Seniors program forges connections in Oak Bay

Council to aid Better at Home in creating partnerships

Better at Home hopes to expand in Oak Bay. While the provincially funded program currently offers 10 residents light housekeeping, they want to do more.

“We’re looking for new partnerships in Oak Bay,” Jennifer Tessier, the Oak Bay-Victoria program co-ordinator told council Nov. 9.

Better at Home helps seniors age-in-place, providing non medical, non-personal care, day-to-day tasks in a mix of fee-for-service and volunteer work. That includes minor repairs, yard work and friendly visits in more than 70 communities around the province. Funding is provided by the province and disbursed through United Way on the Lower Mainland.

Coun. Tara Ney will explore a partnership with Oak Bay Volunteer Services that offers most of those programs to the community already. The district funded that group $25,000 this year.

“We want (a partner) that is ideally providing those kinds of services already,” said Kaye Kennish, executive director of the James Bay Community Project’s Capital City Volunteers that partner to offer the Better at Home services in Victoria.

“We don’t want to reinvent the wheel or step on anybody’s toes.”

Better at Home wants to expand beyond light housekeeping in Oak Bay to offer grocery shopping, transportation and friendly visiting by volunteers in Oak Bay. That would include an $11,000 Oak Bay portion of the $40,000 budget for 2016.