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LETTER: It's time Sooke seniors had a place to call home

Local seniors group is one of the few in the province without an activity centre, says letter writer

Sooke Senior Drop In Centre has been without a permanent home since 2010.

The centre sought assistance from the last three council administrations to obtain a building it can operate five days a week to support seniors in their daily lives with a place to socialize, get involved in activities and have a support system that helps maintain their physical and mental health.

The benefits associated with socializing read like a healthy aging wish list: 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 has grown substantially and I find it inconceivable that Sooke is the only community to my knowledge that's without a center for seniors. This seems to me to be the time to step up and get serious about getting a facility built for seniors, it is Canada's 150th birthday, money is 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 project 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 died. I pray that we will see a center come to fruition before the rest of us on the board have also passed without ever seeing a center built.

Carol Pinalski, President, Sooke Senior Drop In Centre