Tips from TAPS: Young staff members contribute to Creston seniors program

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In October 2012, the College of the Rockies and Columbia Basin Trust offered a new opportunity for agencies like the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors to hire students to work in our programs. We were very happy to welcome Brittany as a member of our team in February. Not only did she share her computer skills with us, she shared her patience, gentleness and beautiful smile. Brittany looked after jobs that Bridget just didn’t have time to do. Song sheets for Tarts and Tunes, our monthly activity calendar, photo albums, scrapbooks and music for exercise work outs were a few of the jobs she did for us. Taking over these tasks made it possible for Bridget to spend more time with the seniors.

Brittany served meals, cleaned tables and washed dishes, all with a smile. Her excellent computer skills were well received. She helped me with my iPhone more times than I care to admit.

Brittany’s patience was not just with Bridget and me but also with the seniors she taught computer skills to. She had regular students, most over 75 years of age, who learned basic skills and some more advanced techniques. One senior was able to make email contact with family she had lost touch with. This is something that would not have happened without Brittany.

Brittany has moved away and we are just realizing how much we counted on her to keep things happening smoothly. We wish her well in her new endeavours.

TAPS has been approved for a Canada Summer Jobs student and we are currently looking for another young person to share their skills and enthusiasm with seniors. We will be advertising in the Advance, so watch for our ad.

I have often written about how we depend on our partnerships that make it possible for seniors to remain independent, contributing members of their community. Again, I want to acknowledge and thank the Creston Valley Gleaners Society, which has donated large quantities of food to us. The food it gives us is used in our meals, reducing our costs in this area, and shared with seniors who are able to use the food in their own homes.

We are aware that TAPS is often the recipient in many of the partnerships we are involved in, but this weekend we will be assisting the Lions at the Creston Valley Blossom Festival. TAPS is responsible for the 11th Avenue street fair and we hope to see you there!

Terry Nowak is an outreach worker with Creston’s Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors.

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