Selkirk and IRIS Partner to Identify Gaps in Senior Needs

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A local research project identifies gaps in resources and needs for BC's older adults during the pandemic, but says feelings like isolation are always present and the pandemic is simply bringing them to light.

A pair of Selkirk College Nursing Program students worked with survey data to create a specially designed walking group and facilitate education sessions alongside Castlegar's IRIS Program.

Increasing Recreation Involving Seniors Program Creator Sandi McCreight says 78 seniors participated and the feedback and responses they received were great, adding there were more participants than initially expected and all were eager to speak with students.

McCreight says one of the key parts of the project is getting to hear from seniors themselves about how they’re impacted by the pandemic, as opposed to getting that information from professionals telling us how seniors feel.

She says the IRIS crew has done a fantastic job adapting to the COVID-19 climate and hopes to continue meal deliveries for seniors through 2021; over 2200 meals have been delivered so far with meal delivery packages going out to about 170 seniors every second week.

One of the favorite parts of the packages is newsletters featuring brain exercises, jokes and "featured senior" biographies written with help from Selkirk students.