The Line of Life Association of the Yukon is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. The society was initiated by a handful of retirees, all volunteers, who recognized the need to establish a viable service to provide a medical alarm or personal response system for the people of the Yukon.
After developing a constitution, incorporating and training volunteers, our first clients had their machines installed in 1991 in Whitehorse. Monitoring was performed by the Whitehorse ambulance station for the first 10 years. The Telephone Pioneers installed machines after the trained volunteers were unable to continue. The Pioneers volunteered from 1994 to just a few years ago when our last volunteer, Val Boorse, had to retire.
Lake Laberge Lions and the Rubber Duck Race proceeds helped to keep us afloat in the early days. The broader community was very supportive of our efforts.
In 2000, after approaching the Yukon government for financial support, the non-profit society received ongoing commitments of funds to help subsidize the cost to clients. In 2001, after difficult deliberations, the society transferred the central monitoring to Lifeline Canada in Ontario (now Philips Lifeline) and gave up the local ambulance station’s monitoring. This has proven to be an extremely successful move and serves our clients well. Because of this change, it became possible to expand into the communities and offer services around the territory. We have had machines in almost every community in the Yukon.
Technology is always improving and through the newer services that we are providing, seniors, elders and those at risk are increasingly able to remain in their own homes and communities in order to age in place. Help is available seven days a week, 24 hours a day. There are more new technologies on the horizon, some of which we will undoubtedly incorporate into our programs.
Our thanks to all who have helped the society grow over the last 25 years: our volunteers, our funders, the Yukon government, the responders who help our clients, our clients, our board members and administrators and our accountant, Collin Young, who freely offers his services to our society. Thanks to all the many others, who live throughout our Yukon communities, who have contributed in one way or another to the caring and safety of family, friends and neighbours.
You are making a huge difference to those you care about. Thank you.
Truska Gorrell Chairperson,
Line of Life (Lifeline) of the Yukon