As the team at Carefor continues to adapt to ongoing changes with COVID-19, volunteers have stepped up, continuing to have a commanding presence in the lives of clients from afar.
Normally, Carmen is the Coordinator of Palliative Services in Eastern Counties and runs a Palliative Day Program out of Hawkesbury. The program offers a friendly environment that gives clients an opportunity to share with others going through similar life experiences. “They get so much enjoyment out of it. It’s a day away from worrying about medical stuff going on in their lives.”
However, when Carefor shifted operations in mid-March to meet COVID-19 changes, Carmen and her team saw the opportunity to continue to connect with clients while still meeting mandated guidelines. It was at this point her team of volunteers started contacting clients over the phone and by email to prevent them feeling isolated. “Many clients are of a certain age, living alone. We’ve had a couple cases where there were some serious things going on and the client needed support.” The team formed a communication triangle, connecting Carmen with her volunteers who reach out to clients. The volunteers then communicate once more with Carmen in case there are any immediate supports required.
Carmen is proud of her volunteers and the positive impact they continue to make within rural communities. “They are always flexible and adaptable. They want to help. I am very proud of my volunteers. They have done such a great job since they’ve been off, making lots of calls and letting me know if something is off. There’s good communication between us all.”
“Things appear much greyer, but there’s a lot of light at the end of the tunnel. They’re supported and they know people care – That brings a lot of light into their life.”
Although many of us are experiencing new realities, Carmen and her teams outlook is only positive and encouraging. With the team ready and available over phone, Carmen shared “The portals of communication are open, and as time moves on, we’re available and flexible.”