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General News · 19th March 2021
We are very excited to bring this program to Cortes Island residents*. Most people love their home and want to stay there as long as they possibly can. To live where your memories are and to be surrounded by everything familiar is what makes most of us happy and keeps us mentally and physically healthy. Sometimes small or large changes in your health can have a big impact. We want to help!

• Can’t drive for a while? How do you get your medication?
• Are you (or your spouse) dealing with a medical condition and you just need extra help?
• Does that pile of firewood need to get under cover and you just don’t have the energy?
• Need a hand with vacuuming or cleaning your windows?

There are so many examples of small and larger things that become a challenge. Better at Home Cortes Island will provide non-medical support to assist older adults (65+) with day-to-day tasks or weekly maintenance to keep their home the way they like it, so they can continue to live independently in their own home and stay connected with our community. Services will be delivered by a combination of volunteers, paid staff and contractors depending upon the service required and the capacity of our program.

The program offers non-medical services to adults*:
• 65 years of age or older
• CISS members between 50 & 65 with mobility or health challenges
• Residents of Cortes Island
• Living in their own home

Services available:
• Visits: a weekly visit from a volunteer to your home.
• Deliveries: our volunteer drivers can deliver groceries and prescription medication to your home.
• Friendly Voices: regular phone contact to check in on isolated seniors, an easy way to stay connected. Seniors can receive regular check ins online or by phone by a volunteer—to make sure you’re safe or just to chat!
• Readers: volunteers share time with seniors with a book, magazine, tablet or newspaper.
• Light Housekeeping: assistance with light household chores such as vacuuming, dusting, bathrooms and laundry.
• Yard Work: assistance with your garden, raking leaves, mowing lawns, pruning to maintain safe outdoor spaces.
• Small Home Repairs: a variety of services for the maintenance and upkeep of the home. We will help where we can or refer to someone with the expertise needed.
• Roof & Gutter Cleaning: We offer this service through a professional local company that is insured.
• Chimney Cleaning: We offer this service through a professional local company that is insured.
• Computer Help: Clio can come to your home and help you with all sorts of computer and tablet issues. Password problems, updates, printer problems etc etc.
• Transportation: volunteer drivers provide transport to and from appointments.
• Meals on Wheels: Weekly delicious healthy meals delivered to your door or you can pick up when you get your mail.
• Deliveries: Stay home and get someone else to pick up your items from town. Save your energy and avoid long ferry line ups.

Who pays for Better at Home?
The Government of BC (Ministry of Health) provides funding to the United Way to manage the Better at Home program across BC. Seniors who receive Better at Home services may pay a fee based on their income. Some services may be free. These fees-for-service are fed back into the local program in order to serve more seniors. Fees are established on an income-based sliding scale which ensures that services are free for low income seniors, and market rate for seniors with an income above the BC average. This service is offered on a sliding scale determined by Line 15000 (Total Income) on your Canada Revenue Agency income tax Notice of Assessment.

Up to eight hours of service is provided by free/subsidized rate every four weeks. Additional hours of service might be available in certain circumstances or can be purchased at the full rate. (see attached schedule) Please ask us for details.


All Cortes Island Better at Home services will have COVID health and safety protocols in place. Service providers and clients are expected to follow these guidelines at all times and services will adapt to follow changes in Provincial Health Orders and WorkSafe guidelines.

Volunteers are an important part of the Better at Home program: Due to Covid seniors are feeling isolated even more. By volunteering your time with any one of the areas of service you are part of building community capacity to reduce the isolation and vulnerability of seniors in our community and helping them stay in their home longer. Our volunteer drivers will be reimbursed for mileage. A small stipend for lunch will be provided when taking a client to Campbell River for an appointment. (The pink slip will cover the ferry costs or the client will cover the ferry costs). All volunteers providing services directly to clients will be asked to sign a confidentiality form and must have a criminal record check.

Ready to sign up for the program? Contact Ester by email: or phone Carina 250-935-6793 (Monday-Friday 10-5) We can send you an intake form, help you fill it out if needed and are happy to answer any questions.

Do you know somebody who could use this service? Please tell them about this new program or let us know and we can check in with them.

Interested to volunteer? Email or call us, we would love to find out what services you can offer.

Better at Home ~ Cortes Island
c/o Cortes Island Seniors Society
250-935-6793 (Carina, Monday-Friday 10-5)

Carina Verhoeve & Ester Strijbos