PROJECT HELPING HANDS

We have all heard the phrase there is no place like home. As they age, many seniors want to continue living in their own homes for as long as possible. The familiarity of a household where they have lived for years, or decades and the surrounding community can bring comfort and dignity as they navigate life’s challenges in their advanced years. 

However, as health conditions and overall mobility gradually change as people age, the desire to remain at home presents increased challenges. Seniors frequently need help with everyday chores like grocery shopping, house cleaning or laundry. They also need emotional support and social connections essential to maintaining a healthy quality of life.  

Gaia Cares will soon be reaching out to assist those seniors through the launch of Project Helping Hands. This six-month pilot project will offer light housekeeping services and care companionship to vulnerable, low-income Chinese seniors in the Lower Mainland.  While other community home support programs are available to seniors, there are sometimes long waiting lists for services. Due to language and cultural barriers, miscommunications or misunderstandings can arise between Chinese seniors and housekeepers, undermining the effectiveness of services provided. Project Helping Hands will offer a variety of housekeeping and companionship service options while addressing Chinese seniors’ unique linguistic and cultural needs.  

Seniors can struggle with social isolation. Their inability to access the practical and emotional supports they need and deserve can leave them cut off from the world around them, leading to depression and other psychological problems. The common contributing factors to social isolation among the elderly include physical frailty and mobility challenges, limited finances, and lack of support networks. These factors often have more significant adverse effects on ethnic minorities, often perceived as outsiders in mainstream Society.  

Through the Project Helping Hands pilot, Gaia Cares aims to fill gaps in the community service programs to improve social support for Chinese seniors. The six-month pilot, funding through a generous Gaia Cares donor contribution, will first target low-income seniors 60 years or older in Vancouver’s Chinatown district, beginning in March. 

If you are interested in learning more about Project Helping Hands, contact us at 778-223-7236. We welcome donations to support the project. Call us to donate by phone or donate online at https://gccws.ca/donate.