At 82 and 90 years old, Squamish residents Iveta and George (respectively) take great pride in their home and appreciate the ability to live independently.
The couple are two of the nearly 140 seniors who participate in Sea to Sky Community Services’ Better at Home, a program designed to help seniors age in place with dignity and remain socially connected. From transportation and grocery shopping to housekeeping and friendly visits, the Sea to Sky Better at Home program is operated by SSCS staff and by trained volunteers and contractors.
For George and Iveta, knowing that Better at Home is available to them is a great source of comfort. Currently, the couple primarily uses cleaning services along with participating in some of the program’s social activities.
While Iveta works to keep her home tidy, she is aware of her limitations and is grateful for the more thorough cleaning support.
“Our home sparkles after she leaves,” Iveta says, referring to Brenda, a contracted professional cleaner.
Brenda feels their gratitude, she says. She has dozens of Sea to Sky Better at Home clients who look forward to her visits every month. As they age, it is harder to stand at the sink to do dishes, or make beds and clean floors, she notes.
“I love my job. It’s like having 25 grandparents,” Brenda explains. “My grandparents are gone now, so it’s nice having seniors in my life – hearing about their history and all of their funny stories.”
For some participants, Brenda’s cleaning visits may be their only company, and as a former care giver, Brenda likes to keep an eye on their well-being.
Iveta is thankful that she and George are able to take care of themselves and stay in their “beautiful little house,” and she is relieved to know that there are services available to support them as they grow older.
“We don’t have close family in Squamish,” George notes. “Having contact with others is important to us. It gives you a feeling of belonging.”
In addition to Sea to Sky Better at Home’s cleaning service, the couple has participated in lunch and learn sessions, which have included topics such as identifying frauds and scams and CRA Outreach presentations. They recently enjoyed participating in a hands-on six week cooking course, as part of SSCS’s Food Skills for Seniors program.