Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) is in need of volunteer drivers to help meet seniors’ needs this summer.
Currently VCH runs two driving programs, a meals on wheels program that sees hospital meals delivered to seniors in their homes, and a volunteer driving program that matches drivers with seniors who need to get to medical appointments.
Although the well-subscribed programs are always in need of back-up drivers, summer holidays and health problems have cut the driving force short right now, volunteer coordinator Ceri Bowles said.
“I really need drivers, especially meals on wheels people, because the Halfmoon Bay person who drives on Wednesday is gone for the month of July,” Bowles said, noting there are two seniors in Halfmoon Bay who have their meals delivered. “I also just had somebody have a fall in Gibsons and now they can’t deliver any more because they can’t drive, so it’s constantly evolving.”
In addition to the driving programs, VCH also offers a friendly visitors program, a telephone tree that sees volunteers make daily morning calls to check in on seniors living alone, and a grocery shopping program.
“Most of my volunteers are seniors and a lot of them go away for six months at a time, so I’m always looking,” she said.
Volunteers are trained for their tasks and there is some reimbursement for fuel costs, Bowles said, noting many medical appointments take drivers off Coast and in those cases ferry costs are also paid for.
If you would like to help or to learn more, contact Bowles at ceri.bowles@VCH.ca or 604-885-8517.
© Coast Reporter