Care ‘not one size fits all’

Surrey nurse aims to create inclusive senior program on Peninsula

When Carolyn Tinglin began thinking ahead to her retirement, she didn’t like the options she had.

“I’m not a Boomer yet, but when the time comes, what’s actually out there?” the 43-year-old Surrey resident said.

“I wasn’t really finding anything in between. It’s either you’re in residential care or you’re at home with home-care support.”

Rather than hope for a different option to come along by the time she was ready to retire, the registered nurse – who has a master’s degree in rehab science – decided to create the option in the form of her adult day programs for seniors to help families who care for their elders.

Wellness Centres of Canada would allow caregivers a break by having their elderly parents stay at home, while keeping them engaged and happy in a safe and social environment, Tinglin said.

In a news release from the Wellness Centres, it is noted that nursing homes and assisted-living facilities have a “one-size-fits-all” approach to care that doesn’t provide individualized support, culturally or religiously sensitive care.

“Institutions are places where privacy and dignity are soon lost to the stringent schedule of strangers who provide bathing assistance, meal time supervision and sleep routines. English is the language spoken in most, if not all, facilities and religious observations are not a focus.”

The Wellness Centres focus on that support is what Tinglin said will have it stand out from other options in the community.

“I’m from the West Indian community, where it’s very traditional that you do not place your parents in residential care,” she said. “We welcome people of all backgrounds, but specifically want to target the more marginalized community.

“We want to make sure there is inclusion and that we’re really reflecting a home environment.”

In order to create a seamless transition into the community they are offering the services where Tinglin and her staff team up with a local community organization.

In White Rock, they will operate out of the Elk’s Lodge, 1469 George St.

The programs will include breakfast, a range of optional activities through the day and, most importantly, inclusion of all backgrounds, Tinglin said.

The program will be launching in mid-October and will also feature a generations program, which will allow the those in the program to interact with younger children, as they would with grandchildren, Tinglin said.

“Our program is based on what you can do, not what you can’t do. It’s asset-based because we know it’s not one-size-fits-all,” she said.

“There’s recreation and fun and really living a life that’s purposeful.”

The Wellness Centres of Canada also hosts a monthly caregiver support group – Caring for the Caregiver – on the last Friday of every month, from 4-5 p.m. at St. Michael’s Church in Surrey, 12996 60 Ave.

The group begins meeting this month.

 

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