William George Extended Care Facility calling for community volunteers
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writers
The William A. 'Bill' George Extended Care Facility, which is a 20-bed Long Term Care Facility operated by the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Care Centre, is looking for community volunteers to spend time with Extended Care Unit (ECU) residents.
Some activities that volunteers partake in with residents include singing, colouring, playing games, reading aloud, and simply chatting with residents.
“Some people come in and do singing, and the residents really like that. Some people might bring a dog and some of the residents like that. Some of our residents have cognitive decline, so it’s very hard for them to concentrate, so volunteers come in and help redirect them and help them… The nursing staff and the PSW’s (personal support workers) are very busy, and it’s hard for them to be able to sit down and take that one-on-one time,” said Cynthia Dwyer, administrator of long-term care.
“A lot of evenings we don’t have anyone here to do activities with the residents and some weekends, so I’m reaching out to the public to say, how can we fill that void as a community? At the end of the day, I just really want more community involvement, and for people to come and see what these residents still have to offer to the community.
“My philosophy is these residents have a lot of life left in them, and that’s one of the reasons I’m really putting it out there in the community. They have a lot of life left in them, they’ve had very interesting lives, they have things to share, and I want the public and the community to know that. I think there’s a stigma that long-term care is the end of the road. Someone could come here and live 20 years, so it’s their home. I’m trying to open this up to the community to say that these people are still part of the community, and to introduce the residents to different things,” she said.
The Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre website describes the Long Term Care Facility, “Residents receive coordinated care by a multi-disciplinary team that includes physicians, a nurse practitioner, a dietician, physiotherapists, an occupational therapist, a speech/language pathologist, daily nursing and activation staff. Volunteers complete the experience including but not limited to pastoral care services, visitation, singing and gardening. We believe in resident and family centred care with a restorative approach that focuses on dignity and respect. We are located at 75 Fifth Avenue in Sioux Lookout.”
For those interested in volunteering, Dwyer can be contacted at [email protected] or 807-737-3030 ext. 6568.