The Rotary Club of Medicine Hat visited the Unison for Generations 50+ Veiner Center on Monday 23 January 2023.
The Veiner Centre is located on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, sharing the geographical area with many peace-loving deer, who entertain and delight those who go to the Veiner Centre.
A short history:
The Veiner Centre was built in 1975 on land donated by Mayor Harry Veiner. It was a multi-purpose social service and cultural drop-in and information facility, available to all residents more than 50 years of age.
Fast forward
The City of Medicine Hat believed that a non-profit organization would have more flexibility in operating the Centre, so requested proposals.
Kerby Centre was successful in getting the contract in 2021 – the Kirby Centre in Calgary having been operating for 50 years.
Expansion followed
Unison, Generations 50+ is an evolution of both Calgary and Medicine Hat programs. It is the ‘mother body’ under which the Calgary and Medicine Hat programs now operate.
The Unison website will soon be available:
Staff and volunteers
We experienced the staff at the Veiner Centre (about 15, including kitchen staff) as welcoming, friendly, knowledgeable, and so enthusiastic about what they do!
There are many volunteers, who help in a variety of ways, some of whom include members of our Rotary Club. And the Centre is always looking for additional volunteers!
What does Veiner Centre aim to do?
Unison at Veiner Centre wants to support the well-being of Medicine Hat seniors by serving as a central hub for connection, community programs and services, and essential healthy aging information.
How much does membership cost?
Membership options range from $25 (6-months general) to $200 (FitPlus one year).
There is a wide range of activities, something for everyone. A monthly program is put together, setting out activities at both the Veiner Centre and Strathcona Centre.
Twenty-five options from which to choose, ranging from Chess, to darts, to scrabble, to billiards, to any number of card games, to bingo and an art studio – all designed to help older people stay mentally and physically active.
Take your pick from pickleball, table tennis, yoga, line dancing, walking… and more!
These include an income tax clinic, Medicine Hat Family Services, community computers and a lending library.
Meals-on-wheels operates from the Veiner Centre. It is a FCSS subsidized program, for those who are unable to prepare or obtain a meal for themselves. It is based on need, not income.
The Bistro is open daily, with a small breakfast fare, lunch specials and supper on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Sadly, elder abuse is a reality in Medicine Hat. A case manager supports those who have experienced or are at risk of elder abuse.
Mental health is vital to physical health and a healthy mind. One can join a singer and songwriter circle; scrapbook fanatics; a book club; live bands; a Parkinson’s Support Group; and Alzheimer’s Support Group.
Tune in, and take in Tech support, monthly movies, pet therapy, rock painting and more!
… there’s Wellness Services, Food Security Services, and Transportation Services.
We left the Veiner Centre feeling informed and inspired.  Some Rotarians are already members and volunteers. An additional number took the plunge and applied to become members before leaving!
If you are 50+, do consider joining and volunteering - the opportunities for enrichment are endless.
This is a Medicine Hat resource with very capable, open-minded leadership, that all living in this wonderful city of ours, need to support, utilize, and appreciate!