Elder Care Co-op is a case of seniors helping seniors

B.C.’s ‘first ever’ elder co-op is reaching out to seniors in the Cowichan Valley t

  • Oct. 19, 2015 3:00 p.m.

B.C.’s ‘first ever’ elder co-op is reaching out to seniors in the Cowichan Valley to help them extend the time they can live at home. And their reach just got a little bit longer with a $10,000 donation from the Coastal Community Credit Union.

“With an aging population and a reduction in government assistance, the Cowichan Elder Care Co-operative (CECC) has emerged and will help seniors extend their time living at home,” said a recent CECC release.

The organization will act “as a trusted resource to make referrals, arrange sub-contractors, and coordinate volunteers to deliver services to seniors at home.”

CECC Chair Roger Hart said the time is right to introduce the concept of an elder co-op to the Cowichan Valley. “Our community needs to reacquaint itself with ‘people caring for people’,” he said.

“With increased demand on social and health services, the elder care co-op will provide meaningful work for active senior members of our community willing to offer services in accordance with our desire for ‘seniors helping seniors’.”

The CECC will also be reaching out to ‘younger generations’ to get involved. “The co-op Board plans for innovative partnerships with local high schools that will allow young people to contribute both socially and economically to their communities,” Hart said.

For Coastal the grant is an investment that makes sense. Their contribution will pay for an ambitious member recruitment campaign, covering diverse needs from marketing the co-op to the training and development of new board members.

“All this to ensure that CECC is able to recruit the right set of individuals as both members and leaders for the co-op,” Hart said.

The Credit Union has had a relationship with the CECC since its inception, providing support last year for an information meeting.

“Helping seniors access safe, reliable services at a fair price is an initiative we strongly believe in at Coastal Community,” said Allyson Prescesky, Manager of Community Experience and Communications.

“We were inspired by the initiative, which has been built on a cooperative model— run by seniors, for seniors — while providing a sense of belonging to those involved, where all members have the chance for input into decision-making.”

Cowichan Elder Care Co-op will be moving into new offices at Providence Farm in October and will be hosting a social to launch member services.