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Seniors Come Share Society receives $32,112 grant to support their Caring for the Caregiver program.

We have presented a $32,112 Emergency Community Support Fund grant to Seniors Come Share Society to support their “Caring for the Caregiver” program. This program assists caregivers and their families by addressing their emotional and physical needs. The program also enhances the health and wellness of caregivers and loved ones; helping create a healthier community, and supporting the health authority by keeping people safe and well in their homes, freeing up acute care beds.

Linda Annis, Louise Tremblay, Christine Buttkus, Richard Dilworth (Left to Right)

For over 45 years, Seniors Come Share Society has dedicated itself to providing older adults and their families with the services, programs, and resources necessary to remain educated, engaged and most importantly empowered members of our community. The Seniors Come Share society operates out of three areas South Surrey, Newton and Guilford. They run three services Day Programs for older adults, Caregiver and Family services, and Community services. They also have 25 additional community programs with about 20 staff and more than 180 volunteers who bring not only their skills but also their hearts to their roles. Before the pandemic, the daytime services would help the caregivers by providing them some personal time for rest and respite. Additionally, the program coordinators and participants would all sit together to form a support group. The program also included one on one family meetings with the caregivers and their families.

Louise Tremblay

“Our aim at Seniors Come Share is to enable seniors to live in dignity and to be respected and valued in the community,” said Louise Tremblay., Executive Director, Seniors Come Share Society. “It is really important to us as an organization as well. If you have a healthy community everyone does so much better and for anyone being isolated has been a difficult task. We are doing our best to keep people connected through our virtual programming that we were able to do during COVID-19.”

Since the pandemic, Senior Come Share has reported that the number of calls received from caregivers in distress has tripled. Caregivers are no longer getting respite from their role as a provider. Taking care of their loved one 24/7 is taking a heavy toll on many. Caregivers are burnt out on a mass scale, which could have a huge impact on the healthcare system if this issue is not addressed.

Richard Dilworth

“The organization as a whole made an immediate effort to accommodate the needs as they changed," expressed, Richard Dilworth, Director of Caregiver and Family Services, Seniors Come Share Society. “The Emergency Community Support Fund was integral in reaching caregivers who were maxed out even before the pandemic, now providing 24/7 hours care to their loved ones. We were able to hire trained respite staff that tends to roughly 30 clients providing the caregivers with about 5 hours for rest. We were averaging 50-70 calls per week since the middle of March last year, and these rates have tripled since the start of the pandemic. The calls are coming from local individuals in need of resources and help as they are worried for their loved ones or those who are having difficulty coping with isolation. ”

After receiving the funding, the initial change made by Senior Come Share Society was to assess each individual’s needs and offer services that fit those needs. Clients who were found to be in urgent need of assistance were assessed based on their ability to cope with isolation and loneliness. Senior Come Share Society was able to tend to 20-30 clients per week, especially those in desperate situations awaiting long-term care and assisted living, as those placements have been delayed due to the pandemic. The organization was also able to fund other activities such as developing a care plan with the caregiver that includes goals and action plans, one-on-one counselling service with a registered professional, online video conferencing peer support groups for caregivers, meeting the caregiver in the hospital to help with the Discharge/Care Plan process for their loved one, referral service to connect the caregiver to community support services, and in-home respite provided through a combination of staff and accredited service providers.

This grant is made possible through the Government of Canada's $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund, which saw over $900,000 allocated to SurreyCares in its first round and now, over $575,000 in the second round.

“Access to a range of supports is key to preventing burnout amongst family caregivers. SurreyCares understands the need to make sure that those caring for their family feel supported by their community and connected to other caregivers facing similar challenges. Therefore, we are thankful to be able to assist the Seniors Come Share Society in providing this vital support service to caregivers and their families during the pandemic,” said Christine Buttkus, Executive Director of SurreyCares Community Foundation.

The Emergency Community Support Fund is being delivered through a national partnership with Community Foundations of Canada, United Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross.

Individuals and businesses who wish to support Surrey charities are asked to give to the Surrey Community Relief Fund. In partnership with the Surrey Now-Leader, Surrey Board of Trade and The Saheli Foundation, the goal is to raise $500,000 to support the most vulnerable populations in Surrey.

To learn more about Seniors Come Share Society, visit their website: Seniors Come Share Society



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