Tips from TAPS: Summer brings focus to mind, body, spirit at Creston seniors program

Summer gives opportunities to enhance well-being, says Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors community liaison Maureen Cameron...

Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors members at their recent strawberry bonanza.

Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors members at their recent strawberry bonanza.

“Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches us that summer belongs to the element fire. Fire is symbolic of maximum activity or greatest yang, which means that it is a time of heat, outgoingness and moving outward in nature and in our lives. In human anatomy, the heart, mind and spirit are ruled by the fire element. Thus, top priority should be given to the heart, mind, and spirit for staying healthy in summer.” (Summertime! Chinese Medicine and the Summer Season by Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM)

These priorities match our focus for the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors (TAPS) as staff and volunteers have fun and work hard in planning the programming and accommodating individual needs of our participants to support and enhance their well-being and independence, and summer gives us new opportunities.

I was away travelling for the past two weeks and on my return found the usual beehive of activity punctuated with quiet times, laughter, the hum and buzz of camaraderie, visitors, volunteers and the comings and goings of bus drivers, family, games, art, music and more.

Staying connected with what’s happening in the community is of interest to our seniors, and this month they had a chance to give input to the Official Community Plan. Thanks to Kootenay Employment Services for facilitating this event.

Programming is not confined to the building and so picnics, singing visits to Swan Valley Lodge and Crest View Village, restaurant meals, swimming, nature walks at the wildlife centre, grocery shopping and trips to Gleaners are in the works.

“Staycation” is what we call our summer programming with original funding through a New Horizons for Seniors Program grant. We welcome our summer student Kelli Schultz, who has begun working with the staff to include local activities. She is researching and scheduling ideas for recreation, participation, and educational and cultural opportunities. If you know of something that might be of interest, please do contact us. Thanks to funding through the Canada Summer Jobs/Service Canada for this position.

We’re saying farewell and good luck to Georgina Caspers this week. She has been part of the TAPS team gaining work experience towards her health services worker certificate through the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook. She has made a valued contribution to our seniors with her enthusiasm, passion and caring, and we wish her well in her chosen field.

We were successful in receiving funding for our active aging program from the United Way and are planning mini workshops on living well with focused exercise sessions. More on this next month. Thanks to Marilin and Dr. Randy Grahn for bringing George Brown to Creston to share his experiences with a particular exercise program that has positively impacted his life. TAPS hosted a session with him this week which hugely enlivened the full house gathering.

Ongoing thanks to our program volunteers who help make this place hum. Thanks to the College of the Rockies for the edible bounty of greens and baskets of strawberries from the food forest. Thanks also to the financial contribution of Regional District of Central Kootenay areas A, B, C and the Town of Creston through the 2016-17 Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Grants towards the well being of our seniors.

Maureen Cameron is the community liaison co-ordinator for the Therapeutic Activation Program for Seniors. For more information on TAPS, run by Valley Community Services, call 250-428-5585.


Creston Valley Advance