October is Community Support Month and Community Care Durham (CCD) acknowledges its accomplishments in playing a crucial role in keeping people living independently with quality of life in their homes and in their community.
For more than 40 years, through a broad range of services, Community Care Durham has been “Supporting People, Strengthening Community”.
Caregivers like Marie, are testaments to the supports so desperately needed in our community.
Marie Nelson is a caregiver. The word, or responsibility as it is to those who bear it, may seem straightforward but Marie, and others like her who have tirelessly supported loved ones in their final years, know that caregiving is far from simple. It is consuming, demanding, and sometimes devastating.
Marie first sought out the adult day program (ADP) for respite from the strain of attending to someone with a fading memory and showing signs of dementia. However, her father was reluctant to receive assistance and at first refused the Meals on Wheels service.
Thankfully, Marie was able to open him up to the prospect – it was not long before her father enjoyed seeing people come to the door with a smile. He soon became a client of the ADP and also enjoyed Luncheon Out, where the socialization especially made a resounding impact.
“As much as you can care for someone physically, keep them clean, and make sure they have meals, there is more to it,” says Marie of the emotional aspects of caregiving.
The adult day program offered the chance for her father to get out into the community and do something with his peer group.
Marie reflects happily on her father’s enjoyment of the ADP and the people it introduced him to.
“I only wish that I signed him up sooner,” she remarks.
Marie cites the peace of mind the program provided as her favourite part. The program provided her with respite from what was an arduous time, and she knew that she could depend on Community Care Durham to be there for her and her parents.
Her advice for those thinking of seeking assistance from Community Care Durham?
“Don’t consider it, just do it… you have no idea the good it does in the community.”
High quality compassionate care, as described by Marie, is provided by Community Care Durham to more than 12,000 clients in Durham Region. In celebrating Community Support Month, we acknowledge and recognize the support, dedication and commitment of our staff, students and volunteers. Through their contributions, Community Care Durham is able to deliver exceptional services and programming. These include:
Meals on Wheels – Last year, volunteers delivered 89,554 hot and frozen nutritious meals to clients in their homes. At the same time while making their deliveries, volunteers also have a few minutes for a friendly chat and security check. Meals on Wheels Week recently ran from Sept. 30 to Oct. 4.
Supportive Housing & Assisted Living Services – Personal support workers (PSWs) fulfilled 96,379 hours of care to 428 high-risk seniors. PSWs provide client needs such as personal care, routine activities of daily living, grocery shopping, meal preparation and light housekeeping. Supportive Housing and Assisted Living Day was Oct. 4.
In-Home Respite Program – PSWs provided more than 35,613 hours of support to 1,233 clients. This service offers caregivers that much needed break from taking care of their loved ones. Respite Services Day was recognized on Oct. 7.
Friendly Visiting and Telephone Reassurance – In providing companionship or a security check on a weekly basis, 47,856 visits (face-to-face visits and reassurance calls) were provided to 1,224 clients. Offering a much needed social connection, clients who are isolated benefit from these interactive services. Friendly Visiting & Telephone Reassurance Day was on Oct. 11.
Home Help & Home Maintenance – Last year, these brokered services provided light housekeeping and yard maintenance to more than 880 clients in keeping their homes clean and tidy inside and out. Home Help & Home Maintenance Day is Oct. 18.
Adult Day Program – Community Care Durham offers four adult day program locations across Durham Region in Bowmanville, Pickering, Uxbridge and Whitby. Operating Monday to Friday, 313 clients received approximately 13,726 days of service at these four sites. Adult Day Program Week runs from Oct. 14 to Oct. 18.
Transportation – Volunteers drive clients primarily to medical appointments. An overwhelming 52,669 drives were provided to 3,137 clients. Transportation Services Day is on Oct. 21.
As Community Care Durham continues to grow and evolve, the vision remains the same in providing communities where people are enabled to maximize their independence and thrive where they choose to live. Visit communitycaredurham.on.ca for more information about services or to learn more about volunteering.