| May 04, 2006


Feature Article - May 7, 2006

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Feature Article - May 7, 2006

LOLCS-- Community Support Program

by Cheryl Hartwick

Last week’s article covered our dedicated volunteers because it was National Volunteer week. This week we address the programs. Pam Lemke coordinates Adult Drop-In, Caregiver Support & Counselling, Palliative Care, Education & Training, Friendly Visiting & Telephone Reassurance and Social Recreation. Volunteer Peggy Rahm coordinates the Community Bus and Tuesday night Euchres.

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Adult Drop-In, a huge success, is held every Tuesday at the Lions’ Hall in Northbrook . The success is due, in part, to it being participant driven. They decide what they want and Pam ensures that it happens ( by providing the necessary tools). Volunteers are crucial - planning, preparing, serving meals, setting tables and doing dishes. On average, 50+ people regularly come out to enjoy a great social time. Some of the activities include exercises (led by certified instructors), games, bingo and square dancing. All enjoy visiting or participating in activities, and some like just to sit and read, enjoying the sounds around them. There is no cost for the activities but there is a small fee for lunch.

Our Caregiver Support Program provides counselling to caregivers and/or family members who are providing care to others. A trained counsellor, Pam delivers the counselling portion of the service and trained volunteers offer some of the support services. This program is client driven and targeted to meet the caregiver’s needs.

Coinciding with the Caregiver Support Program is the Palliative/Hospice Program. The volunteers in this program compliment and enhance family and professional care for those persons who choose to die at home. Trained volunteers assist & supplement (not replace) the family. A palliative care volunteer can provide much-needed respite time to the caregiver. Having a volunteer come in may allow the caregiver the opportunity to go shopping, go to an appointment or maybe just have a relaxing bath without worrying. Referrals for these services can come from other service providers such as Community Care Access Centre, Pine Meadow Nursing Home and local area physicians; self-referrals are also welcome.

Pam, a certified adult education teacher, provides education and training by offering specific and general training to our volunteers, community members and other service providers. Education components contain current information on topics that pertain to volunteer positions, family situations, and/or specific disease and illness issues.

Peggy Rahm, a dedicated volunteer, coordinates two other successful parts of the program, the bus trips and weekly euchre games. The bus trips are scheduled at least once a month (sometimes more), traveling to urban centres for shopping. Peggy also organizes special day trips to casinos, plays, flower shows and many other special outings. She also organizes euchre every Tuesday night at the Lions’ Hall in Northbrook . Euchre begins at 7 p.m. and a light lunch is provided by volunteers each week.

If you are interested in any of the programs mentioned, either as a participant or to volunteer your time, please call LOLCS at 613-336-8934. If you would like to use the community bus or get more details about the euchres, please call Peggy at 336-8765.

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