Senior workshops, good natured and informative

Seniors in Vanderhoof and Fort St. James were able to benefit from a workshop series this past week

Don Syvertsen

Don Syvertsen

Seniors in Vanderhoof and Fort St. James were given lessons on aging through New Horizons workshops this past week.

Thanks to a partnership between Seniors Connect and Seniors Helping Seniors, Gail Harmer, representative of Council of Senior Citizens of B.C (COSCO), was brought in from Prince George to present seniors in both communities need-to-know information about getting older. For Vanderhoof, the day was partly funded by a grant Vanderhoof received after being recognized as age-friendly earlier this year.

The Vanderhoof workshop was held at the Senior Friendship Centre Oct. 22  and discussed memory and aging and how aging affects driving. The Fort St. James workshop was held at the Senior’s Centre in downtown Fort St. James Oct. 23 and focused on caregiving for seniors as well as scams and frauds that are often targeted at the senior community.

Patti Chesley 62, of Vanderhoof found both topics at the Vanderhoof workshop to be useful but specifically the driving portion.

“I have had some close calls where it would have been my fault. I could have caused lives to be taken including my own. The workshop talked about speed and slowing down and how I should be watching for those in carts and how they blend into the bushes around town. I think we need more funding to support these services because they are beneficial to all of us,” said Ms. Chesley.

The Fort St. James Attendees were given detailed information about the types of scams and frauds that exist and the ways in which the fraudsters may try to convince, intimidate or deceive them. Resources for reporting these criminal acts as well as methods to deal with them personally were also discussed.

Presenter Gail Harmer gave tips to the crowd about proper ways to get rid of unwanted documentation such as credit cards and banking documents. She gave tips to the Vanderhoof crowd about what is normal during the ageing process and how to be driver aware.

The Vanderhoof group also benefited from an array of free seed packages to take home and enjoy. Pauline Hartwig enjoyed the information and the take-home gift.

“I learned an awful lot. I don’t drive but it was very informative. Certainly money well spent,” said Ms. Hartwig.

The presentation was part of a series of workshops that Harmer says are “by seniors and for seniors” which are funded in part by the Government of Canada and in part by the Province of British Columbia.