By Angelica Ingram
Janet Wood points to a wall of thank-you cards hanging in her office and begins to get emotional.
The enhanced care co-ordinator for Haliburton Highlands Health Services Community Support Services division regularly receives messages of thanks from clients who are simply grateful for the services Wood oversees.
For the past few years Wood has been co-ordinating a number of programs that help keep seniors and adults in their homes longer services such as Home Help Home at Last Home Maintenance Friendly Visiting Security Checks Emergency Response and more.
For many of the individuals the services have made a significant impact.
“It’s getting them home and out of the hospital” said Wood. “It’s services they need at home … it’s essentially better for everyone to be at home.”
Wood sees her job as being a caregiver looking after clients who are needing assistance as they age.
The services cover a variety of things from helping individuals with home repairs housekeeping snow shovelling and more.
Wood also facilitates programs that offer daily reminders to take medication or just a general phone call to check in with a client.
“Security check is offered Monday through Friday; it’s a phone call” she said. “Basically five to 10 minutes sometimes longer and they call every day … it’s just a voice because sometimes it’s weeks before family can come up and visit.”
Like the phone calls friendly visiting also offers clients a chance to talk to someone or have a visit.
“I am in desperate need for friendly visitors. I have a waiting list right now” said Wood.
Currently HHHS-CSS is helping about 113 clients through the enhanced care programs.
While some of the programs have costs completely covered by HHHS others work on a fee basis said Wood.
Many of the programs are funded through the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care and the county’s four municipalities however CSS also relies heavily on donations something the organization has seen go down in the past number of months.
Wood shares personal stories of her own experiences.
“There was this 92-year-old woman in Cardiff … and two Christmases ago … she phoned. She had been let go from the hospital no services in place. She was palliative … there was no food in the house … so I drove to Cardiff took a bunch of meals and got her situated.”
The woman wrote Wood a thank-you note on an envelope for everything she had done.
“She died five days later” said Wood. “But she had been taken care of.”
It’s situations like that where Wood felt like she made a difference.
“It’s showing that you care that’s the biggest part of it.”
Wood is in need of more volunteers especially for friendly visiting and invites anyone interested to contact her at 705-457-2941 ext. 2928.