Kootenay seniors council marks first anniversary

The local branch of the Council of Senior Citizens Organizations of BC has reached a milestone.

The executive of the Kootenay Council of Seniors’ Associations is seen celebrating their first birthday.

The local branch of the Council of Senior Citizens Organizations of BC, representing over 2,000 members in the Kootenays, has reached a milestone.

One year ago saw the launch of the Kootenay Council of Seniors’ Associations, a volunteer organization of seniors working with seniors. The group’s purpose is to advance the social and physical welfare of all elder citizens in the Kootenays and make available the support of a united front, as well as reach out to all who may need assistance.

The group encourages people to participate in their local seniors groups for socializing and united strength.Together seniors are stronger and more effective dealing with local government and other policy makers.

The Kootenay Council of Seniors’ Associations is composed of seniors who volunteer their time and energy to listen, identify local issues and help to resolve complaints through advice, referral and discussion by exploring available options. Delegates represent local senior organizations who realize that meeting with other people is important, but advocacy is necessary as well. The council also works with local service organizations.

For instance, transportation is a huge issue for area seniors who can no longer drive. New Kootenay transportation coordinator Dana Burgess was guest speaker at the annual general meeting on March 15. Kootenay Council of Seniors’ Associations has welcomed other local guest speakers, including former MP Alex Atamanenko and MLA Katrine Conroy for delegate meetings throughout the year.

The council concentrates on many important issues, but advocacy is its mainstay. It takes issues that are general to the local seniors community, and to its members, and develops action plans.

For instance, they are looking at the safety of access to the Chahko Mika Mall in Nelson for people who walk or take the bus.

Improvements are needed to the substandard cement stairs descending from the railway crossing down to the facility and marked crosswalks from the walking paths across the parking lot. This is only one local issue. Once problems are identified, the council can talk to local governments to address ways to change things.

Communication means seeing, talking and listening to area seniors, and facilitating a path of communications between various seniors organizations and the agencies they need. Many seniors are unaware of services to which they are entitled, including governmental rights such as the Guaranteed Income Supplement.

The Kootenay Council of Seniors’ Associations offers over 40 senior health and wellness workshop. Topics include, but are not limited to: DriveABLE, for those who face losing their driving license, dealing with stress, frauds and scams, getting a good night’s sleep, other health topics including major diseases and navigating the health care system.

These all are available free to any organization in the Kootenays, including senior centres, senior housing,churches, service organizations and anyone else who asks for a seminar. Call 250-352-6635 to book for your seniors.

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