Colchester East Hants Hospice Society and Dalhousie seeking older adults who might benefit from N-CARE volunteer visits.
The Colchester East-Hants Hospice Society has partnered with Dalhousie University to implement a program that aims to improve quality of life for seriously ill adults in the Truro area.
N-CARE—navigating, connecting, accessing, resourcing and engaging for adults with serious illness—was introduced by Assoc. Prof. of Nursing Barbara Pesut in cooperation with her colleague Dr. Wendy Duggleby from the University of Alberta. The program is designed to help people with serious chronic illnesses navigate community services and resources with trained volunteers.
Pesut says the program is scaling up – bringing N-CARE to more sites, such as Truro.
“The N-CARE service has generated such interest that after the pilot study in 2015, we had nine additional sites agree to implement the program. This has the potential to assist thousands of aging Canadians,” says Pesut. “We believe N-CARE holds promise for improving the lives of adults with serious illness through a compassionate community approach.”
N-CARE meets the complex needs of an aging population, she explains. “We have an incredible resource of volunteers in Canada who can provide significant support to older adults through a ‘neighbours helping neighbours’ approach.”
N-CARE volunteers, who have training in accessing community services, provide regular in-home visits for adults who have serious illnesses. The volunteers help make connections with the supports available in their community that improve quality of life. They can also mitigate issues such as a lack of social support, loneliness and isolation, poor information about available resources, and feeling overwhelmed with decision-making.
“Older adults living with serious illnesses have unmet needs that result in poor quality of life,” says Pesut. “But, despite the challenges they experience because of their health issues, many of these adults want to continue to be engaged and productive—to give back to their communities. Volunteers help them do that.”
The ultimate goal is to develop policy recommendations for N-CARE and to create a toolkit, which will provide the resources required for hospice societies across Canada to implement volunteer navigation in their communities.
Colchester East Hants Hospice Society and Dalhousie are now actively seeking older adults who might benefit from N-CARE volunteer visits. Participation enquiries or requests for further information and can be directed to Lauren Purdy at firstname.lastname@example.org