News: Needs

A Legacy Worth Supporting

By Dianne St. Jean, Administrator

For the last forty-four years Valemount Senior Citizens Housing Society (VSCHS) has worked with BC Housing to provide0 safe and affordable housing for seniors in Valemount. Its stated vision is “to be an inclusive community where the physical, mental and social needs of seniors are met”.

VSCHS operates under an elected Board of Directors with daily operations overseen by the Administrator. The Board members are all volunteers who take time from their personal and work schedules. This is their way of advocating for seniors’ needs. Their contribution is essential in helping the Society fulfill its vision.

Board directors are elected at the Annual General Meeting and must be current members of the Society. But what some people may not know is that any member can contribute their knowledge and skills apart from serving on the board by volunteering on various committees.

Currently the Society oversees three residential buildings. They are also working toward expanding affordable living spaces and services. This has begun with the establishment of Valemount Cares committee, which is one of the committees struck by the Board. The plan for Valemount Cares is to create new independent, and supportive living / assisted living units. Plans are underway for the construction of a new facility that will be situated next to Valemount Secondary School on Ash Street.

The Society is also upgrading and renovating the Golden Years Lodge. There was a need to replace aging wood structures around the perimeter, and so original decks are now being replaced and outside drainage upgraded. This is a massive project that will take most of the summer to complete.

Aside from providing safe, affordable living spaces the Society contributes to the needs of seniors in the community in other ways. Our facility opens its door to host a number of special events and social programs geared especially toward seniors. This includes anything from lunches and social teas to exercise programs.

A fundamentally important service to local seniors is the Meals on Wheels program also run under VSCHS, providing affordable home-delivered meals on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, even on holidays. The VSCHS also supports the Legion for Loan Closet by providing storage space at the Golden Years Lodge. This service provides seniors with medical equipment such as walkers, wheelchairs, and other medical aids at no charge.

The VSCHS Annual General Meeting will be held at the Golden Years Lodge in the main downstairs hall on Thursday, June 16 at 7:00 pm. Some members will be stepping down from their service on the Board this year. A well-functioning Board is the backbone of a successful organization. If you or someone you know has a passion for the well-being of our seniors, consider putting your name forward as a member. If you are not a current member and want to be involved, contact the office at 250-566-4867 located next to the downstairs main hall.

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” – Vince Lombardi

Seniors Housing & Care Needs

The Valemount Seniors Housing Society asked seniors in the Robson Valley what they wanted the society to prioritize and develop in Valemount.

The survey determined that seniors looking to move into age-friendly housing are seeking independent affordable housing units along with services like meals, housekeeping, laundry, social activities and personal care (hygiene, bath, etc.).

Valemount Seniors Housing & Care Needs Report

The Society is using this document to create a masterplan for seniors’ development.

Currently, there is no housing facility in Valemount that provides support services for seniors. The closest long-term care facility to serve Valemount is an hour or 90 kilometres away, within the McBride Hospital.

Phase 1 for the new development would be a Supported / Assisted Living facility and the future phase would include amenities to provide long term care in Valemount.

In February 2020, the Seniors Housing & Care Needs Report was incorporated into the Target Tenant Demographic Report for the Village of Valemount by Rashmi Narayan of Spirited Exchanges Consulting.

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