To Whom it may Concern:
The Sooke Senior Drop in Center, referred to as SSDIC, as been without a permanent home since 2010.
We have been seeking assistance from the last three administrations, for assistance to obtain a building in which we can operate five days a week to support seniors in their daily lives. A Seniors’ Drop In Centre is a place for seniors to socialize, get involved in activities and have a support system that helps maintain their physical and mental health.
Ironically the period in which we have the fewest friends is the one in which strong ties become particularly important.
The benefits associated with socializing read like a healthy aging wishlist:
- Friendships can protect older adults from depression and cognitive decline;
- Social participation can shield us from low self esteem, maintain our immune systems and boost heart health;
- People with sturdy social connections tend to eat healthier diets, exercise more and sleep better.
Unfortunately social circles shrink as we age.
Our population as grown substantially, and I find it inconceivable that Sooke is the only community to my knowledge that is without a centre for seniors.
Our youth have a skateboard park, bike park, ball fields, soccer fields, SEAPARC pool and rink; our Seniors have nothing.
I am aware some seniors enjoy travelling in their retirement; however, there comes a time when that is no longer an option. And, there are those who simply cannot afford to travel as they are on very fixed incomes.
This seems to me to be the time to step up and get serious about getting a facility built for the seniors. It is Canada’s 150th birthday. There is money available from both levels of Government for senior health incentives. And, interest rates are at an all-time low.
I fear this will be like the sewer fiasco in Victoria that has gone on for a decade, and they are right back where they started, but at almost double the cost.
Looking at the Vision Document we put together in 2013, three of our board members featured on the cover have since passed away. I pray that we will see a centre come to fruition before the rest of us on the board have also passed, without ever seeing a senior centre built.