Enhancing Natural Supports
What’s Needed in Community
The importance of family, community, and peer relationships is obvious to most of us. We know we’d be lost without the support of people whose lives are intertwined with ours. As complicated as they sometimes are, these relationships have a huge impact on our sense of identity and belonging, and provide a rich array of resources and supports on which to draw. The relationships and social connections we develop in the course of daily living are ‘natural’ in the sense that they are informal, locally developed, and based on reciprocity or give and take.
While professional services and formal programs are important, they need to be balanced and fortified with informal supports from family, friends and neighbours. While natural supports are as old as humans themselves, our understanding of how to be intentional with nurturing, repairing and strengthening our collecting caring of people who are isolated is still in its infancy. A natural supports strategy is needed to help rebuild what might have been disrupted, and ensure healthy balance between natural and professional supports for seniors.
What We Are Doing
Penticton Caregivers Support Program
Supporting OneSky Community Resources with starting a program dedicated to improving the lives of people who are caring for an adult family member or friend with complex health needs. The program’s family counsellor and peer supports provide individual counselling, group supports, and advocacy for the emotional, physical and financial burdens of caregiving.
Increasing the availability of workshops developed by Alzheimer Society of B.C. to reduce stigma, raise awareness, and provide practical suggestions for supporting people living with dementia in the community.
Assisting the Stroke Navigator Program that offers non-medical, community support to assist stroke survivors and their caregivers to find their way in the complex care system and adjusting to life after stroke. This project of the South Okanagan Similkameen Brain Injury Society includes Penticton Heads Up, a peer support group that connects on a weekly basis and plays an important role in stroke recovery and preventing social isolation and loneliness.
Penticton Seniors Drop In Centre
Enhancing the volunteer program of the Penticton Seniors Drop In Centre who support the centre’s work in organizing services, clubs and events that offer local seniors with opportunities for social connections while engaging in recreation, learning and leisure activities.
Grief & Loss Support Group
Increasing the services of the South Okanagan Loss Society to offer group counselling and peer supports for people who are seeking support with their experience of grief and loss.
COVID-19 Winter Response
Coordinating a communications campaign to inspire community members to be caring neighbours and mobilize volunteers to help seniors who face barriers in leaving home and connect them with social supports and help with non-medical essentials.