TRURO, N.S. – A new social program is aiming to improve the quality of life for adults suffering serious illnesses.
The Colchester East-Hants Hospice Society has partnered with Dalhousie University to bring a new program to the Truro area that will help those dealing with chronic illnesses navigate community services and resources.
The program is called N-CARE, which stands for navigating, connecting, accessing, resourcing and engaging for adults with serious illness, and was originally introduced by Dr. Wendy Duggleby and associate professor Barbara Pesut from the University of Alberta.
“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,” says Pesut.
“This has the potential to assist thousands of aging Canadians. We believe N-CARE holds promise for improving the lives of adults with serious illness through a compassionate community approach.”
The program was adopted by researchers at Dalhousie to see if services like N-CARE would benefit people on the East Coast, and approached the CEHHS to lead the program in the Truro area due to their large pool of trained volunteers and current available services.
“I think it will be successful here because of the nature of our community,” said Craig Johnson, executive director of the CEHHS.
“Our great volunteers and community supports are a few of the strengths we have that will help this program thrive.”
Knowing the trajectory of dying has changed, the CEHHS is constantly looking at creative ways to assist those dealing with illness and are in need of help.
“With the improvements of medical science, people are living longer with chronic illness, so there may be some time before they become palliative,” said Johnson.
“They can still need and benefit from these kinds of supports and services, so we are always thinking about, with how our health care is now, how can we meet the demand from aging people as we go forward?”
The CEHHS hopes the new program will help those in need by not only providing services and guidance, but by providing company as well.
“Often times, when people are in this situation it can be very isolating, especially if you are limited to your home and can’t get out very often,” said Johnson.
A group of CEHHS volunteers have already completed the weekend training needed for the program, and they are ready to roll out the program right away.
People who know a family member or loved one who could benefit from the program, or who want more information, are encouraged to contact Volunteer Co-ordinator Lauren Purdy at firstname.lastname@example.org.