Resource centre has vision for seniors’ hub
CUMBERLAND - The Eastern Ontario Resource Centre has renovated and welcomed staff previously based at the Beacon Hill office into the 1515 Tenth Line Rd. office, attached to Sir Wilfrid Laurier...
While Domenic Cinanni prefers to play the accordion, he is among the members of the day program at the Eastern Ontario Resource Centre who enjoy hearing volunteers and summer students play the piano.
The Eastern Ontario Resource Centre has renovated and welcomed staff previously based at the Beacon Hill office into the 1515 Tenth Line Rd. office, attached to Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School.
Previously, seniors attending the adult day program weren’t able to access program co-ordinators for services like Meals on Wheels while at the location.
Because many of the seniors using the services are unable to drive, combining services under one roof is an ideal situation.
“What we really wanted to do here is create a hub,” said Nathalie Lafrenière, program manager for community support. “We wanted to eliminate that barrier.”
The programs – which include respite care, transportation services, and crisis intervention – are now housed under the same roof, while the Beacon Hill office houses staff for other EORC programs such as child and youth services.
The EORC has been at the location for five years, but closed for three weeks to expand the offices.
Most of the services offered through the centre take place in the community, such as driving seniors from their homes to medical appointments.
The centre recently recieved new funding from the city to increase transportation in the rural areas of the catchment zone.
The day program is an exception, and four days a week, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the office volume jumps up as half of the centre fills with 15 clients, who play games, listen to music, eat lunch and watch movies in a mini-theatre filled with recliners and quilts.
“It’s fun for them, and it’s a happy, positive environment,” said Gayle Downing, volunteer development coordinator.
It’s a break for caregivers as well as a chance for the seniors who attend to socialize and maintain skills, said Lafrenière. Most seniors attending have physical disabilities or diseases such as dementia.
With the new office, staff hope that even more seniors will visit the centre.
The Ministry of Transportation already uses the centre for senior driver training, and Parkinson support groups will start in September.
With capacity for growth, Lafrenière and Downing would like to see services such as diabetes support; caregiver information sessions and lifestyle management groups already use the boardroom on a regular basis.
“I really want other services for seniors,” said Lafrenière. “Our goal in the fall is to bring all the people in seniors’ lives together.”
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