Program helps Older Nova Scotians stay at home

Community Online First

ENFIELD: Social isolation is among the top issue for seniors’ today. Especially in rural communities.

Home Services Nova Scotia, a new program launched on Nov. 7 in Enfield, will help older Nova Scotians live in their homes longer.

The program helps older adults access a variety of affordable, non-medical services such as housekeeping, meal preparation and yardwork. The services are provided by people living with intellectual disabilities and mental health issues and delivered with the help of community agencies.

Corridor Community Options Agency (CCOA) has been one of the developing partners and will be providing the Home Service program out of their Enfield location. Ross Young has been working on developing the program and is excited to launch.

“The 11 agencies have done an amazing amount of work to get this launch,” he said during the event at CCOA’s location. “They developed standards, training plans, organizing employee training sessions, etc.”

Ross Young, Manager of Corridor Community Options Agency, speaks during the launch of Home Services Nova Scotia. (Cameron photo)

Bringing community members together is exactly what they were hoping the program will do.

“This program has created an extremely valuable service,” said Seniors Minister Leo Glavine. “Home Services Nova Scotia helps support older Nova Scotians age at home and maintain a connection to the community. They can get help with simple chores, running errands, even shovelling snow.

“We’re excited to help older Nova Scotians keep their independence and build stronger, more inclusive communities.”

(Cameron photo)

Glavine continued by saying this should help keep seniors in their homes longer.

“Well over 95 per cent of Nova Scotians want to remain in their own home, remain in their home, remain in their community, attached to what’s most familiar to them, and what they most treasure,” he said. “Right now, about 20 per cent of us are 65 or older. In 2030, it will be at least 25 per cent over the age of 65 and because of longevity, in 2040, all the baby boomers will be there and about 30 per cent of nova Scotians will be over the age of 65, all at one time.

“We have to stay in our homes, but I’ve always said we have to have them there well cared for and safely.”

Created by DIRECTIONS Council for Vocational Services Society and funded by the province, the program supports SHIFT: Nova Scotia’s Action Plan for an Aging Population, a government initiative that focuses on helping older Nova Scotians stay involved in work, entrepreneurship, volunteering and other activities.

“Home Services Nova Scotia will assist those in need to navigate and solve day to day problems,” said Marilyn Clarke, project mentor. “People get to make the choices they want and receive safe, affordable, reliable help.”

A direct partnership with 211 will ensure people can locate the service provider in their community.

For more information on Home Services Nova Scotia, visit http://www.directionscouncil.org .