Abbotsford Association for Healthy Aging has run many programs throughout the years that have been instrumental in supporting our aging population and helping seniors to live happy, independent lives. We currently offer the Friendly Visiting Program and we assist seniors in connecting with relevant information and local resources. You will find more details about these programs below.
Friendly Visitor Program
The Friendly Visitor Program has been offered in Abbotsford since the conception of the organization in 1989. The Friendly Visitor Program has been greatly utilized in the community of Abbotsford, BC. This program has been providing social support to seniors, who are isolated, depressed, and/or who lack family and social connections. With our fast-growing cohort of seniors, we are seeing more seniors in need of connecting. The community has greatly supported this program by providing the gift of their time through volunteering and fostering connections with these seniors.
There are currently 30 volunteers that are contributing approximately 4,320 hrs. annually to this program.
The Friendly Visiting Program focus is on social support for seniors who have little or no support. The arrival of, or phone call from a Friendly Visitor lifts the spirits of the senior as they know they have a lifeline. This includes when they are in the hospital or otherwise experiencing health challenges.
The Friendly Visiting Program tends to have a ripple effect in the community as family, neighbours and medical professionals are heartened by the positive impact of the program on the senior benefiting from the relationship. A large percentage of the referrals we receive are from the medical community as we have established a trusting relationship with them.
To increase availability of the Friendly Visiting Program we have recently added a telephone contact component, for seniors who cannot be matched immediately are at least being called by a Friendly Visitor Volunteer or the volunteer Coordinator. This also facilitates the smooth transition into a personal Friendly Visiting relationship.
Please call or email us for information on programs and services being offered in our community for seniors and their families. Knowledgeable staff can assist you with resources and directions for connections to community, government, and local agencies.
Abbotsford Family and Friends Caregiver Support Program
The Abbotsford Family and Friends Caregiver Support program is funded by the United Way and is currently being rolled out in 17 communities in BC. In Abbotsford, the Abbotsford Association for Healthy Aging will be starting two caregiver support programs.
The program focuses on supporting family and friends who provide unpaid care for older adults living in the community/at home with complex needs – chronic illness, frailty or life-limiting conditions. Programs provide emotional support, social opportunities and education services to enhance caregiver well-being by increasing caregivers’ skills, knowledge and confidence, by supporting caregivers to build strong personal networks, and by empowering effective connections with their health care teams, as valued partners in care.
The first of these programs will be a caregiver support group, open to anyone who is providing care-giving support to a senior, regardless of relationship or medical condition of the senior. This program will be free and will be open to any interested caregiver.
The second program will be a caregiver mentor program. This program is designed to give one-on-one practical and emotional support to new caregivers, from experienced caregivers who are interested in supporting those new to the role. This connection will allow new caregivers to receive advice on navigating various systems, including government support, community resources, and the medical system. It will also allow newer caregivers to have a person with whom to share concerns and talk about difficulties that arise during care-giving.
We are looking to connect with those caregivers who would like to learn more about how a support group or mentor support may be of benefit to them, as well as those who would like to volunteer to support newer care-givers."