Anthony Kupferschmidt is the son of a nurse and tagging along with her to work in care homes set the direction for his career.
“I, first of all, had wonderful experiences with my grandparents, and also my mom was a nurse. She worked in care homes, and I would go and visit her from an early age,” he explained.
One of his first paying jobs was in a residential care home, confirming his desire to work with older adults.
“We’re all older adults in training so I’m learning from all of these experiences,” he commented.
Kupferschmidt is the new executive director at the Langley Seniors Resource Society Centre (LSRS).
The 41-year-old finds he’s energized by working with people who have had incredible life experiences.
“When people have lived a good long life, I think that we should celebrate that, and I’ve always enjoyed working with seniors,” he said.
In 2017, he was invited to visit the Langley facility at 20605 51B Ave. by staffer Janice McTaggart.
“Obviously I was impressed by what I saw, and that helped make the decision to accept this position that much easier,” he said.
He’s lived in the Lower Mainland for about 16 years, but grew up in small towns in Manitoba and Ontario.
“For the past six years I was the executive director at the West End Seniors’ Network, the second-largest independent seniors’ centre in Vancouver,” he said.
This organization experienced the COVID-19 pandemic in much the same way as LSRS, including closing/reopening and scaling up services supporting older adults to remain safe at home – such as prepared meals and grocery shopping and delivery. Even though I haven’t been here with you for the last year and a half, please know that I have a sense of what you have been through.”
Langley’s centre, which has members in both the Township and City, saw membership drop as people decided not to pay in if the facility was could not operate. Consequently, the centre pivoted to offer more virtual programming, a take-out meal program, a program to feed vulnerable older adults, and more – all while making adaptations as provincial health rules changed.
“We had 727 members as of the end of 2020,” he said.
People are starting to renew or sign up as they feel safer returning to social spaces.
Kupferschmidt said the centre is in a sound financial position, despite the turmoil of COVID and is back open with procedures in place to keep people safe, including vaccination and ID checks. Those taking part in the recent annual general meeting found out the centre finished the fiscal year with a surplus being used to improve the centre and its adult day program site.
“We have been reinvesting that surplus into our locations,” he added.
There’s been a bit of a silver lining to the pandemic. It allowed for the major capital work that’s been on the wish list, such as roofing, painting, and bringing in some new furniture.
“There’s been a series of improvements,” he explained.
It’s all about providing a facility where seniors feel they can find the support they need, a chance to break bread, the opportunity to spend time with peers, and more.
“We’re glad we can be a space for people to connect with others,” Kupferschmidt said.
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