Tips From TAPS: It takes a village to run Creston seniors program

Web Lead

Maureen Cameron is an outreach worker with the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors.

Maureen Cameron is an outreach worker with the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors.

Whoa — it’s slippery-underfoot weather and now we dream of gardens again. Safety is a priority on everyone’s mind with navigating slippery steps, sidewalks and driveways. Thanks to the downtown businesses who take care of their sidewalks and to the town for their efforts. At the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors (TAPS), we are fortunate to have our own buses and the BC Transit, which we work with, to pick up our seniors to come to the center for programs and also to travel around the community on errands and activities. Thanks to BC Transit driver Richard Chlopecki and TAPS driver Susan, who both take such good care of folks, making sure they get in and out of their destinations safely. This service means people can come out more often and more easily, undeterred by floods, famine and pestilence — well, maybe that’s pushing it!

Last month, I mentioned our SchoolWorks program, where students are hired for work experience and learning skills. I missed a photo op yesterday when Jared Kuny our student was working with Irene, one of the volunteers, helping her set up her new computer. Irene was beaming at lunch, hardly able to contain her excitement of having taken a big step in her life — “This big,” she said, throwing her arms out as wide as she could. She bought a computer after having lessons with Jared. Her family, she said, “are very proud of her.” Since Jared started, he has worked with other seniors on computer questions, in addition to easily becoming part of the team and welcomed by the seniors.

Weather notwithstanding, about 18 folks arrived at the centre last Thursday, stayed for lunch and then for a game of chair bocce. We have not yet filled the position left by Rosalie and her helper, Esther, and we also wish Ava well a she recovers from surgery. That’s a lot of hours and tasks to fill, and everyone is pitching in. Nicky, another student, is reliably part of the kitchen and serving crew, Irene and a new client, Ethel, are helping and Bridget, Nellie and Susan are accommodating it all along with their other jobs, and so are our clients. It was a marvel of motion after lunch, as those who could pitched in to help each other, clear tables and get set up for the bocce game.

The Telus Community Ambassadors is an employee group that raises funds for community organizations in their area. TAPS, along with others over the years, have benefited from their efforts. One of their programs, Dollars for Doers, has just made a donation for TAPS. Terry Nowak, as the liaison between Telus ambassadors and the Krafty Kronys, is planning a thank you event at TAPS in February. Also in February, we’ll be participating in Family Day, hosted by KES at Rotacrest Hall.

The job posting for the TAPS position is available through KES, or by calling 250-428-5547 for information. If you’re considering volunteering, there are many opportunities to share your skills, and you can contact TAPS at 250-428-5585.

Maureen Cameron is the community liaison development co-ordinator for the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors.