A decade in, the Langley Seniors Community Action Table is refocusing and rebranding.
The organization, started through the local governments through the Healthy Community Partnerships, has been active since it was created but its leaders decided it was time for an update.
That includes a switch to the name Langley Seniors in Action, a new website, and a renewed drive to benefit the community.
“We were touting ourselves as the voice of seniors and we knew we needed to connect more directly with seniors,” said Kathy Reddington, education and awareness chair.
The group decided it was time for a refresh.
“We needed to modernize and really be able to show people who we are,” coordinator Kim Houlind said.
The seniors action table would typically tackle one significant subject area per year. It conducted a seniors transportation survey in 2015 and has hosted awareness events on elder abuse and more. The action table has hosted political debates and discussions during election years.
When it took on housing, the result was the Triple A Housing Society that hosted a housing summit a few years ago and has been working on housing issues. In partnership with the Langley Environmental Society (LEPS), they’ve been distributing bags of produce weekly to not only help with healthy eating but also social isolation.
“We’re going to continue working with them on a couple of programs,” Houlind said.
The group obtained society status last November, a process started about two years ago, and was looking ahead to 2020.
The global coronavirus pandemic had the group scrambling to stay active and involved but safe. Initially, the group was working on a spring summit to combat social isolation.
“We had to switch horses,” said Reddington, who has been a volunteer with the group since 2013.
So the monthly meetings went online and the group sought out other ways to connect with local seniors. There’s the new website through which people can not only find out about the society and its various offerings but also register for events and sign up for the electronic newsletter.
Houlind explained that the society wants to be a resource for older residents, – to know “where are they succeeding, where are they struggling and how can we help.”
Helping seniors get online
The society obtained funding from the federal government to its Seniors Connecting Seniors program provide tablets and one year of internet service to low or modest income seniors who aren’t yet online.
The program kicks off Oct. 1 which is the United Nations International Day of Older Persons. They say the society has funding for 30 to 50 tablets and is working with suppliers and internet providers to stretch their dollars so more seniors can take part. Community partners and organizations that work with seniors can recommend seniors who would benefit. But the society doesn’t just provide the tech and internet access. The seniors will get tech buddies. The society is working with Langley Secondary School to have students be tech buddies, helping seniors with IT needs.
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• Indoor Growing: Pam Dangelmaier, owner of Botanus and author of Flour Garden, on how to use a little outdoor space to garden and what can be grown indoors during the winter? Friday, Oct. 2, at 10 a.m.
• Road safety: ICBC will give a presentation on distracted driving and pedestrain safety. Friday, Oct. 9, at 10 a.m.
• Aging Well with Nutrition: Kim Bond,coach, educator and nutrition specialist for seniors, will discuss food as medicine. Friday, Oct. 16, at 10 a.m.
• Learning the benefits of Mindfulness: Taught by Pam Dangelmaier. Friday, Oct. 23, at 10 a.m.
• All About Vaccines: Dr. Carolyn Van Schagen provides an overview of vaccinations. Friday, Oct. 30, at 10 a.m.
• Remembrance Day: Hosted by Jim McGregor. Friday, Nov. 6, at 10 a.m.
• Inaugural AGM: The society’s very first annual general meeting is open to members only. Hear about the accomplishments this last year and plans for the coming year. Elect a new executive. Must be a member by Sept. 20 to have voting privileges. Memberships are $5. Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 10 a.m.
Health and wellnessSeniors