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.
➢ An elderly man was hoping to be discharged home from hospital despite his frailty and lack of family to tend to his care. Some close friends created a team of volunteers to support him and came into Caring Circle to get a sense of what needed to be in place to make this discharge occur comfortably and safely. Caring Circle connected them to a local psychiatrist (who agreed to manage his care on island) as well as to paid companion support people, housecleaners, garden help, medical equipment, home grocery delivery, a private occupational therapist to make the house “walker ready”, and information about setting up an emergency fall button. Caring Circle also guided them to VCH home nursing support and the Geriatric Outreach Team in order to give them professional oversight around this pending discharge. His friends are relieved that he is able to return home and be their neighbor and that they can share the responsibility for looking after him with the network of professionals and care workers on the Island.
➢ A very elderly woman and long time Bowen resident had become increasingly socially isolated. With much encouragement from a relative she finally agreed to attend a Community Lunch. Once there, the Caring Circle Program Director helped others at the luncheon connect with this old friend whom many had not seen for years. Since that first lunch, this woman has continued to attend regularly and she now has a small circle of friends who visit with each other regularly.
➢ A middle-aged man was very emotionally fragile after receiving a new and unusual cancer diagnosis. He came into Caring Circle just wanting to talk. When asked if he wanted to see a professional about his anxiety and depression, he wondered if it was possible to talk to another man who had the same diagnosis and was going through what he was going through. The Caring Circle Program Director called the B.C. Cancer Agencies’ Counselling Department and found a Counsellor whose work focused on this particular kind of cancer. That Counsellor in turn, found a man in Vancouver who had the same diagnosis and could act as a peer support person. These connections supported this man through a long and difficult treatment regimen. He came into Caring Circle many months later to report his progress and to express how critically important it was to connect to psychological support through the BCCA’s Peer Support Program and without Caring Circle direction, he would not have known about this program.
These are just a few of the many ways that Caring Circle has supported Islanders. Since opening our doors three years ago, Caring Circle has had 1063 requests for support in accessing health or social services.
KKN AUCTION in support of Caring Circle: As with every non-profit organization, funding is always a challenge and we are thrilled that the Knick Knack Nook Re-Use- It Society has chosen Caring Circle as the recipient of the proceeds of their large bi-annual auction. We feel truly honoured and want to acknowledge all the KKN volunteers who contribute to this Auction throughout the year.
Please put the Caring Circle KKN Auction date in your calendars now – OCTOBER 15th at Cates Hill Chapel. And if you have any items of value that you no longer want but would be willing to donate to Caring Circle, please drop them off at KKN and tell them you would like them to be put aside for the Fall auction.
Please visit us at Caring Circle anytime Monday, Wednesday or Friday from 10 – 4 p.m. We’re behind the Library in the back room of the Heritage Cottage. Phone 604 947-9100 – website: www.caringcircle.ca