The majority of older adults wish to live independently as long as possible but as the risk of physical and cognitive decline increases with age, the risk of vulnerability also increases.
According to the 2011 Census, Langley City and Township has a total population of 25,081 seniors. (Statistics Canada, 2011).
In 2006, the proportion of seniors aged 75-plus living alone was 53 percent in the City of Langley (United Way, 2011).
We are living longer and the number of residents over the age of 80 is increasing and projected to grow.
As we age, other risk factors increase such as social isolation as we lose our friends and loved ones.
Geographic distances (for outlying areas like Aldergrove and Walnut Grove) diminish access to suitable transportation.
This is a particular concern for seniors in Langley since community connections decrease the likelihood of elder abuse, neglect or self-neglect.
The vast majority of our seniors are socially active, healthy and capable but we also have others who struggle with day to day tasks that the agile take for granted.
Furthermore, life circumstances can very quickly change the picture for any individual and can lead to a significant loss in quality of life.
How many seniors do we have in this community who could successfully maintain their independence with a little bit of practical support?
Langley has an opportunity to launch the new Better at Home program with the help of the United Way to provide non-medical home support services such as light housekeeping, grocery shopping, transportation to appointments, simple home repairs, friendly visiting, light yard work, and snow shoveling.
In order for this to happen, the support of the community is needed to identify priorities and make this program a reality.
If you, or someone you know needs this kind of support, please add your voice.
Seniors and stakeholders are encouraged to attend a community meeting on Monday, Nov. 26 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Douglas Recreation Centre (20550 Douglas Crescent) where the findings of this project will be presented along with a final chance to provide input.
Refreshments will be provided.
To register for the Langley Better at Home Community Meeting or provide input to this project, please call Deirdre Goudriaan or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information see www.betterathome.ca