VON Ontario Newsletter - June 2011
Taking a D.E.T.O.U.R in the Right Direction
D.E.T.O.U.R (Deterring Emergency Time Offering Urgent Respite) is a new and innovative Victorian Order of Nurses program that is taking Windsor Community Support in a new direction. The journey began when the Windsor-Essex Community Board and the Windsor-Essex Endowment Board made a commitment to support and financially back the exploration of additional community programs for the citizens of Windsor-Essex.
Steven Brown, VON District Manager of External Relations was asked to complete an environmental scan of any gaps in service that existed in the Windsor area and create a business case for a program proposal to meet community needs. Steven approached Dawn Maziak, Health System Design Manager for the Erie St. Clair Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and she quickly identified that emergency respite services for seniors was a key support requirement for Windsor.
VON then partnered with Norma Mamaril, a geriatric emergency management (GEM) nurse at Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital. By analyzing patient data; the GEM nurse team was able to provide evidence that three to six seniors per week could greatly benefit from the D.E.T.O.U.R program’s services at Hotel Dieu Grace.
“Recently, I met with VON with regard to an Emergency Adult Respite Program (D.E.T.O.U.R). As a Geriatric Emergency Management nurse I was excited about this initiative. My focus is to optimize linkages between professional services, caregivers and family, and to support the senior need to live independently at home. Many times, I am faced with dilemma when autonomy versus safety is an issue as well as caregiver stress.” - Norma Mamaril, GEM Nurse, Hotel Dieu Grace Hospital
Initially, VON is piloting the project from Hotel Dieu Grace and is very pleased to be sharing an office with the GEM nurse team directly adjacent to the ER department.
The goal of the program is two-fold: First, to support seniors who are independently stable and require short-term respite (up to two weeks) after leaving hospital. VON will then offer a menu of programs and services from VON and community partners (i.e. Meals On Wheels, Let’s Talk Seniors Wellness, clinical services, etc.) to support clients and caregivers with the transition back to independent living or potential transition to a supportive housing environment. Secondly, the D.E.T.O.U.R program will assess seniors at the triage stage in the ER department. Where appropriate, clients will be detoured from emergency department admittance and into the program.
“Our goal is to create an integrated wraparound model of care with all VON services. The D.E.T.O.U.R program will do this for the community of Windsor-Essex.”- Andrew Ward, VON District Executive Director
A VON Registered Practical Nurse program coordinator will work with a team of Personal Support Workers to provide direct support for this program. The University of Windsor has also supported VON with the roll out of this new initiative by approving the placement of a nursing graduate student to support the implementation phase, and work closely with the GEM nurses on the assessment criteria.
“The D.E.T.O.U.R program is yet another opportunity for VON to add to its long history of pioneering cutting edge innovative community healthcare.” - Steven Brown, VON District Manager of External Relations
VON Toronto-York’s First Hike A Success
VON Toronto-York recently participated for the first time in the Annual Toronto Hike for Hospice Palliative Care, working with similar-minded organizations to bring comprehensive palliative care services to Toronto.
The event was an important opportunity for people connected to VON to support the VON Hospice Scarborough program, and to lend support to the larger effort to bring hospice palliative care to the community. Participants included staff, family and friends, as well as volunteers and family members of past hospice clients.
When the final tally was calculated, the organizers had raised over $115,000 for hospice care in the community. VON Toronto-York exceeded its own fundraising goal of $2,500 for VON’s Scarborough Hospice.
One important and touching aspect of the event is the opportunity for families
of past hospice clients to meet and share stories with others who have experienced expert hospice care. Friends and family commemorate their loved one through participation, and also by placing a photo on the Hospice Memory Wall.
The event is family-friendly, with a 2k leisure walk and a 5k hike. Young and old come out (sometimes with their pets) to walk, to hear musicians, and enjoy magicians and face-painters. At this 9th Hike, participants enjoyed the antics of host Richard Ryder, a long-standing advocate for hospice care.
This was the first of many successful Hikes, and VON Toronto-York is very pleased to be helping organize the 10th Annual Toronto Hike for Hospice.
A Caregiver’s Perspective
VON Perth-Huron recently had the opportunity to promote VON’s Community Support Services, showcasing the programs in action. In late 2010, EastLink TV aired a feature story about VON Perth-Huron’s Community Support Services. The show was seen across Midwestern Ontario, including North Perth, Grey, Bruce, Huron and part of Wellington Counties.
The filming experience was exciting for the Community Support Services staff who were in charge of organizing details. Clients and caregivers that were interviewed provided a terrific profile of VON and the importance of the programs.
A camera shy Meals on Wheels client welcomed the crew into his home. The client soon became an eager participant, mentioning that he had once been a volunteer with the program.
The film depicted transportation services to the Listowel Adult Day Program, with the camera crew continuing into the Program to showcase the activities there. A client commented, “it has really changed my life.” A caregiver added, “once a week for six hours my father is free to do what he wants without worrying about my mother as he knows she is in good hands.”
In January 2011 a follow-up segment aired describing the need for Community Support volunteers. This segment will be played regularly.
These features have been recorded and will be used as future Community Support program promotions.
VON Board Gives Toronto-York Community a SMART Program
The Victorian Order of Nurses’ Toronto-York site will benefit from a $75,000 grant from their Community Board. The grant will help the site implement Seniors Maintaining Active Roles Together (SMART), a functional fitness program for seniors designed to improve health outcomes. The money will be used to hire a Wellness Coordinator, to train volunteers, and to secure appropriate space for the program.
“This substantial grant is a wonderful testament to the good work that our local VON is doing,” said Caroline Countryman, Manager of External Relations and Administration. “The SMART program, which encourages local seniors to participate in physical activities on a daily basis, benefits everyone - strong and healthy communities need strong and healthy seniors!”
The Community Board supports programs that make a difference in people's lives. The SMART Program does this by providing seniors the opportunity to get some exercise and maintain a healthier life. Gary Ursell, Toronto-York Board Chair said, “I know how important exercise is to my 93-year-old father. This inexpensive program fits a real need for the aging population with limited income. Dollars donated are scarce and have to be used for programs that give a real return. The SMART Program gives that return. Having the program in Toronto-York will give us increased visibility in the community we serve.”
The SMART Program is currently under development with the support of the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee and is scheduled to begin offering service in October 2011.