(From left) Jasvinder Billing, Gurvina Mund and Balreet Binning are staff members with the South Asian Day Program for Older Adults in Abbotsford. (Submitted photo)

(From left) Jasvinder Billing, Gurvina Mund and Balreet Binning are staff members with the South Asian Day Program for Older Adults in Abbotsford. (Submitted photo)

South Asian program in Abbotsford helps older adults live at home longer

Day program provides recreation therapy and assists with health-care needs

Fraser Health has partnered with Archway Community Services to offer a mobile South Asian Day Program for Older Adults in Abbotsford with culturally tailored services delivered in Punjabi.

Balreet Binning, recreational therapist for Fraser Health day programs in Abbotsford, said the service allows seniors to live healthy and independent lives in their own homes by providing recreation therapy to improve their physical, mental, cognitive, social, and spiritual health.

The program also assists with health-care needs, such as nursing assessments and monitoring chronic health conditions and medications.

“Studies show that clients attending day programs are likely to live at home longer, and this follows the Fraser Health ‘Better at Home’ model,” Binning said.

“The program also provides caregiver respite to allow a break from caregiver duties, which helps reduce caregiver burnout and stress.”

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Punjabi-speaking caregivers and staff provide all services in Punjabi to program participants. The team incorporates relevant South Asian cultural and religious celebrations.

“Our programming is culturally specific and considers the cultural matters that occur within the South Asian community. We have implemented a prayer time right into our activity schedule at the temple site for those who want to participate,” Binning said.

She said in a caring, safe and familiar community setting, program participants can connect with others to create social connections and support systems outside their homes.

Clients also have access to a wide variety of therapeutic recreation activities to experience with their peers, including brain games, tabletop games, care fit and mobility exercises, meditation, and breathing exercises.

“When they come to the day program, they are always excited to learn and try new activities and games. We provide a variety of sports and active games such as darts, bocce, and seated hockey that engage the clients both physically and mentally,” Binning said.

The South Asian Day Program for Older Adults operates at two sites in central and west Abbotsford.

Registration is required by calling Fraser Health’s Home Health Service Line at 1-855-412-2121 or Archway Community Services at 236-380-0556. The program does not accept drop-ins.

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Fraser Health