Seniors advocate hosting Fruitvale town hall meeting

B.C.’s Senior Advocate Isobel Mackenzie will be at the Fruitvale Memorial Hall Tuesday from 9-11 a.m.

Fruitvale seniors and their families are gearing up for what could be the most informative coffee outing to date.

B.C.’s Senior Advocate Isobel Mackenzie will be at the Fruitvale Memorial Hall Tuesday from 9-11 a.m. to discuss her role and what her office is talking about.

The conversation will delve into recent reports and recommendations for system improvements relating to seniors housing in the province, and caregiver distress and the need for more respite services in B.C.

Mackenzie will also discuss an upcoming in-house survey on home support and residential care, which is the first time that all individuals receiving these publicly-funded services will be surveyed.

“I’m excited for my seniors to get to visit with her,” said Vickie Fitzpatrick, Beaver Valley’s age-friendly program coordinator.

Fitzpatrick is the woman behind “coffee with Vickie,” a chance for local seniors to get in touch and share what they’d like to see in their communities.

The social and productive meeting held on the second Monday of every month came out of a recommendation from those already attending a luncheon.

The shared meal, held the third Tuesday of every month, attracts over 200 seniors at times and became too difficult to host guest speakers.

Instead, it was suggested to open a new venue for such in-depth conversations. But a visit with the seniors advocate deserves its own special event, said Fitzpatrick.

“She’s going to be at the hall having coffee for two hours, so we’ll have lots of time,” she said.

“We have a great group of seniors who are not afraid to ask questions and share their opinions. I’m looking forward to this.”

The seniors advocate office is independent of the provincial government with a mandate of monitoring and analyzing issues that affect B.C. seniors.

“This is part of my ongoing commitment to engage with seniors, in the communities where they live, to participate in a conversation about improving the lives of seniors in B.C.,” Mackenzie was noted in a news release. “Please come and share what is working and what is not working for seniors in Fruitvale.”

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