Friday, August 03, 2012
ONE CARE Home and Community Support Services
Enhancing Quality of Life At Home Offered by ONE CARE
More than 5,000 older adults, frail elderly and those with disabilities and chronic illness were assisted to live at home last year by ONE CARE Home and Community Support Services.
ONE CARE provides services in Huron and Perth Counties and area. The annual general meeting, held July 10th at River Gardens Retirement Residence in Stratford, was an opportunity to highlight the difference that services make in helping people to live at home. Programs like In-Home Care supported 1,300 clients through 132,000 hours of care last year. More than 280 people attended Adult Day Programs which provided 12,000 days of care. Services such as Meals on Wheels delivered over 43,000 meals and EasyRide Transportation provided more than 62,000 trips.
“We need to protect our health care system. Keeping people out of hospital is one way, and (home care) services help people to be active and independent,” noted Perth Wellington MPP Randy Pettapiece in speaking at the meeting, adding, “Because of the work of ONE CARE, our community is strengthened.”
ONE CARE Executive Director Kathy Scanlon remarked on the growth and changes to better enable the delivery of services and support the health care sector, “In the changing health care environment, we cannot stand still. We know we have to change and evolve to ensure that people receive the services they need.”
Last year saw growth with expansion of Foot Care Services in Huron and Stratford, offered by nurses with advanced foot care qualifications. Exercise and wellness programs were expanded in Stratford and offered at River Gardens Retirement Residence in the newly renovated River Garden Fitness Room. Another new program, Overnight Respite, was introduced in Huron to support clients with dementia.
Caregiver Mary Lou Perrott of Wingham spoke of the Overnight Respite and Adult Day Programs which support her husband and give her a break from the strain she experiences as a caregiver. She spoke of the one-on-one attention her husband receives and noted, “This is such a relief as a caregiver and I am able to feel rested.”
ONE CARE is able to deliver services because of dedicated staff and volunteers and Board Chair David Kemp acknowledged the 1,000 volunteers who help with programs like Meals on Wheels, Transportation, Adult Day Programs, Exercise and Wellness, Dining Programs and Telephone Reassurance. He noted, “I thank our wonderfully caring volunteers. They bring ONE CARE to many homes with a meal, a phone call, a drive and other services essential to keeping people at home.”
Volunteer Lorraine Kuepfer of Stratford, spoke of the satisfaction in seeing the difference her efforts make in leading exercise programs. She is one the many fitness instructors who train at the Canadian Centre of Activity and Aging to lead physical activity classes. More than 1,700 older adults participated in a variety of exercise classes and wellness sessions in Huron and Perth last year.
Mrs. Scanlon remarked on the 250 staff, “they are committed and care deeply about our clients and our communities,” and Personal Support Worker Carol Lahey spoke of the rewards of her work, “We enable people to live at home. Some of our clients are 90 and 100 years old. We have much to learn from the people we serve.”
Stratford Councillor Karen Smythe and Perth Warden Ian Forrest also commented on the importance of the agency and the value of the services in helping people to live and age at home.
ONE CARE is funded by the SW LHIN and CCAC, with special funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, Perth Huron United Way and generous donations from individuals and other donors.
The Board of Directors for the 2012-2013 was accepted at the annual meeting. Members include Barrie Beech, Bill Kechnie, Frank Loscombe, Brenda McIntosh Clarence Bos, David Kemp, George Gibson, Margaret Angus, Ollie Henry, Rick Huband and Shirley Leasa.
For information about services visit www.onecaresupport.ca or call 1-877-502-8277.