South Shore Breaker
Providing connection to community
VON offers more services than you realize
Since our founding in 1897, we’ve travelled the back roads and main thoroughfares of the province, visiting clients’ homes to deliver compassionate nursing and home care.
Kathy Thomas is a community support services co-ordinator for VON in Lunenburg.
She sees the impact that VON has on clients every day.
“Many people see VON as just providing nursing and home care. They don’t realize we also provide a range of community support services,” says Thomas. “We support seniors and folks with disabilities who may not be able to easily cook a meal or get out of their home for an appointment. Our job is to connect them to their community as best we can.”
Since our founding in 1897, we’ve travelled the back roads and main thoroughfares of the province, visiting clients’ homes to deliver compassionate nursing and home care. We are, in fact, the largest not-for-profit provider of nursing and home care in Nova Scotia.
Many people are unaware that we also offer a range of Community Support Services (CSS). These services and programs, which include Meals on Wheels, local adult day programs and transportation services, support seniors and persons with disabilities in Lunenburg and Queens counties to stay safe in their homes, while providing a social connection to their communities.
Thomas refers to one of their new clients, an elderly lady who was discharged from the hospital and wasn’t able to prepare her own meals. Although her family lives out of province and was unable to help, they called VON Lunenburg to sign their mother up for Meals on Wheels.
“Now she receives nutritious meals delivered to her door every week. She loves the meals and lets me know which ones are her favourite.”
A sense of security and social connection can also be lacking when a client does not have family in the area. Meals on Wheels deliveries provide an opportunity to check in on clients and engage in friendly conversation, to help the client feel safe and connected to their community.
In Lunenburg County, VON offers an adult day program (ADP) for dependent adults and persons with dementia. ADPS not only provide a day of fun activities designed to support clients’ cognitive health and connection to their peers and community, but they also give their caregivers a needed break from their caregiving duties. The program, which runs Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. is currently welcoming new clients.
An important part of all CSS programs is volunteer support. VON staff rely on community volunteers to help deliver meals or drive clients to where they need to go. For example, volunteers with the transportation program drive clients to important medical appointments like a visit to the doctor, chemotherapy or dialysis, or to run errands such as a trip to the grocery store. They provide clients with “door-through-door” service, helping them in and out of a vehicle and into their appointments.
Thomas and Heather Kelly, a program co-ordinator in Queens County, are constantly on the lookout for volunteers in both counties.
“Our programs are in great demand. We’re lucky to have the committed volunteers we do and we’re always eager to recruit others to help with this important work,” says Kelly.
The next chapter for VON in the province is the implementation of a digital health system that connects our providers, sites and clients and their families. With the demand for our services and programs increasing every day, this technology will make it possible for us to connect more clients from the South Shore and across the province with outstanding home and community care. To find out more about this initiative, visit our website.
Aging Well Corner is brought to you by Community Links. Community Links is a provincewide organization that promotes and supports the development of age-friendly, inclusive communities by connecting individuals and organizations. Our vision is that all Nova Scotians can age well in their communities. Aging Well Coalitions meet regularly to address issues of healthy aging and develop projects that enhance life for older adults in the region.
For more information, visit nscommunitylinks.ca.