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Board Member Gwen Gaddes talking about a special client case

Board Member Gwen Gaddes talking on CBC Radio (Jan 11, 2021)

Board Member Gwen Gaddes talking on CBC Radio (Feb 3, 2020)

Volunteer Feedback

Seniors Serving Seniors Return to Health program volunteer Alexandra

RTH Client Story – May 2021

The following is a great referral for Return to Health; it is straight-forward.  We do not get many of these referrals anymore!  It was a nice change over our more “complex” referrals. 

Client:  65-year-old female, P.C.

Reason for hospital visit:  Right patella fracture; cannot bend right leg, using Zimmer splint. Walking with a 2-wheel walker.  Client has anxiety issues.

Purpose of referral:  Help with getting to medical appointments, Red Cross delivery, and assistance with setting up housecleaning. 

Services we provided:

  • Coordinator called P.C. to discuss what services RTH can provide, email information sheet.
  • Volunteer picked up 3 Red Cross equipment items.
  • Coordinator called James Bay Community Project to discuss referral to Better at Home Program – forward form to P.C. to fill out. C. now on a waitlist for housekeeping services.
  • Arrange ride to RJH Clinic 3 and another ride home from clinic. Two volunteers involved.
  • Client called to say she thinks she re-broke her knee; ambulance coming, can I arrange a ride home from Emergency? Declined, we cannot have a volunteer on stand-by. 
  • C. called next day, no break, just did too much.
  • C. asked for return of Red Cross equipment. Volunteer to pick up 3 items from client’s home.
  • C. asked that her file be kept open another month to ensure she will have transportation to medical appointment if one comes up.

Length of involvement:  6 weeks, keeping file open for another 4 weeks for any unforeseen medical transport

RTH Client Story – April 2021

Referral – From Community Health Services

Client:  *Margaret*

Specifics of Referral:  Client’s vision poor, cannot afford glasses.

  • accompany client to eye exam
  • fax prescription to One Sight Program (LensCrafter’s)
  • follow up with LensCrafters – make appointment for client
  • accompany client to LensCrafters for fittings and pick up of glasses

S.W. made original appointment for eye exam for client with local Optometrist willing to do the exam for $50.  RTH to facilitate the above for client.

Challenges due to client’s health issues:

  • neurocognitive disorder,
  • atrial fib, congestive heart failure, ischemic heart disease,
  • malnutrition.
  • Recent fall, her vision has changed drastically

Client Margaret – difficult to reach.

  • starts her day at 3:30-4:00 in the afternoon,
  • has trouble answering her phone, does not return messages,
  • has trouble with details, forgetfulness
  • can be rude

Introduce client to her volunteer – client forgot introduction appointment; was rude to coordinator and volunteer.  Had to wait for client to settle emotionally; then able to ask client to go outside and practice getting in and out of volunteer’s vehicle (client 4’ 10” – any vehicle hard for her to navigate). 

Eye exam completed following week; prescription faxed to LensCrafters.  After waiting several weeks, RTH Coordinator reached out to LensCrafters who told her they no longer do the One Sight program and client out of luck.

RTH Coordinator found another store – Pearl Vision who agreed to make the glasses free of charge.  Fax in prescription, wait another two weeks for glasses to be made.

During this time, client ended up in hospital due to another fall.  Volunteer picked up walker for client.  After several confused phone calls from client, volunteer able to schedule and accompany client to Pearl Vision for fittings, and then pick up glasses when ready. 

This process took 3 months. 

Client Bill (name changed) spent two months in hospital with a heart block, weakness and received a new pacemaker.  His POA ran off with his life savings, so he has been left with no savings and is low-income. Bill has no family or friends; his building manager checks in on him occasionally.  We have been able to help with the following:

  • Daily phone reassurance – referral to Silver Threads (he did not want an RTH “chat” with a volunteer, just someone to make sure he gets up in the morning);
  • More than Meals program, free meals delivered weekly from Silver Threads.
  • Pick up and drop off of Red Cross equipment.
  • Ride to medical appointments.
  • Bill was one of our recipients of a Christmas gift basket.
  • Phone calls to Program Coordinator when he has been feeling low.
  • Volunteer Susan dropped off birthday card and dictionary on his Birthday.

Unfortunately, Bill’s health has declined, he has cancer and is palliative. 

Bill has been the most appreciative client; he is so grateful for any assistance he receives.  He always follows up with a phone call expressing how much it means to him.  When he received his Christmas basket, he said “I cannot believe the kindness I have been shown; to receive a gift from a complete stranger at this time of year makes life worth living”. 

Return to Health and Silver Threads have given Bill a HUGE lift in his life.  This has been one of the most rewarding clients we have had the pleasure to work with. 

Here is a lovely story about Return to Health making a difference again. Regarding a vulnerable client named G who was a Return to Health client before M started. He had been homeless for years, very little education. He was housed when our volunteer F had him as a client. File closed many months ago. G called F a few days ago and was very confused and not making sense. F called 911 on this client’s behalf. G taken to Emergency department diagnosed with a stroke and is now hospitalized. Our volunteer, F was able to intervene and potentially saved a life.

Another one of our lovely Success Stories
Client: 91 year old lady, client herein called “L”.
Date of Referral: Nov. 15, 2019
Who Made Referral: Self-referral on recommendation from Better at Home Coordinator in Esquimalt. Better at Home was helping with medical rides and light housekeeping.
Reason for Referral: “L” had surgery for hiatus hernia end of summer, 2019. She made several trips to the Emergency department post-surgery as she was not doing well, re-injury.
Purpose of Referral: Needs help while recovering; not allowed to lift over 5 lbs. Help getting groceries, help to winterize garden, companionship, help with recycling.
Volunteer involvement:
1) Clean up outside garden. Two trips to “L’s” home to tidy her garden and clean up from the summer. Engaged volunteer, Li who loves to garden.
2) New volunteer – 23 year old male, N, with his first client. L” happy to have younger companion. N helped lift items “L” could not reach or lift; assisted “L” with grocery shopping, errands, played scrabble and card games. During snow week, N shoveled walkway and made sure “L” was safe at home.
3) As a result of N’s involvement with client, his girlfriend, K approached Return to Health for training. Once trained, she accompanied N on his visits. Client was over-the-moon, having two young people assist during her recovery. Return to Health gained another volunteer!
Return to Health was involved with “L” for three months. “L” recovered nicely once she had help in her home. “L” phoned coordinator to let her know what a remarkable young couple she had looking after her.
Coordinator also received a phone call from Better at Home Coordinator in Esquimalt thanking Return to Health for the assistance we provided. She too received a phone call from “L” stating what a big help this couple had provided during her recovery.

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