If you stop by the Mission Seniors Activity Centre on a Tuesday, it’s likely you’ll run into Jackie Phare.
The Mission resident is usually there in the morning, talking with friends, enjoying a healthy snack and getting her blood pressure checked.
While she will deny it, Phare is the unofficial organizer of the Seniors Health Wellness program that runs every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon.
“I don’t have an official title. I’m just the one who instigated the program so I feel responsible,” she said with a laugh. But everyone attending the weekly event says Phare is the one to talk to, to get information.
Phare said she used to attend a health and wellness program when she was living in Abbotsford, so when she came to Mission, she decided to start a new one.
“We come, we weigh ourselves in once a week and we get our blood pressure checked,” she explained.
They also do some exercises as well, but not every week.
More importantly, those who attend get the opportunity to discuss health concerns.
“We talk about health issues, whatever the group wants. And we have guest speakers come in to talk to us.”
Guests from Fraser Health and local pharmacies are often invited to speak abut different subjects and several volunteers, usually retired nurses or others with health industry backgrounds, help with the blood pressure tests and weigh ins.
According to Phare, some people come every week, while others drop in on a random basis. A core group of 10-12 people attend every week.
“Not everybody stays for the discussions. Some just come to get their blood pressure checked and then leave.”
The program has been going on for more than five years and shows no signs of slowing down.
“We try and keep everyone healthy and happy and stay motivated.
Stella Fisk is relatively new to Mission and has been attending the session since her arrival.
She said she comes because it is a chance to be with people and socialize.
“It’s very comforting and people are not high society here. They don’t perform that way. We are all on the same level. That makes it very comforting. They are a good group,” said Fisk.
The Seniors Health Wellness program runs every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Mission Seniors Activity Centre (33100 10th Ave.).
Anyone is welcome to stop by and take part in the health-related discussions.