Return To Health

What is Return to Health ?

What is
Return to Health?

 Healthcare professionals from Island Health (South) refer frail seniors transitioning to/from hospital to the program.  On receiving a referral, the Community Services Coordinator will meet with the client and match them with a specially trained Return to Health Volunteer. 
Volunteers provide social support, encouragement, and connections to community resources. These volunteers receive specialized training in seniors’ issues, stressing good communication skills and familiarity with the ageing process. The initial 15 hours of training are normally given each Spring (currently, training is being provided online and is more compressed). In addition, volunteers receive ongoing support at monthly meetings. The purpose of these meetings is for further education and connection to other volunteers.

James Benson is our Return to Health Program Coordinator. An average of 150 clients are supported each year. Referrals can be faxed to 250-590-9938 or sent to If you wish to speak to James please call 236-464-7172

One of our clients being driven to a medical appointment by a volunteer
One of our clients being driven to a medical appointment by a volunteer
A seniors Serving Seniors volunteer delivering Christmas gifts to needy seniors
A volunteer delivering Christmas hampers to needy seniors

Typical Services Our Volunteers Provide

  • Rides to and assistance to medical appointments
  • Grocery shopping or help ordering groceries
  • Run errands that can be accomplished within a two-hour timeframe, e.g. banking, shopping, picking up prescriptions and library books etc., delivering personal items to the hospital
  • Help setting up pre-made meal service
  • Assist with HandyDART applications, schedule first rides, accompany on the first trip
  • Red Cross: pick-up, delivery, drop off of small medical equipment
  • Companionship: enjoying a laugh, going for a walk, doing a puzzle, reading a book
  • Social:  help connect with community services & senior centers 
  • Mail:  help with sorting and prioritizing bills
  • Transition a client to other volunteer agencies on discharge from our program
  • Rebalance clients: assist with educational videos, rides to pre/post-operative appointments, surgery, possible ride home on discharge
  • Dog walks during convalescence 

Services Our Volunteers Cannot Provide

  • Volunteers are not “on-call” or to be used as emergency service.
  • Medical advice, personal care (bathing, dressing, medication management).
  • Cleaning, laundry, lifting a client.
  • We do not provide daily visits post-surgery, help prepare meals, or stay overnight.
Volunteer David arranging groceries from a food bank for a needy Senior
A volunteer arranging groceries from a food bank for a needy senior
Volunteer Michael
A volunteer making Christmas very special

Would You Like To Volunteer With Us?

The Return to Health Program is a unique and very flexible volunteering opportunity. You do not need to commit to specific days, times or hours on a regular basis.
If you are interested in volunteering with us, please call 250-413-3211 or fill in our volunteering application.

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