CRNs in the Community: New Year – New Learning Events & Projects

BCCRN blog cover: New Year Fresh Start in notebook beside plant, pen and glasses on table

A new year means continuing on with regularly scheduled events and kicking off new projects and our CRNs are hard at work, so long as the weather doesn’t hold them back. The winter has been milder this year, but for many of our interior and northern partners it has still presented challenges. In addition to watching local alerts, check out our Emergency Preparedness for Seniors in Winter: Assess, Plan and Prepare article for helpful resources and tips.

January was also Alzheimer’s Awareness Month and many of our partner organizations shared some great workshops and resources through social media and newsletters. Among those resources that we passed on to our community members was a link promoting brain health through the safe use of medications from our Provincial Learning Event guest organization last fall: the Canadian Medication Appropriateness and Deprescribing Network (CADeN). To learn more about what deprescribing is, read the article here.

To learn more about upcoming Provincial Learning Events or watch past workshops on-demand, visit our website here.

Community Connection and Collaboration

The recently founded Whistler CRN and community partner Whistler Mature Action Committee Dementia Connect, regularly meet to plan outreach initiatives in the community. Their focus includes the BC CRN mandate as well as addressing issues of dementia and the lack of housing for seniors in the area. They wrapped up 2023 with an information dinner to thank volunteers and provide them with training about BC CRN presentations.

The Westshore CRN high school fellowship award process is underway for the third consecutive year. This year they aim to award two fellowships to grade 12 students in the area. The goal of this project continues to be about raising awareness for BC CRN’s mandate, promoting local senior support and encouraging career exploration in fields related to senior health. Through the process, the CRN looks forward to expanding relationships with local representatives, organizations and the three neighboring Nations.

Plans are underway to expand the Southern Vancouver Island networks through continued collaboration between the Westshore CRN, Saanich Peninsula CRN, Victoria CRN and Salt Spring Island CRN. These CRNs serve the communities from Sidney to Sooke, and the City of Victoria to the boundary with Cowichan on the Malahat Highway (Highway 1) – including the southern Gulf Islands. The goal is to “expand the number of offerings of BC CRN presentations, and amplify the impact of these presentations to provide a coordinated community response to abuse, neglect and self-neglect in vulnerable adults” as well as “expand awareness of members of our network and support cross-promotion of organizational activities”.

Strategies to implement the project include: utilizing social media platforms and adding a monthly email bulletin to be sent to community members, government agencies and NGOs, businesses and professionals. Two social media platforms are now active and everyone is invited to follow them on Facebook: South Vancouver Island Community Response Network and Instagram: @svicommunityresponsenetwork .

Presentations and Projects

Houston CRN has completed development of four core workshops and accompanying resources for presentation to community groups: It’s Your Choice…Planning for Your Future (Incapacity/Advance Care Planning), It’s Your Choice…Representative Agreements for Health and Personal Care, It’s Your Choice…(Enduring) Power of Attorney for Financial and Legal Decisions, and Fraud and Scams…Are You the Next Target?

The workshops are designed to be adjusted to the needs and demographics of the intended audience, as specified by the community partners that request them and will be suitable for various group sizes. The goal over the next three months is to do group and individual workshops, presenting to 30+ people. The community partners have agreed to promote these workshops and provide meeting space, computers, and printed materials as needed to present the workshops. Community partners include: Houston Link to Learning, Salvation Army, Northern Society for Domestic Peace, Houston Public Library, Houston Community Services, Houston Seniors Centre, Houston Hospice Society, Meadows Senior Housing, Pleasant Valley Village, Cottonwood Manor, Pallisades and Brewstirs.

Revelstoke CRN is continuing to provide the community with information and resources through emailing and printing their monthly newsletters. Styled after the BC CRN E-Connector, the newsletter helps keep seniors connected and up to date on local and provincial developments like the new seniors dental coverage, events, activities, emergency information and resources, and has their own spotlight feature of a person or organization within the community. The local newspaper prints the top articles each month and local emergency management and municipal committees routinely welcome the CRN Coordinator and members to their planning meetings. Many public and private organizations are now seeking more collaboration and resource development with the CRN as they find well-attended CRN meetings are the best place to raise important issues and collaborate with each other.

Sea to Sky CRN and community partners Squamish Seniors Living Society and Westwinds Seniors Living, are preparing to host a monthly Diners Club beginning in January through to March. The purpose is to create a social connection to seniors who spend most of their time alone or isolated. The low-cost, healthy monthly meals will come with information and resources while attendees benefit from face-to-face interaction and a small leftovers package to take home.

Gabriola CRN is rolling out a project called To Hear or Not to Hear – a data gathering project about people with hearing aids and the challenges they often encounter in social settings. Often people who wear hearing aids find large, noisy gatherings very challenging to navigate and frequently stop attending events as a result. The project will gather data about people’s challenges and preferences around social events. Community partners Rollo Seniors Centre, Gabriola Medical Clinic and Gabriola Health and Wellbeing Collaborative will assist by providing meeting space, advertising and assisting to identify the scope of need.

Lunar New Year: Year of the Dragon

February 10, 2024 will mark the beginning of the Lunar New Year and continue for 15 days. Our Chinese CRN is busy organizing a “Chinese New Year Warmth & Caring Action Initiative” to benefit isolated seniors in 2024. The project builds on the success of previous years, aiming to reach over 100 isolated seniors during the Chinese New Year week. The primary goals of this project are to: provide warmth and care to isolated seniors during the Chinese New Year and raise awareness of elder abuse prevention in the Richmond community. Read more in our latest blog: Warmth and Care Usher in Year of the Dragon for Richmond Elders.


Explore our website to learn more about BC CRN or connect with your local CRN for more information or resources.

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