Holiday help for seniors

An estimated 5,600 seniors in the Central Okanagan live on low incomes and the Seniors Resource and Outreach Center is trying to bring them some festive cheer this holiday season.

It is running a 50/50 draw in an attempt to help as many people as possible this winter. Seniors Outreach has witnessed the financial pressure firsthand, with 1,900 seniors applying to the center for assistance in 2023.

“This year, we have seen more seniors on the brink of homelessness due to a lack of affordable rental housing or receiving a no-fault eviction notice. Elderly people need to make difficult choices to survive. We see people skipping meals to pay for medication, staying home alone to reduce costs for social activities, or not turning on the air conditioning during extreme heat to save on energy bills,” explains executive director Ian Gerbrandt.

Seniors Outreach is also doing what it can to improve people's mental health, alleviating the loneliness and social isolation that can have a negative effect on seniors' health.

“Our team helps isolated seniors find a path to improving their social connections and quality of life. Assistance includes social programs, nutritional support, transportation, filing tax returns, navigating short-term shelters, and connecting to community services,” says Gerbrandt.

Tickets for the Holiday Wishes 50/50 raffle are available here or in person at 115-2065 Benvoulin Court between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The deadline to purchase tickets is midnight on December 20th.

The draw takes place on Friday, December 22nd. The jackpot was almost $1,300 at 1pm on Tuesday.



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