Volunteer Kootenays Update

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NEW PROGRAM:  Senior Friendly Check In Service began at the end of September 2013

The Senior Friendly Check In Service volunteers provide meaningful one-on-one telephone relationships with seniors at risk of becoming socially isolated.  Volunteers assist seniors in maintaining self-sufficiency and independence. Volunteers provide seniors with friendship and support, thereby decreasing the seniors’ isolation.  Volunteers provide an enriching experience for the seniors they support.  Currently this program makes 22 Senior Friendly Check In calls per week.  Feedback from senior clients has been very positive and they have confirmed these calls have a substantial impact in their day to day lives.

Senior Friendly Visitor Program

This program is designed to provide services to seniors who are socially isolated, live at home and require assistance to continue independent living.  These seniors are at risk of self neglect due to lack of family and social supports and may be at risk of physical, emotional, psychological or financial abuse by others.  They are physically frail and are reluctant to or not capable of referring themselves for assistance.

The Senior Friendly Visitor Program has grown substantially over the past year.  There are currently 8 visits scheduled at the current time, with 4 clients awaiting a volunteer match.

We have recently expanded this program to Fernie, BC.  A volunteer training session occurred in January 2014 with 9 new volunteers.  Marketing for clients for this area is now underway.

Volunteer Assisted Shopping Program

This program remains at capacity.  There are 10 clients and 13 volunteers.

This program runs every Friday.   The community HandyDart Bus picks up the senior client at their homes, brings them to the grocery store where volunteers meet and accompany them shopping.  A brief social gathering takes place after each shopping day.

Crisis Line

The Interior crisis line is a valuable volunteer program operated in partnership with CMHA-Kootenays.  The Interior crisis line offers 24/7 crisis intervention support to the interior of BC.  The Interior Crisis Line is funded by The Interior Health Authority and the Cranbrook Crisis line receives approximately 260 calls per month.  Volunteers contribute between 4,000 -6,000 hours per year to this 24/7 crisis intervention program.

The Interior Crisis line provides telephone crisis intervention services.  These services are available to people in crisis who are depressed or who are in emotional need.  The Interior crisis line encourages an approach to telephone crisis intervention that communicates support and the exploration of meaningful options through the use of calm, non-judgmental conversations.  Volunteer for the Interior Crisis line in the Cranbrook Region have been sustained and the number continues to increase.  Long term recruitment of new volunteers, who are able to commit to the delivery of this comprehensive service, responding to callers with complex issues, is a key challenge for the organization.

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