Keeping South Okanagan seniors active and connected

Margaret has been a South Okanagan Better at Home client for some time. She depends on her scooter and in-home elevator to get around her home and community. When the elevator in her apartment started malfunctioning and she and her family couldn’t afford to fix it, Margaret became isolated and unhappy.

Only on rare occasions when the elevator was functional, Margaret could escape her apartment. As time went on, Margaret became afraid to use the elevator for fear she would get stuck inside. This situation left Margaret stranded at home.

Prior to the elevator jam, Margaret was an active supporter and visitor of the Osoyoos Seniors Centre. It was there that she found out about South Okanagan Better at Home, and signed up for friendly visiting and housekeeping services.

Over a period of time, Margaret’s Better at Home housekeeping and friendly visiting volunteers, Marlene Anderson and Natasha Little, noticed that Margaret was becoming sad and lonely from being confined in her home. Marlene mentioned this to Better at Home Program coordinator Stacy Little, who intervened by phoning Margaret to tell her about the Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI) grant that helps BC residents with disabilities adapt their homes to be more accessible. Stacy printed the HAFI application forms and had Marlene to deliver them to Margaret. Both Marlene and Natasha went over the grant requirements with Margaret, and involved Margaret’s family members to help complete the application online.

Last month, Margaret called Stacy to say that she had been approved for a new elevator, and it was installed. Margaret was overjoyed: “My everyday life has become much easier because of the elevator. I have much more freedom. I would like to thank the government and South Okanagan Better at Home for helping me acquire this. It has definitely changed my life.”