It is no surprise that 2020 was a challenging year in health care and within long-term facilities across the province. One of the country’s most vulnerable demographics has been hard hit, not only by the pandemic virus itself but by the psychological, emotional, and social toll it has taken on individuals and their families. Many seniors in private care, retirement communities, or Assisted Living facilities struggle to have their basic needs met due to staffing shortages, unhealthy living conditions, or funding concerns.
“We saw a need within our own community,” says CEO of Ideal Caregivers 4u Inc., Nancy Dahdah. “Many of our seniors are without support from their families – both emotionally and financially.” Ideal Caregivers 4u is an Ottawa-based homecare support agency that connects qualified companions, caregivers, and Personal Support Workers with seniors in the community. “This is where our Sponsor A Senior initiative got started.”
Sponsor A Senior is a way for community members, leaders, and families to provide financial support in assisting those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions. Support in this program will provide seniors in our community to receive homecare services at no charge to them or their struggling families. Services may include companionship to help with isolation, meal assistance, the purchasing of basic supplies, visits to hospital or treatment appointments, and personal hygienic care.
Hearing from the seniors in our care and their families, and from leaders within the facilities themselves, stories of residents challenged with isolation, depression, lack of social engagement (due to limited numbers in group activity settings), and an increase in quarantine measures after hospital visits – all contributing to the rise in those very feelings of loneliness.
Whether in their home or within senior communities, seniors in isolation are quite common even in pre-pandemic times.
Therefore, our initiative is continuing beyond the challenges we have faced, even a year later. Some of our clients no longer have surviving family members or struggle to pay for basic needs and require more than what our over-extended care facilities can manage.
“It’s a wonderful way to give back to a community that gave so much.”
Protecting our seniors is protecting our shared past and our shared values. Whether personally within their families, during their long careers as educators, tradespeople, or their service in the Canadian Military, their contributions have added to the richness and beauty of this country and should be cherished and treated with dignity and respect deserve.
When Ideal Caregivers 4u began almost a decade ago, we knew that we wanted to make a difference in the lives of seniors in our community. Working together with Directors of Care, health teams, families, and friends, we create a plan of care that preserves the dignity and respect of the individual. They share their stories, their time and become like family.
With every contribution of $20, a senior in need can receive one free hour of care. That one hour can mean the difference between being socially isolated and having a friend take them for a stroll in the park, from being unable to feed themselves independently to finishing a meal.
For more information on how you can donate to our Sponsor A Senior program, visit our website at IdealCaregivers4u. We will be happy to connect with you regarding your donation or provide you with more information on our services.