SENIORS IN FOCUS: It’s the Year of the Senior on the Saanich Peninsula

Sidney SeniorCare has declared 2015 the Year of the Senior and they are reaching out to the community with a series of events.

The owners

Sidney SeniorCare has declared 2015 the Year of the Senior and they are reaching out to the community with a series of events.

Open to anyone, not just their clients, these events will occur monthly, starting with an open house on Valentine’s Day Saturday, Feb. 14 from noon to 4 p.m.

Company President and CEO Shauna Dorko says after 10 years in business, Sidney SeniorCare wants to give something back.

“We want to bring in the whole community to these events throughout all of 2015,” she says. “It’s in thanks to seniors for all that they do — and in thanks to the people who have voted us number one over the last couple of years.

“I’m going to splash this around as much as I can and I don’t care what it costs me.”

While these seniors appreciation events hosted by Sidney SeniorCare are starting off close to home, Dorko says they are reaching into the Saanich Peninsula for subsequent activities. Places like Butchart Gardens, Heritage Acres, the B.C. Aviation Museum and more are on Dorko’s radar. She says, however, she is keeping the event locations and activities close to the chest, to create a little anticipation.

Sidney SeniorCare partnered with Panorama Recreation Centre last year and that success could lead to more activities for seniors.

“Panorama has so many seniors programming options,” she says.

Dorko is working with Sherrin Griffin, of Griffin Design Management, to help market the events.

“Shauna has come up with a fantastic idea,” Griffin says. “We hope to make local seniors all feel special.”

She adds the events are family-focused and reiterated that they are open to any senior from the Saanich Peninsula.

“Each event will be different,” says Dorko. “We could get the same people out every time and while it’s all about seniors, we hope others will be intrigued.

“It’s about creating a life-long memory, to say that they had a wonderful time.”

She says events on this scope are something seniors probably haven’t seen — and might not otherwise.

To that end, Dorko says Sidney SeniorCare is even willing to help get people to and from each event.

Dorko agrees there are seniors who are more mobile than others and the level of overall health can vary as well. To ensure anyone can partake in the Year of the Senior, she says the events will be accessible by most, if not all, seniors.

“We find that no matter their physical or mental limitations, seniors do often all gel together,” Dorko says. “They share their experiences, their stories and energy.”

Dorko says over the last decade, she has seen a lot of change in people’s level of mobility as they grow older to the complexity in the care that they might receive — and what public services are being provided.

She says all of that can continue to change, year after year, and companies like hers need to be aware of the needs of all age groups. So, that’s why she wants her Year of the Senior events to reach as broad a group as possible.

“Let’s have some fun,” she says.

“Let’s build some memories.”

To take part in Sidney SeniorCare’s 2015 Year of the Senior events, watch for ads to appear in the Peninsula News Review and check out the company’s website  at sidneyseniorcare.ca and click on the Year of the Senior link.

Attendees should RSVP in advance of each event, Dorko says, to ensure organizers get a good idea of numbers and can prepare accordingly for seniors’ needs.

The Valentine’s Day event will be a social at Sidney SeniorCare’s office on Third Street — and the kickoff to the 2015 Year of the Senior.

For more information, call 250-656-7176 or 250-589-0010.

Sidney SeniorCare is based on the Saanich Peninsula and has an office in Oak Bay. The largest private home care agency on the Islands, they employ around 200 care workers.