A Unique Volunteer Opportunity

In many communities across the province, we have already completed the BC OSA’s Residential Care Survey and we are now in the final stretch, aiming to complete the province-wide initiative in the remaining long term care homes by early Spring 2017.

There are a number of communities with long term care homes in our province that have had challenges in finding enough volunteers to go into.  This can happen for a variety of reasons. Many of the dedicated community members are too busy with other commitments and serving other organizations to contribute more hours to our project.  Others that are interested in being a part of this project are already volunteering at the long term care home in their community or are visiting loved ones daily and are not a ‘stranger’ to the facility. Some of these communities are too far in in distance from other communities for a volunteer to drive to and from on a daily basis.

As a result we have begun to ‘parachute’ trained OSA volunteers from other parts of the province into these communities.  During Late November and December of 2016 we saw volunteers parachute into Northern Vancouver Island, Creston, Invermere, Golden, and Princeton.  It was a matter of planes, trains, automobiles (and Greyhound buses!) to get our volunteers to the various communities.  In one case the volunteer was dropped off in the middle of the night at the Greyhound Station and had to overnight at the hotel across the street because there wasn’t a taxi to take her to the hotel near the long term care home 2 km away!

Once on site,  parachuted volunteers faced a few more challenges.  Each volunteer was essentially alone at the facility, approaching and interviewing all day for a period of 3 or 4 days in a row.  The volunteers each had to open up the facility and complete the wrap up procedures.   The volunteer often was on-site for 5 – 6 hours a day and some days interacted with 25 residents in one day!  For the most part it all went smoothly and was enjoyable!  A huge bouquet of roses goes to our parachuted volunteers, Randy C., Linda S., Paul E.,  and Merle K.!  We thank you for ensuring residents in all our communities across BC are able to share their experiences in long term care.

There are further parachuting opportunities to come.  If travelling to a rural community in BC for 3-4 days and conducting resident interviews appeals to you and you have some time to give during late January and February, please contact your REL for further information about dates and locations.

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