Senior peer counsellors have new co-ordinator

Susan Armstrong is the new program co-ordinator of the Comox Valley Senior Peer Counselling Society.

"Susan comes to us with much experience and skill and an abundance of energy, ideas and enthusiasm that will help this society and its programs grow to meet the needs of a growing community," the society says in a news release. "We are seniors helping seniors as they cope with the challenges that advancing years can bring."

SUSAN ARMSTRONG is the Comox Valley Senior Peer Counselling Society's new program co-ordinator.

SUSAN ARMSTRONG is the Comox Valley Senior Peer Counselling Society's new program co-ordinator.

Susan Armstrong is the new program co-ordinator of the Comox Valley Senior Peer Counselling Society.

“Susan comes to us with much experience and skill and an abundance of energy, ideas and enthusiasm that will help this society and its programs grow to meet the needs of a growing community,” the society says in a news release. “We are seniors helping seniors as they cope with the challenges that advancing years can bring.”

Thanks in part by donations from Comox Rotary and United Way, the CVSPCS recently restarted the Outings Program.

With the use of services provided by Cona Shuttle from Courtenay, these outings provide seniors who can no longer drive and who are housebound with an opportunity to reconnect with our beautiful Valley, and to have a social time with a small group of like-minded people.

“It is a joy to see these seniors happily chatting with each other over a cup of coffee and a treat provided on occasion by Tim Horton’s or Quality Foods Courtenay.”

The Respite Program, while it runs independently, provides respite for caregivers, allowing them the time to attend one of our Caregivers’ Support Group meetings.

Respite offers clients either a trip to go bowling, which is much enjoyed, or a personal visit in the person’s home, where perhaps a game of cards is played or general conversation occurs over a cup of coffee, with the volunteer remaining the same on each visit.

All of these programs are supported by the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA), Seniors Health and Spiritual Wellbeing.

Caregiver burnout is a major issue, as so many are now caring for their loved ones at home.

At the request of the men in the Caregivers group, a Men’s Group was recently started, partially funded by the Knights of Columbus, and this has been growing rapidly and will expand once more funding has been located and leaders have been trained.

A large number of volunteers provide support mainly, though not entirely, to the counselling and Friendly Visitors programs, supported and funded by VIHA and community gaming, amongst others.

Armstrong’s role is to oversee current programs and to develop new programs as needed in the community. The society has ongoing educational meetings, which provide support and training for all our volunteers.

If you are interested in volunteering, call Susan Armstrong at 250-890-0099 for further information.

The society is looking for two new board members — one with a financial background who can assist the treasurer and another person who is interested in assisting with fundraising.

For further information about joining the board, call chair Colleen Malek at 250-334-1746 or e-mail her at cjmalek@shaw.ca.

— Comox Valley Senior Peer Counselling Society

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