One-stop website launched for seniors

Online resource links seniors to various services.

Beacon Community Services CEO Isobel Mackenzie shows Beacon’s new website created with seniors in mind.

Beacon Community Services CEO Isobel Mackenzie shows Beacon’s new website created with seniors in mind.

Many seniors are aware of the services available to them, but locating those services can sometimes be overwhelming.

For the first time, Beacon Community Services has put all of those resources in one place, online at beaconconnects.ca.

“We’ve tailored the website specifically to the needs of what we’ve seen our home support providers needing,” said Beacon CEO Isobel Mackenzie.

The website groups services into categories such as transportation, medication and drugs, food and meals, and financial and legal resources.

“A lot of seniors don’t realize not just rebates are available to them, but programs available for adaptations in their home, as well as some of the requirements they still have around their income tax,” Mackenzie said.

Other seniors may want to apply for a handicapped parking pass, but may not know who to call, she said.

Beaconconnects.ca, developed in partnership with the Vancouver Island Health Authority, Family Caregivers Network and Seniors Serving Seniors, provides links and relevant contact numbers for each subject area.

“There was not a comprehensive website such as we’ve put together with Beacon Connects. We created it as a standalone website, because that’s what the problem was – you were having to weave through a bunch of steps on other sites,” Mackenzie said.

About 20 per cent of seniors receiving home support already access Beacon’s online services, a number that is sure to increase in the coming years, she said.

“I think this idea that seniors aren’t tech savvy is quite erroneous. They have a lot of time to work through these things. My own dad is way ahead of me.”

Beacon Community Services partners with VIHA in the delivery of home support services to more than 3,000 clients each day and has almost 40 years of experience in working with seniors.

To review the services available to seniors, visit beaconconnects.ca.

dpalmer@vicnews.com