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Langley senior has no plans to stop volunteering anytime soon

National Volunteer Week is April 14 to 20. Here’s one dedicated local volunteer
Louise Cowie started volunteering with the Adult Day Program 30 years ago and has no plans to stop anytime soon. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

Louise Cowie marked two milestones in spring 2024 – she turned 70 in March but more importantly, she’s been a volunteer with the Adult Day Program for 30 years.

For many years she cared for her aging parents. Somewhere Cowie heard about the Langley Seniors Resource Centre but it was her mother who suggested volunteering there.

“Mom said go down and find out, so I went down,” she said.

Both her parents have since passed but she’s carried on going to the Adult Day Program to help.

The Adult Day Program provides specialized care and recreation for adults with physical or cognitive limitations in the community. It is staffed with registered nurses, recreation therapists, activity aides, and health-care attendants, but also relies on volunteers such as Cowie.

She started by working in the kitchen and continues to this day.

“It was somewhere where I could do a job I could do,” she said. “People’s friendly, so it just keeps me going out. Gets me out of the house.”

Just before the pandemic, she was working two days per week. She was asked to do more and ended up working up to five days each week. Each stint is about four hours.

Since the pandemic, Cowie is back at two days per week.

“There’s a lot of nice people that I volunteer with,” she said. “It’s nice to be here for a couple days, and enjoy the company and the work.”

If she’s finished her duties, she can sometimes join in the clients for some games.

If she hadn’t been a volunteer, Cowie is not sure what she would have done to fill her days.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t know,” she said. “With only the use of one hand, I can’t type. I never learned how to type.”

Cowie can no longer drive due to occasional seizures in recent years so she’s reliant on HandyDart to get from her Walnut Grove home to Langley City, where the Adult Day Program is located.

“With the traffic today, maybe it’s best if I don’t drive,” she quipped.

She plans to continue volunteering as long as she is able.

“My health is good and all that. I might be able to stay in here for another five to 10 years, maybe,” she said. “Maybe when I turn 80, that’ll be it.”


The value of volunteers

The Langley Senior Resource Society couldn’t operate without volunteers, it’s that simple, said Smitty Miller, the seniors’ centre manager of programs and member services.

“The centre and Adult Day Program rely on volunteers to deliver high quality services to seniors in Langley. Without all of their contributions, we wouldn’t be able to offer the kind of heart-felt attention that we’re proud to offer those who visit us. In short, we wouldn’t be much without our volunteers.”

To show appreciation for the work volunteers do, the centre is hosting and event.

“We’re honouring them with a dinner/show on April 17 (by invitation only),” she noted. “And Karen Long will be speaking on the topic of volunteerism for our Monday Morning Talk Show that week [April 15].”


• READ MORE: Aldergrove’s Heritage Hall wouldn’t thrive without volunteers

• READ MORE: Volunteers vital to restoration of century-old barn


The Langley Senior Resources Society relies on a large group of volunteers to operate both the seniors centre and the Adult Day Program. (LSRS/Special to the Langley Advance Times)
Louise Cowie started volunteering with the Adult Day Program 30 years ago. She just turned 70 in March 2024.(Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)

Heather Colpitts

About the Author: Heather Colpitts

Since starting in the news industry in 1992, my passion for sharing stories has taken me around Western Canada.
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