Surrey Seniors Connection Portal
Edition 2-3 September -December 2015

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The Surrey Food Bank Society

The Surrey Food Bank is a non-profit organization committed to “Helping people help Themselves”.  Since 1983 the Surrey Food Bank has been assisting low income individuals and families who live in Surrey and North Delta.  All funding comes directly from the community as the food bank does not receive any core government funding.  The Surrey Food Bank strives to provide nutritious, well balanced food hampers to approximately 250 households each day. This equates to about 14,000 individuals each month, of which 42% are children under the age of 18.
The Surrey Food Bank has several programs to better serve its clients.
·         Tiny Bundles
·         Hamper to Your Home
·         Seniors (65+) Distribution
·         Evening Distribution
The Food Bank also has three additional distribution locations - North Delta, Cloverdale and Newton/Green Timbers.
Seniors 65+ Distribution
The Senior Depot program is specifically for registered clients who are 65 years or older.  The purpose of this program is that clients can now have a shopping experience at the Surrey Food Bank.  Every 2 weeks (Wednesday between 1:30-3pm) clients have the opportunity to choose food and other personal/household items according to their needs.  Another unique feature is that each client has a volunteer personal shopper to help them through the shopping experience.  The Food Bank also partners with local community organizations such as the Surrey Libraries, Fraser Health, Service Canada and Surrey Parks & Recreation to highlight their Senior specific programming.  The program provides a platform for our clients to connect with services that many have not had access to or knowledge of before. 

For more information:
Phone: 604.581.5443.
Address: 10732 City Parkway, Surrey B.C. V3T 

Walk-in Clinics in B. C. Told to Offer Continuing Care to Patients
Under new rules, clinic doctors must offer to be primary-care physician for patients who do not have a family doctor


By Pamela Fayerman, Vancouver Sun July 7, 2015 6:25 PM

The walk-in or urgent care clinic that you visited just once is obliged to be your “medical home” if that’s what you need and want, according to new standards set by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC.

Formerly, there was an expectation that such clinics became your primary care clinic of record after three visits.
Under beefed-up guidelines, walk-in clinics will be held to the same high standard as those where patients book appointments. That means doctors at walk-in clinics must keep excellent medical records, contact patients with lab or other diagnostic test results, send copies of reports to other doctors who need them, offer to be the primary-care clinic for patients who need a regular place to go, and schedule periodic screening and prevention checkups.
Dr. Heidi Oetter, CEO and registrar of the College, said professional standards and guidelines were updated with stronger language to let doctors and patients know there aren’t different standards of care for traditional medical clinics and walk-in clinics.

If patients have no other place to go, then walk-in clinic doctors must offer to be the patient’s primary care physician through a “verbal invitation.” They can no longer consider a patient’s visit as a one-off, she said,.

Oetter said the College hears regular complaints from the public that walk in clinics “cherry pick” the easiest cases. But even patients with complex or chronic illnesses should be able to depend on walk-in clinics for continuing care, she said. If it’s not offered, patients should feel comfortable demanding “what they need.”

The College also expects every walk-in clinic to have a medical director who is a doctor, not a business person, so the College can communicate “doctor to doctor.” The medical director must ensure compliance with College standards. Doctors at such clinics can’t delegate followup of medical care and lab tests to staff who are non-physicians.
The College is also insisting walk-in clinics provide after-hours coverage and have access to PharmaNet so they know what prescriptions patients are taking. Oetter said the latter rule arose after investigations which found evidence of prescription fraud throughout the Lower Mainland. One person got more than 250 prescriptions, from multiple physicians, and filled them at 34 different pharmacies from 2007 to 2013. The College found fault with 46 physicians who had deficient prescribing practices.
“This case serves to remind physicians of the important role they play in mitigating this public health problem, which starts with prescribing medication to patients according to current prescribing standards and principles. This includes taking the time to conduct an appropriate exam, asking the right questions, and checking the patient’s PharmaNet profile before issuing a prescription — especially for a narcotic.”
Dr. Chris Watt, a family doctor who owns three walk-in clinics in Vancouver and Victoria, said he agrees with the College’s goals of high quality care, but worries that an unintended consequence of the rule changes may be the retirement of older doctors at walk-in clinics. The new guidelines make the establishment of a doctor-patient relationship an automatic process, removing autonomy from doctors. Older doctors who’ve given up their practices but work part-time in walk-in clinics are a “rich source of manpower” — but they may just decide it’s too much of a burden to continue working, Watt said.
Dr. Charles Webb, the new president of Doctors of BC, said the College’s new standards are welcome and will improve the level of patient care.
Dr. John Sehmer, a Vancouver family doctor at a traditional clinic, also welcomes the new guidelines, saying they help hold walk-in clinics to the same standards as other clinics.
“I think citizens need to be aware that walk-in clinics have obligations to them in terms of following up on results they order, without necessarily requiring the patient come in to get the results, and that there is an obligation for walk-in clinics to provide continuity of care if the clinic, by default, is their regular health care provider."
“I also think most walk-in patients are unaware that the same degree of documentation and medical record keeping is expected from a walk-in clinic as from a regular family physician.”
Sehmer said he knows of cases when patients are rushed to an emergency room and the hospital has no idea where to send reports because patients say they do not have a regular doctor even if they have repeatedly gone to the same walk-in clinic.

