Thursday, March 20, 2014

Seniors News

A Helping Home

CCS launches Better at Home service in Chilliwack

Released by April Neave, CCS


Shirley Klatik, left, with Better at Home Friendly Visitor volunteer Alison Nixon.


he Odlum Brown room at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre was filled to capacity last week with guests at a High Tea organized as a launch for a new seniors’ service in the area known as Chilliwack Better at Home.


The provider of the new service, Chilliwack Community Services, hosted the event and provided program information as guests enjoyed silver tea service and light refreshments.


Better at Home is a province wide program to help seniors live in their own homes by providing simple non-medical support services delivered by local non-profit organizations using a mix of paid workers and volunteers.   The range of services available varies from community to community, depending on the priorities identified.


In Chilliwack Agassiz Harrison area, Chilliwack Community Services is the lead organization.  Arrangements for services in Agassiz Harrison have not yet been finalized and will not likely to be put in place until the fall.


In Chilliwack current services are:

•  Transportation to appointments utilizing the services of Chilliwack Community Services’
volunteer based Community Drivers program.  Volunteer drivers provide transportation, usually within 48 hours’ notice.

•  Light housekeeping utilizing a subcontracted service provided by Care Connections Health Services Co-operative. The Co-operative has operated and served a variety of clients in the area for over nine years.

•  Minor home repair. Chilliwack Community Services is in the process of finalizing a contractor.

•  Friendly Visitors in which volunteers are matched with seniors in order to provide regular in person or phone contact to reduce isolation and connect seniors to their community.  Volunteers complete a thorough screening and training process with Chilliwack Community Services to become volunteers as Friendly Visitors.

Friends, family, medical service providers or seniors themselves can make a referral to the program.  The primary target for services are seniors 65 years and older.

In order to participate in the program, a client intake is completed by the Better at Home Program Coordinator to obtain key information including the household income.  A completed client intake is required before provision of any paid, subsidized or volunteer service.  Services are covered based on a sliding scale relative to their household income based on the previous year tax return.

Silver tea service and guests at the Better at Home program launch at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

During the launch, several clients of the Better at Home Friendly Visitor service provided touching examples of how a friendly visit in the past weeks by a volunteer has impacted their lives.  The volunteers are visiting on a regular basis sharing stories and common interests such as music and pets.  They bring conversation and a link to the broader community into the lives of seniors.

In one case Shirley Klatik described being new to Chilliwack and looking for a way to break isolation and make new friends.  She called the Better at Home program coordinator and explained that she is a senior, lives alone and wanted to arrange a friendly visitor.  The Better at Home coordinator visited her at her home and registered her to have a friendly visitor on a weekly basis at no cost.

“I am loving the company of my new Chilliwack friend,” says Mrs Klatik. In fact she has now requested to become a volunteer with Chilliwack Community Services and she would like to be a senior friendly visitor to other seniors in the Better at Home Program.

To learn more about any of the Better at Home services (Friendly Visitor, Light Housekeeping, Minor Home Repair, Transportation to Appointments), simply contact the Better at Home Program Coordinator, Sarah Doyle, via e-mail here or phone 604 393 3251 Ext 240.

Chilliwack Better at Home is an addition to the growing suite of senior services delivered by Chilliwack Community Services including Community Drivers, Meals on Wheels and Seniors Advocate.  The agency is an independent local charity organization with offices downtown and in Sardis. It offers more than forty programs in the area.  Since 1928 the agency has provided caring community services to create opportunities with people to make positive change in their lives.

For more information about the services offered by Chilliwack Community Services, visit

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