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General · 22nd February 2013
Maureen McDowell
Quadra Circle, a subcommittee of the Quadra Recreation Society, is a group of “over 55” folks meeting together for Fun, Education and Service, in particular improving local conditions for seniors. We host a healthy lunch by donation for seniors every Friday using the kitchen and lounge space kindly provided by the Quadra Bible Church. These weekly meetings include an exercise class with Ann Lawrence and a speaker on topics of concern to us. Once a month the Circle meets at the QCC hall for lunch with an international theme. About 25 seniors participate regularly; rides are arranged as needed. The Coast Community Credit Union has given us a grant for the past 3 years so we can provide supportive social contact for the seniors of all ages who attend. Lynn Conall will speak on "Decluttering for Seniors" at our lunch at noon this Friday, Feb.22. All 55+ are welcome!.

Last summer we teamed up with the Cortes Island Seniors group and visited the Recycling Depot, Free Store, Seniors Housing complex, the Co-op Store and lunched at Hollyhock. At Manzanita Art Studio, artist Diane Bersea gave us all a fun art lesson. Cortes Seniors toured Quadra in October, visiting the Salmon Enhancement Centre, the new Library and Yellow Dog Trading in Q Cove, followed by a tour of our Seniors Housing complex. After lunch at Tsa Kwa Luten, we all learned about glass fusion at John Hansen's Studio. Several of his beautiful pieces found new homes. Recently the Cortes Seniors attended the Wednesday lunch. More activities with the Cortes Seniors group are in the works. See photos of our adventures, courtesy of Jerzy Trzesicki (Cortes), at http://sdrv.ms./V5A3dQ.
A Call to Action.
Quadra has an urgent need for elder care facilities. It is thought that about 20 people are ready or nearly ready for some sort of supportive living situation not including those already in town who would like to return to their Island home. The facilities in Campbell River are full. The QCove Village Plan is now finalised and allows for re-zoning as required for residential facilities. At least one of the land owners is open to having his land developed for this purpose. Now is our chance to get active. We are in contact with VIHA about Residential Care but could probably proceed as a community with a lesser level of care and could provide it quickly as compared to VIHA’s lengthy building process.
Following Joan Smith’s inspired initiative in looking at developing Whiskey Point Resort as a care home (which is not so far receiving enough support to proceed as she envisioned it), the Circle has been looking at other and more affordable options for supported senior housing. We recently toured 2 other properties for sale in the Q Cove vicinity as well as the Resort.. We plan to visit Ironwood Place, Evergreen Lodge and New Horizons in Campbell River and Abbeyfield in Comox in the next few weeks. We'll lunch at the Campbell River Senior Centre at Campbell River Common and learn more about their services.
One housing model (intended for seniors, including couples) is to buy or build a Q Cove-vicinity home with several bedrooms and bathrooms, plus a common kitchen/living room/recreation area. Meals, housekeeping and some supervision would be provided through a live-in House Co-ordinator. This is the Abbeyfield model (visit www.abbeyfield.ca ). Operating guidelines are set by the residents and the managing charitable society. If a resident required more personal care, VIHA Home Support workers could visit the person daily.
Another model is to buy or build a facility that meets VIHA's standards for a licensed personal care home and would allow for “aging in place”: independent living for individual seniors and couples in their own rooms/suites, with increasing levels of personal care as needed.
Our related initiatives include: Doing a survey of Quadra seniors current needs, including housing and transportation; exploring funding options and community partnerships, understanding VIHA requirements; development of a business plan and a legal entity. We will update you with our findings.
To convince VIHA that we need elder care on Quadra we need numbers. If anyone thinks they or their relative would be interested in moving into some sort of supported living in the next 2 years please contact us. ( Maureen 285-2221)
We have an enthusiastic working committee but lack business, administrative and legal expertise and especially need volunteers who can contribute these. Any help and suggestions are welcome. Several of our seniors would move in to a shared residence on Quadra tomorrow if it were available. We believe that if things are going to change we are going to have to make it happen.