Survey of senior parents reveals surprises

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Transportation is an issue facing many seniors
Tuesday January 17, 2012 — Deb Bartlett

A survey of families at the Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) Christmas party has shed some light on issues facing senior parents of people supported by the organization.

Family information and support worker Carol Stinson said it was an eye opener when she discovered that transportation was an issue for many of the parents whose adult children are supported by BACI.

She had intended to circulate a survey at the Christmas party, but a broken photocopier meant she walked around and spoke to each family about their interest in attending a daytime parent information and support group.

A group had been held at night, but participation was waning and Carols says with only three or four parents attending, “it wasn’t a good use of time.”

This fall, there is no parent support group running, and at the Christmas party, Carol asked families if they’d be interested in attending a daytime support and information group.

She thought more parents would be willing to drive in the day.

She surveyed 16 families and discovered that many of those senior parents aren’t driving at all.

“I thought they had transportation, but you look at them and start realizing their ages. Some have never learned to drive,” Carol adds.

Realizing that many of these parents are in their 70s and 80s, Carol says her challenge for starting spring parent support sessions will be tackling transportation.

Some parents are willing to pay for a taxi, she says.

Others said taking public transportation would be too difficult, says Carol.

She will now be looking into whether seniors will be able to carpool to the support group, and looking into other options to enable them to attend the sessions.

The seniors who are interested in coming are keen on attending a group from 10 a.m. to noon that features a speaker and a time to socialize.

Carol says she thinks a spring daytime support group will go ahead, “just some of the logistics need to be figured out.”

To comment on this story, or to share how your group overcomes transportation obstacles, contact Deb at 800-294-0051, ext. 30, or e-mail deb(at)axiomnews.ca.

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