SENIORS’ HEALTH: Volunteer drivers will help get you home safe

Volunteers will drive seniors home, help them in the house and make sure they are settled in and safe.

  • Jul. 5, 2016 1:00 p.m.

The Seniors Health Network poses a monthly hypothetical health care question to a healthcare professional.

Kathy McIntyre, project manager for the South Surrey White Rock Seniors Health Network was asked the following:

“The last time I was in the hospital I was discharged and had to go home alone in a taxi. I was very nervous and uncomfortable because my condo had been empty for 10 days. I didn’t have any groceries in the house and of course, I live alone. I am 86 years old and I use a walker so it was difficult for me to get around and get settled in, plus it is very lonely when your family is far away. None of my friends drive anymore. Are there any services available in the community to assist?”

The Seniors Health Network has led the development of a community program for exactly this kind of situation.

Peace Arch Hospital, Seniors Come Share and Sources created a partnership and developed and implemented the Volunteer Assisted Discharge program currently running at Peace Arch Hospital.

Two volunteers are in the hospital Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., to assist seniors who are being discharged home.

These volunteers will drive seniors home, help them in the house and make sure they are settled in and safe.

Additionally, Sources has generously offered the services of its food bank, and if the senior doesn’t have groceries at home, they can stop on the way and pick up a ‘care package’ from the food bank that will last a few days. The volunteers will also stop at the Red Cross loan cupboard, if the senior needs to borrow any equipment.

It would be a perfect service for you to utilize, and it also works well for seniors whose family are at work, are busy with their own families or for some other reason are unable to help their family member go home safely.

The catchment area for the program is east to 192 Street and north to 40 Avenue, but the volunteers do try to be flexible when they’re able.

Volunteers do not provide care and are really to be seen as a substitute family or friend who offers a ride home and companionship. We encourage the volunteers to stay and have a cup of tea or make one for the senior, if they are able.

All seniors taken home by a volunteer get a small binder of community resource information and a referral to either the White Rock or Surrey fire department, if the patient doesn’t have a smoke detector. The fire service will make a visit and install a smoke detector at no charge and will do a brief safety inspection of the senior’s home.

Each senior also gets a referral to Seniors Come Share, so they can be added to the ‘telephone tree’ and get a weekly check-in call from a volunteer. They each get a ‘better at home’ referral, so their need for home support can be assessed. Volunteers are carefully selected for this program and receive a thorough orientation, as well as continuing education throughout their time with the program.

Volunteers are chosen for their caring and compassionate behaviours, and we are very proud of the team of volunteers we currently have. They all love doing this work and attest to the importance of companionship for seniors going home from hospital alone.

This service is provided at no cost to seniors, and the costs of developing and running the program have been graciously covered by John Block and his family’s Foundation.

Without this support the program would not have been possible.

If you are interested in being a volunteer with this exciting new program, please call Carrie at Sources 604-542-5358.

The South Surrey White Rock Seniors Health Network is a coalition of seniors service providers working under the auspices of the Mayor of White Rock’s office. For information on community resources, visit sswr.fetchbc.ca. If you have a question for publication, please email seniorshealthnetworksswr@gmail.com

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A memorial to Hudson Brooks outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment. (File photo)
Officer who fatally shot Hudson Brooks recounts ‘absolutely terrifying’ incident

Const. Elizabeth Cucheran testified at coroner’s inquest Tuesday morning

Photo posted to facebook.com/HoratioAlgerCA.
Eight Surrey students among 170 Horatio Alger scholarship winners in Canada

‘Need-based scholarships’ given to high school students

File photo
Surrey council members give themselves a raise in secret meeting

A redacted report was subsequently posted to the city’s website

Students with Seaquam Secondary’s Delta Youth Advisory Council are collecting non-perishable food donations Feb. 1 to March 5 to help feed local families in need over spring break. (Delta School District/submitted photo)
Seaquam Secondary food drive to help feed 15 North Delta families

Donations can be dropped week days between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. until Monday, March 8

Jennifer Brooks with a stone tablet that adorns the memorial to her son Hudson, outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment parkade where he was fatally shot by police in July 2015. (File photo)
Coroner’s inquest underway to examine Hudson Brooks’ 2015 police-shooting death

Witness recalls ‘feeling scared’ for South Surrey man in moments before RCMP fired fatal shots

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Most Read