A home-based seniors’ care program is in its final stage of preparation before opening to Ponoka residents.
Circle of Friends is a day home program founded by Angela Pickett. She decided Ponoka needed a day home program after she realized a home structured program would provide seniors and anyone over 55 years old with most of their needs in one place.
“I thought we needed it because we don’t have everything we need for the elderly,” she said. “Hopefully by offering these services they can stay in their homes longer.”
Pickett believes Circle of Friends will meet seniors’ needs in a more assessable way since other care homes, such as Northcott, are residences, not just a day home.
In May Pickett approached the town and Alberta Health Services (AHS) with her idea. She said it required a lot of explaining since no one had heard of an idea like this before. “Once AHS approved they jumped on board really quickly and gave me what I needed.”
Pickett is hoping to have the program up and running Dec. 1. Circle of Friends is a program that will provide seniors with daily recreation including games, baking, holiday crafts and family activities. It will also promote basic personal and exercise.
Along with addressing their physical and medical needs, Circle of Friends is designed to provide a social element that will alleviate loneliness, depression and isolation though peer activities.
By next year Pickett hopes to have field trips in place to garden centres, bowling alleys, as well as fishing and bingo trips.
One thing Pickett hasn’t finalized is the cost of the program because she doesn’t yet know what needs and hours it will have to meet. Grants and funding is another unknown factor at the moment. “We haven’t really gotten into any of that yet,” Pickett explained.
“I want to be able to help the people of Ponoka without them having to go out of town, have everything community based,” Pickett said.
The program will be located on 57 Avenue and those wanting more information can go through FCSS, the health unit or contact Angela Pickett at 403-963-3052.