Submitted by Maureen Cameron, Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors
In 2018 our TAPS regular Monday to Friday schedule was busy with activities that our seniors accessed as they wished. In addition to our core programs such as lunches, Tai Chi, yoga, book club, games, art, swimming and choir we jazzed it up a bit with activities either out in the community as we participated in special events, visited other senior residences or invited people in for celebrations and workshops or for donor recognition lunches. We also developed and offered popular sessions for those participants experiencing memory changes. The purchase of the new van was a major highlight made possible by community support and has been a vital contribution to our transportation needs thanks to donors, funders and fundraising efforts.
One event at TAPS that was appreciated and touched us all this year was a Remembrance Tea where we gathered to remember and celebrate participants who are no longer with us, telling stories and looking at photo albums put together by our summer student Kaitlin Zolynsky. Another special event was a romantic Valentine Dinner prepared by our cook Sarah as an evening event for couples complete with photos and jazzy background tunes by pianist Ilana Cameron.
Our theme for 2018 focused on Healthy Aging touching on many aspects of seniors’ well-being. We enjoyed collaborating and creating partnerships that resulted in music performances, art, games, movement, multigenerational, and cultural exchanges.
We held a “Tarts’nTunes” fundraising event with the Krafty Kronys and youth from Wildflower to raise funds for the new van. We made and donated birdhouses for Art Trot for Therapeutic Riding, participated with the Art Council and CV Fall Fair with Dolly, Floxie and Lolita our three award-winning scarecrows, and performed Harvest and Canadian songs at the 2018 Fall Fair. The Happy Voices entertained us and every month, season or holiday those seniors in our music program practiced special shows and singalongs for Swan Valley Lodge and Crestview Village. Our crowning glory this year was our Sound of Music production complete with puppets made by Nellie Daniels. It was a wonderful collaboration directed by Margaret Lavender with help from the Blossom Valley Singers, Wildflower School, and Marlene Nash. We showcased some of our art at the Golden Flour Bakery with Cresteramics and give thanks to Liza Thorne for the opportunity. TAPS partnered with Seniors Day at the Creston and District Community Complex and provided games and prizes. We visited seniors at Nikkyl Place once a month running bingo and we challenged ourselves at a Historical Improvisational event at the Museum this summer. Our seniors love their relationship with Creston youth and thank Gillian Wells from the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy, Mary Jayne Blackmore from Mormon Hills School and Linda Farnowski from Wildflower School. We would like to thank them for working with us to build intergenerational relationships in fun and meaningful ways through cultural activities and more.
We finished off 2018 with some major events including a photo shoot with Brian Lawrence for our 2019 ‘TAPS Goes to Hollywood’ Calendar which is being sold around town. It was both ‘fun’ and a fundraiser project. After that, along came the Christmas season and our choir sang at Swan Valley Lodge and Cresteramics. To top it all off TAPS joined with two classes from Wildflower in four Christmas Carol Singing Flash Mob events at PCSS, Pealow’s, Save On Foods and at the Creston and District Community Complex. Following this, TAPS hosted Christmas dinners, took part in the Santa Claus parade with our vans and took some of our seniors out on the Christmas Lights Tour…
It certainly was a full year of memorable times in addition to all these events and excursions. It was also the laughs, the hugs, the support for tough times and the camaraderie and friendships over tea and just being together that made the year a success. We wish everyone a peaceful and fulfilling New Year.
Our TAPS team included staff, program volunteers, kitchen volunteers, work experience students through Kootenay Employment Services, contract workers and volunteers through Cresteramics and CDSCL high school students.
When we asked a participant what he liked best about coming to TAPS, he replied, “What’s not to like?”