A celebration of seniors took place in Castlegar on Thursday.
The Castlegar Community Response Network (CRN) held a Celebrate Seniors event at Millennium Park the day after the 11th annual World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). The event gave seniors a chance to get out, socialize and enjoy lunch and coffee together.
The Castlegar CRN is one of 65 community response networks across the province that fall under the BC Association of Community Response Networks (BC CRN).
“We work to create communities that are free of elder abuse, but also that are inclusive, and respectful and appreciative of seniors and what they still bring to society,” explained Sandi McCreight, coordinator for Castlegar CRN.
The idea behind last Thursday’s event was to give Castlegar’s seniors an opportunity to socialize, as McCreight explained that isolation increases the risk for elder abuse and neglect, whereas socialization increases well-being and reduces the risk of isolation.
“People don’t want to talk about it,” McCreight said of elder abuse, “even though it’s very, very real, especially financial abuse.”
Despite the rain and colder weather, seniors attending the event enjoyed themselves and one another’s company. Some also came out to show support for an organization that does so much for seniors in the community.
“How would I not come to this event?” said Shennaho Goodenough. “Community services is very important, and as a senior and [supporter of] senior advocacy has helped me out a lot.”
The event was at capacity, with 80 seniors signed up to attend. McCreight said they had to turn some people away, as even more seniors contacted her wanting to attend. She hopes this will be the first of many similar events.
Funding for the event came from the BC CRN, which put in $1200, Castlegar Communities Services, which put in $1200, the City of Castlegar, which gave a $350 grant, and the Castlegar CRN.