The new guidelines set by the College will ensure there is a central source for medical files, he said. Medical organizations don’t keep records of how many patients use walk-in clinics but more than 200,000 B.C. residents are searching for a family doctor, according to estimates from Doctors of BC.

Comment from the Connection Portal Editors 
A doctor we heard being interviewed on CBC said most of this was already known as good medical practice. It was listed as “should” on most information. Many walk-in clinics were already doing this. They have just upped the level to “will,” and created a position at each clinic for someone to make sure it happens.
In other words, many of our walk-in clinics are already filling in the gap. Now more of them will. 

Mission & Values


Where the power of knowledge inspires people to build a better future.


We open doors to lifelong learning, information and ideas.



  • create welcoming spaces that are shared by all
  • connect people and ideas
  • engage the community
  • inspire creativity and innovation
  • take leadership in promoting the value of literacy and a love of learning
  • advocate for intellectual freedom

Library Services for Seniors:

·      Books and Movies (DVDs)

·      Books in Other Languages

·      Magazines & Newspapers in branches and online

·      eBooks and eAudio

·      Music CDs & Downloads

·      Genealogy Resources at Cloverdale library

·      Audiobooks

·      Books in Large Print

·      Internet/Computers

·      Technology Help

·      Book Clubs & Other Programs

·      Assistive Technology at City Centre, Guildford and Semiahmoo libraries

Technology Help

·     Get one to one help in a no stress atmosphere. Staff can help you with your basic computer, internet & technology needs. Details online or in branch.

Family History Research (at Cloverdale Library)

·     Introduction to Family History - Jan 5, 7 pm
Start Searching your Family History (5 Lessons) Sat. Jan 17, 31, Feb 14, 28, Mar 14, 10 am. $100
Start Writing your Family History (5 Lessons) Jan 17, 31, Feb 14, 28, Mar 14, 1:30 pm. $100

Scrabble Club

·     Saturdays,  10:30 am -12 pm in Read-Ability Lounge at City Centre

·     Meet friends & flex your brain. Drop-in

Knot Your Average Knitters

·     Every 2nd Wed. 6:30-8 pm, begins Jan. 28 at City Centre. Drop-in.

More Programs for Seniors

·      Please visit our Events Calendar at

Read-Ability Services

·     Provided to seniors and clients with special needs including, Home Delivery Service, audio materials and assistive technology.
 Isobel Mackenzie Begins Journey as B.C.’s Seniors Advocate

The Seniors Advocate has summarized her findings in communities across B.C. and outlined next steps in her initial report, The Journey Begins, Together We Can Do Better, released last fall.

Many of the issues Mackenzie found in all areas of B.C., mirror what was heard in Surrey.
Seniors fear they will be unable to continue to live where they want, for a variety of reasons, including income and transportation challenges. Concerns about home care services and care in residential care facilities were common.
Caregiver burnout and elder abuse were heard as concerns among all communities.
A common theme was an ageist society that devalues seniors, as well as a lack of respect for the decision-making abilities of seniors.

There are areas where the lower mainland and Surrey are a bit different from the rest of B.C.
Surrey has multiple cultures which means more diverse communication and outreach is necessary. The Advocate found that families in the lower mainland and Surrey generally place a high priority on living close to family and seniors playing a strong role in a family.
The Advocate would like to connect with members of the multicultural community, and will continue to work with multicultural societies and agencies.

Over the coming months and years, the Seniors Advocate will conduct comprehensive surveys for all publicly-funded residential care facilities, home support clients, and users of HandyDART services.
Monitoring of seniors services will be set up for wait times for: Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) applications, a subsidized senior’s unit, a first available and appropriate residential care bed and subsequent placement, as well as income levels of seniors and income support programs, abuse reports and dementia Care.

Mackenzie will continue to visit communities in B.C. with the intention to get to as many as possible. Eventually she will return to Surrey in person, and in the meantime, seniors and families can get contact the office with their concerns:
Toll-free phone: 1-877-952-3181


Better at Home Program


Better at Home: We’re giving seniors a hand


Better at Home is a program that helps seniors with simple day-to-day tasks so that they can continue to live independently in their own homes and remain connected to their communities. The Government of British Columbia funds the program, United Way of the Lower Mainland manages it, and local non-profit organizations provide the services.


Community-based services

Volunteers and paid staff from local non-profit organizations provide Better at Home services. By helping seniors remain at home longer, they support a diverse, inclusive and vibrant neighbourhood for everyone.

A range of non-medical home support services

Better at Home services vary from community to community. They are designed to complement existing services and are based on the unique needs of local seniors.

