United voice calls for more senior services in Aldergrove

‘The people here deserve more’ says founder of the local Seniors Resource Fair

Friday morning several dozens seniors swarmed the Royal Canadian Legion’s Aldergrove branch to learn more about services offered for the aging in the area.

The second annual Seniors Resource Fair emerged out of a growing need, said founder Denise Morin.

She saw a need to cultivate a broader awareness of what’s available “to these folks,” who are often hindered by mobility and health issues.

Morin – the current executive director of Jackman Manor – has witnessed many families unaware of ways to help their elderly parents or relatives.

“Aldergrove seniors need more services and attention,” Morin emphasized. “The people here deserve more.”

More than 30 serviced-based vendors showcased programs that cater specifically to Aldergrove’s aging, including care providers, meal-service deliverers, handyman services. and organizations such as the Langley Senior Resource Society and Fraser Health.

RELATED: Seniors Resource Fair seeks to assist Aldergrove’s aging

“We really care about what goes on in your lives and your homes, so that you can retire happy and feel safe in your home,” said Renee Lodge, an event organizer.

Lodge corroborated Morin’s view that Aldergrove is in dire need of attention when it comes to its aging populations.

“Today, one in six Canadians is a senior. In 10 years (2029), it will be one in four,” Annette DeKraker spoke on behalf of Mark Warawa, the MP of Langley-Aldergrove.

“If we make seniors a priority in Canada, then, its a service to all of us,” DeKraker said.

Sweethearts in their 80s, Eric and Dorothy Redman stopped by the fair, curious to garner more information about downsizing their current living space.

“After 20 years it’s time we moved on,” Dorothy said. “The bottom floor is getting to be too much work for us to access” – about their three-storey Aldergrove townhouse located in a nearby senior’s housing complex.

Redman said they recently listed their townhouse but have yet to accept a final bid.

“We’ve put nearly $70,000 of renovation work into the home over the years – we’re holding off until we see an offer worthy of that,” Redman elaborated.

READ MORE: Aldergrove Seniors fair a success

Another married couple – one who plans to stay local – Otto and Elaine Baudais, have lived in Aldergrove for nearly 40 years.

“I think Aldergrove is going to blossom very soon, so we’re staying,” Elaine said cheerily.

The pair travels between Abbotsford and Langley to attend square dance gatherings. They showed off some of their moves in the hall during the live entertainment portion of the event.

Those attending the four-hour fair were also provided a complimentary lunch and refreshments donated by legion volunteers.

Others stopped by a booth promoting physical safety for seniors manned by Langley RCMP Cpl. Kurt Neuman and crime specialist Diane Robinson.

A local senior told Neuman she had to relocate to a more populated part of Langley due to failing bus services in the area. This was after she became wheelchair-bound following an accident a few years ago.

“There is horrible public transportation out here,” she said.

Lower Mainland businesses Mission-Abbotsford-Chilliwack senior service providers and the Langley Seniors Professional Alliance stepped up to sponsor of the free seniors event.

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Denise Morin, the executive director of Jackman Manor, has witnessed many families unaware of ways to help their elderly parents or relatives. (Sarah Grochowski photo)

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