BC Association of Community Response Networks

Action and Advocacy at Local CRNs

Houston CRN mentor handing out gift basket at Frauds and Scams workshop March 2023

March was a month of action, education and outreach. We heard from CRNs about advocacy meetings, a first-of-its-kind resource guide and ways to connect with older people in their regions.

Feature image: Carroll Airey presenting a prize basket at the Houston CRN Frauds and Scams workshop.

Royce Shook, Bill Lawrie, and Ken Kuhn of the The Tri-Cities Seniors Action Society met with Jagmeet Singh, Federal NDP leader, to discuss the need for dental programs for seniors. With increased rental housing costs, grocery prices, gas prices, insurance premiums and more, many seniors cannot afford dental care for simple things like teeth cleaning that costs $250 to $300. This results in cavities, deteriorating gums, and poorer health and diet – all setbacks for long-term health. The NDP is applying pressure on the Liberal government to have a dental program for seniors with annual incomes less than $70,000.  Jagmeet Singh hopes the program will be in place before the end of the year.

Members of the Tri-Cities Senior's Action Society meet with Jagmeet Singh

The Jewish Queer and Trans Seniors Initiative (JQT) in Vancouver has just published the BC Jewish Queer & Trans Seniors Resource Guide. The first of its kind in BC, this living document will be updated as information becomes available. JQT will release eight videos throughout April as part of a social media campaign to spread awareness about the guide and says it’s not just for people over the age of 55 but for Jewish queer and trans people of all ages.

Up on the Sunshine Coast, the local CRN is reaching out to every address in the region with printed rack cards. Over 5,000 rack cards were sent to residents in Roberts Creek and Sechelt, with another 3,000 planned for West Sechelt, Halfmoon Bay, Pender Harbour and Egmont. This follows last year’s mailing to residents in Gibsons. With 50 percent of the area’s residents over the age of 55, this campaign has the potential to engage thousands of people.

We’d hate to accuse our Kootenay CRM, IRIS, of being all about food, but they sure seem to have a lot of fun preparing and serving it. St. Patrick’s Day included a marvelous lunch for 48 seniors, green cake and, “trivia, zentangle and shenanigans!!” The folks at IRIS held many other well-attended events in March, including bingo, mini curling and a hot lunch. Staff is often assisted by Selkirk College nursing students.

Kootney region seniors celebrating St Patrick's Day all dressed in green

The West Shore Community Response Network on Vancouver Island is pleased to announce a new Fellowship Program. They encourage providing support for vulnerable adults in the West Shore of the Capital Region, and hope the award will assist youth to pursue their interests in all careers related to the care of vulnerable adults. Learn more at the above link.

West Shore held a Fraud Awareness event at the Metchosin Seniors Centre on March 21, launching an important relationship with Crimestoppers. CRN members also offered five presentations to seniors’ residences about the benefits of birding as a hobby. So far, over 100 people have attended the presentations. A collaborative relationship with the Rocky Point Bird Observatory will continue to offer the presentation twice a week, potentially reaching over 1,000 seniors in 2023.