Friday, January 4, 2019

Home and Community Support Services



Home and Community Support Services

Yesterday I described medical homecare system in Ontario.  The other side of community support for folks like myself is a group of services that you have to pay for.  These are not medical services, but they certainly make life easier.  Home and Community Support Services of Grey and Bruce is a local organization administered by a board of 12 volunteers.  The actual work gets done by a team of over 100 staff and over 1000 volunteers.

There are 7 programs offered to local citizens, and you do not have to have a disability to qualify for these, although the elderly participate more than others.

Movin’GB Transportation – volunteer drivers will provide transportation for local errands and appointments, and long-distance driving for medical appointments.  With the major hospitals and most medical specialists located in the larger cities further south, serious illness Grey/Bruce usually means travelling.

Meals on Wheels – a service delivering hot lunches or frozen meals.  This appeals especially to those aging individuals who require assistance providing themselves with nutritious meals.  The volunteer who delivers the meals often stays for a visit, sometimes the only social contact an elderly person has during the week.

Day Away – a program that brings people together for simple social activities and meals.  For both people living alone and for caregivers, this can be a big benefit.

Overnight Relief – for people suffering cognitive impairment, a weekend at a supervised location.  This probably helps the caregiver more than the patient!

Friendly Visiting – volunteers visit socially isolated or disabled elderly for friendly conversation.

Housekeeping – trained staff will do basic cleaning or assist with grocery shopping and meal preparation.  This is one of the services we find most helpful (I used to do the vacuuming and cleaned the washrooms).

Dining Club – a chance for a good meal and an hour of socializing, but only available in two locations, necessitating transportation.

All of these services strike me as a hidden foundation of our rural communities, all these support activities going on and you’re probably unaware of them, or of who in your neighbourhood depends on these.  Most involve a fee, but it’s pretty reasonable in our experience.  When you put these together with the medical homecare programs I described yesterday, it’s a pretty remarkable system of supports for those who need it.

Tomorrow, the entrapped caregiver.

14 comments:

  1. All good services.
    I delivered Meals on Wheels for 15 years. I got just as much out of it as the people I brought the meals to, maybe more.

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  2. I hate driving so Meals on Wheels would be something I only wish I had the ability to do. These are wonderful services and you are so fortunate to live in such a good community.

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  3. It's better for all concerned to have the load spread around. the caregiver in particular needs a break.

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  4. It's wonderful that all these services exist though I know from experience that they don't work so well for people with dementia. My mother really didn't like all these strangers coming into her house. Luckily she lived in a community where several friends and neighbours helped out.

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  5. Aware of maybe two or three of these services I was certainly not aware of the others. It is always encouraging to see how ordinary people can come together with a common cause and do so much good for other less fortunate people. I'm sure your informative post brought awareness to readers of those services. Good stuff.

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  6. It's wonderful to have so many different organizations help those less fortunate. We have lots of those (and similar ones) here in Bellingham. When I first moved here, I tried to decide which one to volunteer for, and I finally decided to get training to help people write their Advance Directive for Health Care. :-)

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  7. These are wonderful services. Our local agency, here in Perth, and Lanark County have them. It's part of Community Care Access Centres. (CCAC) My hubby dispatches Meals on Wheels. I do both respite care and hospice care visits. I visit a client twice a week to allow her caregiver to do groceries, or other activities. (She bowls weekly!)
    The CCAC charge nurse should be telling clients about these services. Also, Ontario 211, or ontario211.ca
    Do you get foot care through them, as well? My client does.

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  8. All good services to have, but is the cost deductible?
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

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  9. I was a volunteer for meals on wheels in Missouri when I was a stay at home Mom. Our son helped with the deliveries. He was 3 and 4 years old when we did this. The elderly LOVED seeing a small child. Very rewarding thing to do.

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  10. I read this last night but never commented...we have Meals on Wheels, or did. Not sure our little town has it any more. And there is a van that comes to our small town one day a week and will pick people up and deliver them to their destinations. And pick them up later. When I had my accident last spring, I had to use the visiting nurses...that included a nurse twice a week, more if I needed...and a physical therapist came just a day or two after I got home...(I was home the next day after surgery) She accessed the situation, and we both decided there was nothing to be done at that time. But later came and started the process of getting me back on my feet.

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  11. Good to know you have these options. You may want to consider a robot vacuum cleaner too.

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