Celebrate Seniors with Lori McLeod

Celebrate Seniors with Lori McLeod

Apr 04th, 2015 related to Trust US! Intergenerational Initiative

By Michelle Sandsmark

“If you don’t see past the packaging, you don’t see the true heart inside,” says Lori McLeod, Executive Director of the Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation (GVEF). “I think it is really important for people to look closer and see the real person and not pass judgment based on age.” For the past 14 years, McLeod has worked in the name of improving the health and well-being of seniors across Vancouver Island. McLeod became acutely aware of the issues seniors face through personal experience. One of McLeod’s family members became a victim of financial abuse while living in a seniors' apartment building. McLeod’s passion was awakened and continues to drive her tireless work advocating for seniors and their families with the Eldercare Foundation.

Her charisma and caring nature have helped grow GVEF’s dedicated team of staff, 100 enthusiastic volunteers, and 14 committed board members. The Foundation is a charitable organization devoted to raising funds to enhance the quality-of-life for seniors and those who care for them. The GVEF has trail-blazed many initiatives that support seniors and their caregivers including:

  • In 2006, the Foundation helped fund the development of the Yakimovich Wellness Centre and the Piercy Respite Hotel, two valuable resources in Victoria, BC.
  • In March 2015, the Foundation celebrated the 10th anniversary of Embrace Aging Month, an awareness initiative aimed at connecting people with resources and educational opportunities to help them navigate and embrace the journey of aging.
  • The GVEF’s Look Closer, See Me fundraising campaign has been incredibly successful and the organization has already raised two thirds of its $1 million goal. Almost $700,000 has already been spent on specialized equipment, program and community support to benefit our community’s valued elders.

McLeod is always searching for new and progressive ways to address the needs of seniors and caregivers. She has found incredible value in multi-sectoral collaboration. 

“It is important to leverage what you have by working with like-minded people and partners to actually make your footprint and the result that you leave is just a little bit bigger,” said McLeod.

McLeod’s compassion radiates in every aspect of her work as she continues to support seniors and their families across the Island. 

“I truly value older people and all their experiences and it tends to be that once people get to be a certain age they become invisible,” reflected McLeod, “Instead of them becoming invisible, I think they should be celebrated.”
While McLeod’s team of staff is small, the Foundation has made a lasting impact on the community - thousands of seniors and their families have received support from the GVEF.

Hear Lori speak about the Trust US! Intergenerational Initiative (Project) by clicking the image above. Trust US! is a project that entails a series of dialogues and community projects around key themes that will help to bridge the gap between seniors and youth in the Gorge-Tillicum area of Victoria. More here: bchealthycommunities.ca/trustus

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