoke of the committee’s goal to provide services to allow people to recuperate in, or stay in their own home as long as possible, and to receive help with such issues as home care, palliative care, housekeeping, shopping, gardening, personal care, lifeline support, and even visiting.

Marlene Dacuk, transportation co-ordinator for LOLCS, supplied information about personal drivers and the VON van with future wheelchair access available to take people to doctors` and hospital appointments. She also talked of the ongoing meals on wheels service that will continue to run in conjunction with Northbrook for the residents of Denbigh and area. Volunteers would be greatly appreciated.

Ruby Malcolm from the Denbigh Lions Club let us know the Denbigh Lions have an assortment of medical equipment available on a loan basis, everything from canes to wheelchairs, and all without cost. The Lions will gladly take donations of medical equipment that are no longer needed.

Bonnie George of Pine Meadow Nursing Home gave a revealing glimpse into the home, which will expand to four more rooms this year, with a dining room at each end. Ward, semi or private rooms will be available for the residents. Among the many options are cable TV, private phones, a tuck shop with sundry items such as stamps and stationary, ingoing and outgoing mail, newspaper delivery, hairdresser/barber, laundry and housekeeping services. There is a library on the premises. They also offer a wide variety of activities, such as bingo, shuffleboard, gardening, horseshoes, darts, music and movie nights, tea parties, socials, word games and visits to the Lions’ Club for lunches. They encourage visitors without restrictions. For those who care for someone at home, they also have one respite bed available for a reasonable price, so you can take granny for a visit to the home and either grab some extra sleep or go on that holiday you have been promising yourself. Pine Meadow encourages anyone to come any time to have a tour of the place. Many volunteers work at the home, and new volunteers will be cheerfully accepted. Contact Bonnie at Pine Meadows, 613-336-9120.

Senior Manager of the Community Engagement and Integration, Joel Cole, represented the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), which offers a wide scope of services to the communities, such as social work, equipment rental, physiotherapy, info, eligibility and admissions into nursing homes or long-term care facilities anywhere in Ontario. They will also direct you to services they do not provide themselves and put you in touch with the right people. You can call CCAC toll free between 8 am and 8pm by dialling 310-CCAC (2222). Anything you need, they will help you with it.

Michaela Jones from the V.O.N. explained the SMILE program (Seniors Managing Independent Living Easily) in detail. While the criteria for in-home care is quite restricted, each person will be assessed and they hope to be able to correlate that information with other resource centres in the near future. The person must live alone, or have the caregiver unable to do four key issues of daily living to qualify. SMILE is geared to making life at home as comfortable and affordable as possible.

Jilene introduced her Neighbourly Yard Services, consisting of special needs teenagers who will, under supervision, provide yard services such as raking, sweeping, planting, weeding, brush and wood piling at a reasonable price for the Denbigh-Northbrook area. This will not only give seniors a helping hand, but will also provide an employment opportunity for the youth. Call Jilene at LOLCS 613-336-8934 ext 228.

Last, but not least, Derek Maschke, director of the Maschke Funeral Home, provided some very pertinent information on the different services a funeral home can provide for the public, such as orchestrating different types of burial or cremation services, arranging for available government help with costs, helping with forms for survivors’ pensions, and other issues that may arise when people are faced with the funeral of a loved one.

This is valuable information for an ever-growing senior population, and I hope all of you will take note of these great services that stand at our disposal. Even yours truly will eventually need them.

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