Bid on items now! All proceeds are being donated to Caring Circle, thank you KKN!
This article comes to follow-up Caring Circle’s article in the June Bulletin. You may already know about some of our more visible activities like the Driver’s Program and our partnership in the Lunch Program. We hope that you will watch for the launch of our Befriending Program this fall. Caring Circle was founded to help people navigate the health care system. Often this work is not visible except to those individuals and families whose lives are affected. The following stories may help you to understand some of the positive impacts our work has in people’s lives.
➢ One young woman in her early 20’s, who has had difficulty with ADHD, was becoming increasingly distressed around her inability to find meaningful work off the island. Caring Circle did some research and found an organization in North Vancouver that meets with people with disabilities. They did an assessment of this young woman’s skills and interests and matched her with a job in the creative arts. She now has the first secure job she’s had in many years and she is delighted. Needless to say, so are her parents.
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We were told recently that although Bowen Islanders are concerned about health and the provision of health care on the island, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they know anything about the work of Caring Circle. One suggestion to our board, by a local councilor was to make sure Islanders know more about the work we do.
We always feel that we’re talking to our Bowen Community on a regular basis: on the Forum, on Facebook, in the Undercurrent and on our website.
When you’re living and breathing your work, you sometimes assume others are also paying attention. From our viewpoint, there are many Islanders who are having trouble coordinating the health services they need. Caring Circle is reaching out to them in as many ways as we can, providing support. It’s rewarding work and we are told, at least weekly “I can’t thank you enough. This information has made all the difference.” or “thank goodness you’re here to help”.
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The Community Lunches are indeed going ahead in September – we’ve just been advised that the Legion is now available for the month of September, so our team kicked into high gear and is raring to go!
Just drop into the Legion on Tuesday the 13th and 27th this month from 11:30 – 1:00 pm. $5.00 for organic borscht and seafood chowder soup (on the 13th), artisan breads, dessert, tea & coffee and the company of friends! Transportation is available just call Caring Circle at 9100. The Community Lunch program is a partnership between SKY, Caring Circle Health Resource Centre, The Little Red Church on Bowen Island, Bowen Island Legion, Snug Cove House Bowen and Bowen Island Community Recreation (BICR) – see you there!
Free Hearing Screening Test or a free clean and check of your hearing aids.
NextGen Hearing will hold a clinic at Collins Hall this Wednesday August, 31 from 10:45 to 3:30. They will once again be offering free Hearing Tests and introducing a free Hearing Aid Clean and Check Clinic.
Hearing aids should be checked at least four times a year, to help prolong the life of the hearing aids, and to ensure that they are working optimally.
To make an appointment for either a Hearing Screening Test, or for the Clean and Check Clinic, please call Lori or Vivien at NextGen Hearing, West Vancouver, 604-281-3691
African peanut chicken and Summer vegetable and barley are on the menu!
They will be served at Collins Hall for the month of August. Just drop in on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month from 11:30 – 1:00 pm. $5.00 for gourmet soup, artisan breads, dessert, tea & coffee and the company of friends! Transportation is available just call Caring Circle at 9100. The Community Lunch program is a partnership between SKY, Caring Circle Health Resource Centre, The Little Red Church on Bowen Island, Bowen Island Legion, Snug Cove House Bowen and Bowen Island Community Recreation (BICR) – see you there!
Sally Fitz-Gibbon’s dream for Islanders with disabilities to be able to enjoy Bowen’s trails has come to fruition.
An all-terrain Mountain Trike, designed for people with mobility issues, rolled into the Bowen Island library last month. It was around this time last year, while Fitz-Gibbon was volunteering at the library, that she met a couple that wanted to enjoy a summer stroll in the local trails.
Fitz-Gibbon took one look at the man’s “flimsy” wheelchair and her heart sank. She just knew the couple wouldn’t be able to explore very far. “They wanted to go up Dorman Point and I talked them out of it because it was not accessible at all for them,” said Fitz-Gibbon.
She then tried to figure somewhere else scenic on Bowen for the couple to go, a path the wheelchair could handle, but she came up short. The couple left the library feeling dejected.
“And I think they were crying. I was almost crying. I was so upset about this couple that couldn’t really do anything on Bowen,” said Fitz-Gibbon.
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Many of you will remember Sally Fitz-Gibbon’s great idea, and her successful application to the Bowen Island Community Foundation for a grant enabling the Bowen Island Library Foundation to buy a Push Mountain Trike.
Just recently, the eagerly-anticipated mountain trike arrived on the Island! The trike will enable people with mobility issues to experience our beautiful trails. It will be available to Bowen Island residents to borrow from the Library for the day in the same way they borrow items for the Med Shed (however, in this case, with a credit card deposit). The Library will also assume responsibility for maintaining and storing the bike, and will insure it as part of their insurance policy through the Municipality.
Most people are referred to me because they are in distress. However, the majority, especially older folk, also have physical problems which are treated by their family physicians. It is easy to overlook the fact that psychiatric problems characterized by depression, distress, anxiety and so forth, are more often than not accompanied by physical ailments as well. After all, the brain does not function separately from the body and the society that contains it! It may surprise you to learn that many of my patients who are seen for “psychiatric problems” have social issues, care issues and even problems like wound care which have to be managed and coordinated.
It is overwhelming for the family physicians and even more so for myself, working as a solo psychiatrist, to manage such complicating factors. Enter the Caring Circle! The Caring Circle has supported over one thousand people in accessing health care on Bowen Island in the last three years of operations. As well, they have created a driver program, a lunch program, a mental health program, health education workshops and a “conscious aging” series. They are recognized as making a significant difference in improving access to health services on Bowen and increasing the confidence of Islanders to get the health care they need. It is a great relief to me to be able to pick up the phone, speak to their Director of Programs and get quick advice regarding particular services such as home health, drivers, referral to hospital and follow-up after hospital discharge and even issues like on-going home care and other medical support services so diligently carried out by a nurse with expertise in navigating the health system.
It doesn’t matter how many services we have and how many competent people we have if the patient cannot coordinate the care, and I daresay that without the Caring Circle as the fundamental anchor of information, that would in most cases be impossible. Hats off to Colleen O’Neil and the whole Caring Circle team for their diligent work! I also wish to acknowledge and express my thanks to our nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, pharmacists, home care workers as well as our financial supporters for their so necessary involvement. In reality, psychiatric care is comprehensive and multifactorial and without all this help, in effect a team, my work would be impossible and patients would suffer more. We may say that it takes a village, not just one man, to deliver proper psychiatric care to members of the community!
Dr. Stephen Kiraly
Dr. Stephen Kiraly MD, FRCPC is a Director on the Board of the Caring Circle Health & Wellness Society. Clinical Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Kiraly works with the Department of Psychiatry, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia. He’s the founding author of “The Healthy Brain Program” and the book “Your Healthy Brain” written and produced on Bowen Island.
His special interests include psychoneuroendocrinology – how stress, brain cycles and hormones affect health and disease and Community and Preventive Medicine (wellness of the community).