More senior day program spots coming to Richmond

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More senior day program spots coming to Richmond

Edmond To's 85-year-old mother was on a waiting list for six months before she got into the United Chinese Community Enrichment Services Society's (SUCCESS) senior day program.

She lives with To's family, and now spends two days a week socializing with other seniors in Vancouver.

SUCCESS announced on Friday that the program is expanding to Richmond, with 25 spots a day to open in June, once renovations are complete at the Austin Harris Residence seniors assisted living facility.

"At the beginning, we didn't know how much it would help us, but definitely, it helped us a lot," said To, 53, who works as a real estate agent.

"It's very difficult for families with seniors. They just stay in the room and watch TV. After a while, even watching TV is not fun anymore," he said, adding that his mother would get bored and constantly try to get his attention.

Seniors in the program spend their day playing cards, socializing with other seniors, getting nursing and medical services, as well as things like nutritional counseling, according to the CEO of SUCCESS, Queenie Choo.

"This is a win-win situation where the family will actually have a break … while the senior is enjoying some quality programming in an adult day centre like this," said Choo.

"About 125 seniors per week will be able to access the program," she said.

Vancouver Coastal Health is putting $520,000 into the program annually to pay for the Richmond expansion.

To said the cost for his mother is totally covered, except for lunch, which runs $8 or $9 per day.

He said the program works well, but more spots would really help cut down the waiting list.

"I'd like if they had weekends, it would be better," To added, "If they add weekends, then our family could go for other activities, right?"