New seniors outreach worker Becky Quirk stands in front of the Seniors Coordinating Society with a small sample of some the materials available at their office.

Connecting with isolated elders is the goal

The Nelson and District Seniors Coordinating Society is expanding its ability to support seniors by hiring an outreach worker, Becky Quirk.

The Nelson and District Seniors Coordinating Society is expanding its ability to support seniors by hiring a new outreach worker, Becky Quirk.

With the addition of Quirk, the society, which has operated for years with one staff person and many dedicated volunteers, plans to connect with more area seniors and also with groups interested in supporting them.

“I’m delighted to have this additional ability to connect with seniors in our area,” said the long-time office manager.  “Our society has a lot to offer. We now have an additional voice to speak on the behalf of seniors and to alert our community to our many services.”

Quirk has many years in social service and volunteer work in Nelson and is impressed with what the Society is doing.

“The society has a lot going on and is anxious to get the word out more extensively, particularly to seniors who are more isolated,” Quirk said.

“Also, the Seniors Coordinating Society is the one-stop place for seniors to learn about resources available,” she added.

The society has a resource and information centre (open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), a home-help service, a grocery run service, and counselors and advocates to help with forms and problems seniors may face.

In addition, the society has a program to help seniors and low-income people prepare their taxes.

The Elder Abuse Prevention Program is also part of the Society.  This program provides information about preventing elder abuse, putting affairs in order to minimize financial abuse, and guiding people who suspect they may be witnessing the abuse of a senior they know.

In the next few months, Quirk will collaborate with Dana Burgess, the research summer student hired by the Age Friendly Community Initiative, a program of Nelson CARES Society.

“Both Dana and I are interested in connecting with seniors who are isolated,” Quirk said.

“Her work is focused more in rural areas and mine will be more focused on seniors in Nelson and district, but we anticipate that there will be referrals back and forth.  We both want the same end — reaching out to isolated seniors, finding out what barriers they face, and connecting them with resources if possible.”

The Seniors Coordinating Society, located at 719 Vernon Street, has been a registered society since 1999.  Anyone interested in the services of the society can call 250-352-6008.

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