Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors members are enjoying the sunshine of summer and have managed several picnics and road trips over the past two months. One favorite was lunch at the museum along with investigating all the treasures housed there. This week we are visiting stone sculptor Stewart Steinhauer at his studio. These trips are exciting and fun and help us continue to be aware of all that our community has to offer.
Thank you to the Creston-Kootenay Foundation for the funds we received to support our errands program. It is already very successful. As people age, their ability to transport themselves greatly diminishes. Many give up their driver’s licences, some cannot use public transportation, some cannot afford taxis. They become dependent on friends who still drive or on family members to access many services. Dependence on others for transportation is not a positive situation. Seniors resist becoming a burden to family and friends and simply quit doing the things they once did. This leads to isolation and loneliness, reduced self-care because medical appointments are not made and frustration and confusion because other important tasks are not completed. Our errands program has solved many of these problems for our seniors.
One lady now schedules and attends regular massages, something that was just a dream before this program was funded. The massages are contributing to better balance and improved mobility for her, both indicators of improved health. Other TAPS members are using the program to attend appointments with doctors and pickup prescriptions. Our drivers, Susan and Nellie, are making regular stops at the post office and mailboxes, banks, hairdressers and even the Greyhound depot.
According to the World Health Organization, access to appropriate transportation is a determinant of health. This is because of the role it plays in independence and how it shapes an individual’s access to resources. The Creston-Kootenay Foundation has allowed our seniors to remain healthy and independent.
In September, TAPS will be starting an education program that will include workshops in several areas of interest and benefit to seniors. The topics to be presented will contribute to the program’s focus for the next year, living well. We will be using this column to keep you informed about the workshops, as well as what else is happening at TAPS and how you can be involved.
Enjoy the summer that remains and wave at our busses as they travel around the valley.
Terry Nowak is an outreach worker with the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors.