DO-SI-DO- From left, Andre Laliberte spun Ingrid Jansen during a square dance at the Golden Circle Seniors Resource Centre in Red Deer on Friday. Zachary Cormier/Red Deer Express

Golden Circle gearing up to broaden its community outreach

Board plans to launch more programs to help seniors ‘age in place’

Gearing up to extend it’s outreach into the community, staff and volunteers at the Golden Circle are excited about some plans to better help seniors ‘age in place’

“We are expanding what we will be doing in outreach – we’ve identified three gaps in services that we do not have in our outreach department,” said Monica Morrison, executive director.

Staff has also found, in talks with board members and local doctors, that many seniors weren’t even aware of some of the programs offered at the Golden Circle that could really make a huge difference in their lives.

Meanwhile, the new project is called HELP – Helping Elderly Live Proactively.

“We are adding onto a basket of services things like escorted shopping. The volunteer would go to the client’s home, pick up the client, take them to the grocery and build a friendship.

“The second thing we would be doing is telephone reassurance and security checks,” she said. “A lot of people don’t have family; they don’t have that daily contact to make sure they even got out of bed. And the third of this that I really like is called ‘Program Buddy’ where the volunteer goes into the home and establishes a relationship with the senior.

“Then, their next step is to get them out into the community to connect with things that are happening – whether it’s happening at the Golden Circle, the Seniors’ Downtown House, the library – wherever it may be,” she said, adding that studies show social isolation is very detrimental to a person’s health.

“This is preventable – let’s be proactive.”

Dr. Ray Hulyk, a volunteer with the Golden Circle, has been a driving force behind helping to formulate these initiatives, which he and Morrison hope to see up and running by April. Part of the work now involves attracting volunteers to help make HELP a reality in Central Alberta.

Hulyk said it’s all part of the goal to help keep people in their homes as long as possible. “Aging in place is the terminology that is used quite often,” he explained. “By offering the elderly some support services, I think we can achieve that.

“We have also formed a kind of special interest group which includes a retired lawyer, a retired clinical nursing instructor from Red Deer College and some interested people who have done volunteer work in the past, and who are interested in trying to enhance the existing outreach if possible.

“We want to look at new areas as well that could add value to an elderly person who is in their home and not really able to get out. So it’s part of the overall picture to help make sure they aren’t left behind; that we can get them connected to society in a special way.

“These visitation/companionship programs are highly important. I think we can reach a significant number of people.”

Hulyk added that once volunteers are established with clients, they will be able to see other needs that need to be met as well. “By being closer to the senior, we will be better able to identify what their needs are and tailor things to the individual.”

Morrison added that HELP will also serve as an effective referral source, too, through the medical professional.

“We hope to have volunteer training start up in March. The timeline is that we can really hit the ground running in April.”

For more information, call Monica Morrison at 403-343-6074, email or visit

Just Posted

Johnny 2 Fingers and the Deformities play The Vat April 27th

Moose Jaw band is on a 39-day national tour from Quebec City to Vancouver

Council highlights

Council to fund Rimbey Boys and Girls Club for $15,000

WATCH: Second annual Our Best To You Craft Sale on now

Red Deerians can expect over 150 artisans, makers and designers

Red Deer RCMP look for James Holley on warrants

Holley is believed to be in possession of firearms

‘Battle of the Badges’ charity hockey game raises funds for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deer Emergency Services and RCMP will play hockey for a good cause

WATCH: ‘Battle of the Badges’ event raises money for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deerians get together at charity hockey tournament April 20th at Servus Arena

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

Producer, DJ Avicii found dead at 28

Swedish-born artist Tim Bergling, was found in Muscat, Oman

Trudeau ends 3-country tour with global reputation, alliances intact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finds footing on the world stage after China and India controversies

Leafs’ Matthews has top-selling jersey, edging Crosby, McDavid: NHL

Austin Matthews jersey sales top Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby, Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid

Victims grant may miss needy parents due to eligibility rules: report

Only 29 of 50 applicants between 2013 and 2017 received the grant across Canada, a federal report says

Most Read