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Service, resource directory now available for seniors


Thanks to a joint effort between the Fort Frances Seniors’ Coalition and the Rainy River District Substance Abuse Prevention (SAP) Team, local seniors can get a free specialized directory of services and resources based on their needs.

Called “The Fort Frances Directory of Services and Resources for Seniors,” it will be delivered through local manors and apartment buildings, Sister Kennedy Centre, the day hospital at La Verendrye, the Northwestern Health Unit, and Red Cross Homemakers.

The directory lists information and phone numbers for various services, including health care and supplies, recreation, medication safety, community services, and transportation services.

“[The directory] gives seniors one-stop access to many different areas in the community,” Elaine Caron, SAP’s program co-ordinator, said Monday from her office at the Northwestern Health Unit here.

“We are really trying to target seniors in their own homes and are encouraging them to call if they need a copy delivered,” she added, noting volunteers and area professionals like those with Red Cross Homemakers will be able to deliver the directory first-hand.

Dede Mallory, a member of the seniors’ coalition, was instrumental in putting the new directory together. She said its content reflected what seniors were looking for based on a combination of her knowledge and a survey of seniors’ wants and needs.

“I used my experience and the survey, and I think [the directory] follows pretty well what seniors wanted,” she noted earlier this week.

Mallory also is hoping seniors who get a copy of the directory will consent to having their name and address recorded by the Coalition/SAP initiative for use in distribution of an upcoming periodical newsletter for seniors.

Seniors who need a copy of the directory delivered to their home can call Mallory (274-5797) or Caron (274-9827).

In related news, funding from the SAP program will be applied to an upcoming fitness teaching program which will see 12 district seniors receive training as fitness instructors.

SAP also is helping to fund a trip for a teacher and two senior students from Fort High attending an “Ontario Students Against Drunk Driving” (OSAID) conference in Ottawa this week.

The theme of the conference is “Youth Think Tanks,” with one of the goals being a nationally-recognized “anti-drinking and driving” day.

And starting March 22, SAP also will help fund a five-week actor training program for 12 First Nations youths.

The goal of the training program is to raise self-esteem and confidence, as well as heighten awareness about substance use and abuse among youth.

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