“Community Caregivers has been my lifeline for the past year. Without doubt while I have Caregivers, I really do have people who care. I can depend on Community Caregivers 100%. They always follow through.”
Clients can receive assistance with transportation (primarily medical), friendly visiting, light chores, grocery shopping, respite and telephone reassurance. All clients are assessed in their homes to determine if services are appropriate. Background information is also obtained at this time. Due to a demand for service that outstrips our volunteer capacity, a waiting list has been instituted.
SCENARIOS IN WHICH CAREGIVERS HAS BEEN INVOLVED
Mr. W. is a 98 year old gentleman who lives alone in his home. His closest relative lives in Mass. and is unable to visit more than 1x monthly. He contacted Caregivers to obtain help with grocery shopping. A volunteer takes him shopping or does his groceries (depending on his physical capability from week to week) every Friday. In addition the volunteer spends time visiting, alleviating some of his social isolation.
A mother contacted Caregivers to request rides to the Elliot Hospital every week day morning for three weeks. It was medically necessary that her newborn remain in the neonatal unit. Drivers committed to transporting the same day for the 3 week period to provide continuity for the mother.
A husband and wife, who are in their late 80’s, reside in senior housing in Derry. The wife suffered a stroke approximately 4 years ago and has been the primary focus of her husband’s attention. An out of state family member contacted Caregivers to determine if a volunteer could assist with light chores. For the past two years a volunteer has aided them with dusting and vacuuming needs. On an occasional basis the husband has called for someone to stay with his wife while he goes to a doctor’s appointment.
“Mrs. D. is a sweetheart! We laugh and have a good time when we’re together. It makes me feel good seeing her enjoy this small amount of independence. It makes it all worthwhile.”
Caregiver volunteers are a diverse group. They come from a variety of age groups, backgrounds and work settings. They are united, however, in their motivation to build a caring community.
Caregivers has been drawing a consistent pool of volunteers on a year to year basis. The churches remain our largest source of recruitment. Interestingly, the areas of media and family/friend are becoming significant sources for acquiring volunteers. Volunteers are asked to meet with staff for an interview. References are requested. Agency and confidentiality guidelines are reviewed and a volunteer manual is provided to all volunteers. Training is offered and recognition of volunteers occurs throughout the year.
(© Community Caregivers of Greater Derry 2012, Revised 11/25/2012)