‘’Keep all your receipts for any work done at your house. A woman has started a homecare service and will do almost anything to keep you in your home.’’ Those were just two of the tips given to seniors by seniors at a recent luncheon in North Hatley attended by 18 seniors in the area. The lunch is a project of the Massawippi Valley Foundation. Foundation volunteers have focused on accommodating people with disabilities, bringing people together to healthy ageing and to address issues such as senior abuse, financial well-being, and ageing at home.
The learning came from the seniors by the seniors. Hearing about their achievements, their children’s accomplishments, and volunteerism swelled everyone with gratification for the contribution these seniors are still making to their communities. The mayor of North Hatley and President of the Massawippi Valley Health Centre added their praise and addressed their concerns. Despite health and isolation challenges, these seniors know the value of meeting and learning from their peers. As one woman put it, ‘’I almost did not come today because I have not been in big groups for two years. It is easy to stay at home. Glad I came to connect with others I have not seen in years.’’
The Massawippi Valley Foundation (FVM) opened in 2014 to promote and financially support healthcare services for Eastern Townshippers. As its first major project, FVM has prioritized the partial funding of the Massawippi Valley Health Centre (CSVM) since 2015 to serve the healthcare needs of an underserved rural population.
Since then, the Foundation, in association with the Health Centre, offers a variety of activities to stimulate healthy living and ageing in place. Exercise classes in the Fall, winter and spring are offered in Ayer’s Cliff. Professional seminars on topics such as caregiving for dementia, nutrition, the pelvic floor, and financial management are available. Help with devices such as iPads, iPhones, and laptops is also offered. Once a month, a group of seniors meet at the Ayer’s Cliff clinic for games, chats, and information. The Social Café and all the other activities are open to the entire community.
The North Hatley lunch is the third of three recent lunches hosted by the Massawippi Valley Foundation prioritizing single seniors living in their homes. Attendees from Stanstead, Stanstead Est, Stanstead Township, Ogden, Ayer’s Cliff, Hatley, Canton de Hatley, Sainte-Catherine-de-Hatley, North Hatley have participated.
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