Examples include:

                        Friendly visiting


                        Light yard work

                        Minor home repairs

                        Light housekeeping

                        Grocery shopping

                        Snow shoveling


The United Way role

United Way of the Lower Mainland, as part of its mandate to support programs that help seniors to age with dignity, will manage the expansion of the Better at Home program in up to 68 communities across the province.


Help is close to home

Seniors living in Surrey can contact a local organization to find out more and to apply for services. A service provider will help determine which services are most appropriate for an individual’s circumstances.


Surrey - Newton:

DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society

1107 - 7330 137th Street

Surrey, BC V3W 1A3

Maureen Chang - Program Coordinator

Phone: 604.507.2266


Surrey - Whalley:

Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society/S.U.C.C.E.S.S

205-12725 80th Avenue

Surrey, BC V3W 3A6

Sonia Chaudhary - Program Coordinator

Phone: 604.512.3870


South Surrey/White Rock:

Seniors Come Share Society

15008 26th Avenue

Surrey, BC V4P 3H5

 Andrea Cox - Program Coordinator

Phone: 604.531.9400


More Questions?


Volunteer to help:


New Directions for New Canadians

Our Mission:

To promote the independence of new Canadians and to build strong, culturally diverse communities.

DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society is a registered non-profit agency offering a wide range of services and programs to the culturally diverse communities of the lower mainland.

DIVERSEcity was established in 1978 under its founding name of SURREY DELTA IMMIGRANT SERVICES SOCIETY and has over three decades of service to the community.

DIVERSEcity prides itself on its well-founded expertise in assisting immigrants and new Canadians in their integration into their new community.

We are the proud sponsors of the Cultural DIVERSEcity Awards, an annual awards event, which recognizes businesses that incorporate and celebrate diversity in their day-to-day operations.

Our services are offered through six main departments, namely:

              Family Services

              Settlement and Community Programs

              Language Programs

              Career Services

              Interpretation and Translation Services

              Skills Training Centre

Our programs continue to expand and change to reflect the unique needs of the diverse community we serve. We have a strong commitment to raising awareness of the economic and cultural contributions immigrants make to Canadian society, and to raising awareness of the value of diversity.


Our Sponsors:

Surrey Seniors Planning Table


This group is composed of a combination of local seniors and senior support professionals and organizations.  It was first funded by the United Way in 2008 to connect with and advocate for seniors in our city, and plan inclusive activities for them.

There is always room on the Planning Table for seniors who are interested in taking an active role in their community. Meetings are held the Third Wednesday of the month at the Newton Seniors’ Centre at noon. Guest speakers are invited to inform seniors of topics and services that affect them. Throughout the year, the Planning Table works on projects that benefit seniors from all the many cultural groups in our community.

Past and Current Projects:

The Surrey Seniors Planning Table has worked with grants from United Way, the Union of BC Municipalities and the federal governments New Horizons for Seniors to develop:

1. The Seniors Bazaar.

2. The Seniors Intercultural Showcase (which has been extremely popular and is now in its fifth year).

3. Generations, the Surrey Intergenerational Theatre Group. 

4 The Seniors Connection Portal website and newsletter.

5. With the Semiahmoo Peninsula Seniors Planning Table, an extensive study of seniors transportation, with community dialogues, surveys and a hot line.  This work contributed to a report to the Seniors Healthy Living Secretariat, helped spur on a report about alternative transportation services for seniors, and paved the way for a provincial strategy for alternative transportation for seniors. 

6. An “Age-Friendly Community” concept presented to Surrey Council.

7. The Surrey yellow directory cards for seniors, which are available at senior's centres and libraries throughout Surrey. 

 Please contact Judith McBride at if you are interested in joining the Seniors’ Planning Table and participating in the active life of seniors of all backgrounds in Surrey.



Hello, friends, and welcome to the Surrey Seniors Connection Portal. In this newsletter you will find, gathered together in one spot (and in 9 languages) everything important that is happening for Seniors in Surrey for the next three months. Whether you are reading this on paper or on line, you are getting the same information.


As the website grows, we will be adding permanent links to all the services available as well, such as medical and recreation facilities, community programs, and organizations for seniors.


We are sponsored by the Surrey Seniors Community Planning Table (which always welcomes new members) and funded by a New Horizons grant from the Government of Canada. The United Way and DIVERSEcity also provide us with assistance, as you can see from the logos below.

We would like to thank our sponsors, as well as the language groups who have given us their schedules and our Contributing Editors who have done so much to make this project a reality.


The "For Rent" has been Rented - Sorry

Mohammed Rafiq
Gordon A. Long

Conributing Editors

Cantonese - Geoffrey Young
French - Marie-Jose Patterson
Hindi - Rajeev Vishwakarma
Korean - Myung Lee
Punjabi Archna Sharma
Urdu - M Rafiq
Vietnamese - Kim Be Howard
Spanish - Lidia Lee 

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