When we use our strengths to promote an inclusive, vibrant, innovative, and connected community, we help our community grow!
Regardless of how you give back, you are a key part of our rich and caring community fabric. We aim to continue using our community pride to support, enrich and enhance the lives of those around us.
Donna Martin, Program Coordinator for Distress Line and Tel-Check, explains her role at the Family Counselling Centre seated in her office.
“The Tel-Check program is a service that’s run by volunteers. It reaches out to seniors and people with disabilities who live alone and are usually pretty socially isolated. Our goal is to reduce that sense of isolation and by doing that we know that it also can mitigate health issues, both emotional and physical.”
The Family Counselling Centre entrance is shown, with signage directing clients to their office where Donna and Sharon Berg, Tel-Check development staff member, discuss how to recruit more volunteers so that can the Tel-Check Program can support more clients.
“Family Counseling Centre is its own Community that Cares. We run about 20 different programs and many of our workers here will, if they identify that one of their clients is struggling in isolation, they will refer to the Tel-Check Program. Or if they have a client who is a caregiver to an elderly or aging parent, then they’ll again refer to the Tel-Check Program. So we had a 95 year old Tel-Check client who was with us for 12 years because one afternoon she said to me if it wasn’t for you, your volunteers and my cats, I would take all my pills at the same time and just finish my life. So I believe that Tel-Check helped her to stave off that sense of social isolation.”
A volunteer is shown making calls to her clients that are socially isolated.
“Piece that keeps me coming back year after year, is working with the volunteers, and seeing the difference that they can make with the lives in our own community. Volunteers come to us from all walks of life. Many of them have big stories and could potentially be clients or callers of ours. But what they’ve done is they’ve worked through their life challenges and come out the other end. And then we also have volunteers who are young and are wanting to just start out and become that kind of helper in the community.”
Sharon puts up a Volunteers Wanted poster on bulletin board in the community to recruit more volunteers.
“Our biggest challenge right now is getting volunteers to do the work. But now with this new funding what we’re able to do is recruit volunteers who only want to do the Tel-Check Program. “
A community park sign is shown, further promoting Tel-Check’s call for volunteers.
“Who only want to reach out to seniors, and we’re actually hoping that we’ll get seniors from our community to come forward to volunteer, and you know, look at that whole seniors helping seniors opportunity. But we are desperately needing volunteers to be able to grow this program.”
Laura Beauvais, Day Program Coordinator, explains her role at the County of Lambton Adult Day Program seated in her office.
Laura states, “Our County of Lambton operates two adult day programs. One is in Sarnia, and one is in Petrolia.”
Laura greets a participant upon arrival at the Adult Day Program.
“The purpose of our day programs is for people in the community that have cognitive impairment, development disabilities or at risk social isolation.”
A group of participants talk together over a cup of tea while a game of balloon badminton occurs among another group of participants. Laura continues to help the man to join his friends at the Program.
“The part of my job that I love the most is being a smiling face when my participants come in the door, and they know my name, they know who I am, and they know that they can come to me, and trust me and they know that if they need assistance, they can come to me at any time. So a participant in Sarnia, they’ve been coming to the program for just over a year and a half now, and when he started coming to the program, he was very hesitant, and reluctant to come. His wife was also feeling very guilty for bringing him to our program. Now that he’s been coming to the program regularly, he now looks forward to coming to the day program and on the days that he doesn’t attend, is asking when he gets to come back.”
Participants are shown enjoying playing card games together and celebrating a win. Another group of participants uses the Program’s kitchen to bake muffins for all their friends in the Program, while a fun game of ball toss brings all participants, Laura, and the Program volunteers together.
“And it’s just reinforced to me the importance of bringing your community together and having the support from your community so that they can stay at home longer and age in place, as well as maintaining their independence and their dignity. The whole community is impacted by our day program. Not only are our participants, their family members and caregivers impacted, but we also have students on site to gain knowledge, and assist them in their fields. We also have volunteers that are a huge part of our day program, which is allowing them to give back to their community as well.
Two participants continue to work on baking a fun and yummy snack for their friends in the Program, while the rest of the group enjoys a game of balloon badminton with the Program volunteer.
“I didn’t realize how much our community comes together on a day-to-day basis in assisting others, and I didn’t know that from neighbor to neighbor, that people still wanted to help each other. And that’s become very clear over the last couple of years that I’ve been coordinating the day program. It’s a good feeling. Yeah, it’s a really good feeling.”
Bruce Dinel, Primary Care Paramedic, explains his role with the Lambton EMS Community Paramedicine Program seated in his office.
“The wellness clinics, we go to groups of seniors, where they can come in and talk to us and just have a quick conversation about their general health. If they have any questions, that kind of thing. We also check their vital signs, and just you know see how they’re doing in general. It’s free, it’s very laid back. It’s almost like a social event to some people. We try to focus on locations that don’t have your brick and mortar type of health clinics.”
Bruce packs up his equipment and gear to drive out to a community Wellness Clinic. The Lambtonian Apartments for Seniors is one location that these community Wellness Clinics are offered.
“So smaller communities like Mooretown, Inwood, Thedford. You know they don’t have that place to go to so that we go to them and they can just get a quick and easy rundown of their general health.”
A Primary Care Paramedic provides general health information and resources to support a Wellness Clinic client.
“For example, in Mooretown there is aqua fitness class that we go to them and see them after their fitness class so that they’re already in a group, they’re already in one place. So we set up shop there and do our thing. Another reason why they may want to attend a wellness clinic, is because they may have some restrictions as far as like mobility or that kind of thing, you know social isolation, that kind of stuff.”
The paramedic performs a health check on a senior at this community Wellness Clinic by checking her vital signs, and engages in a discussion with the senior while consulting on her health and wellness questions.
“Where we can go to them as opposed to them having to try figure out a way to get to their healthcare provider. You know anxiety is a huge issue surrounding health, so when your health isn’t the best or if you have things that you’re worried about it can play largely in your mind. So I think just having us there, them knowing that they can come and see us and talk to us is definitely making a big difference in their lives. With this grant, we’re able to expand and go into the smaller communities, where we can see several people in one location and I think it you know contributes to the Community that Cares framework with the idea that we’re showing the members of the community that we are there. We care about them and we want to see other people in the community doing the same.”