October is “Community Support Month” as designated by the Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA). As a community support agency, the Community Care Health & Care Network has been a member of OCSA since the provincial organization was founded in the early 1990s.
Community Support Month provides an opportunity to shine the spotlight on the Community Support Services (CSS) area within Community Care. These are the programs and services designed to help seniors and adults with special needs lead more active, socially engaged, independent lives, and give caregivers much-needed respite and support.
The CSS scope of service includes adult day programming, caregiver support, in-home respite, transportation (both volunteer driver and specialized vehicles), Meals on Wheels, community dining, home help/maintenance, a community income tax program, assisted living services for high risk seniors, supportive housing, an emergency response “Lifeline” for the home, volunteer visiting and Hospital to Home programs.
From close to 30 service locations across the City of Kawartha Lakes and four offices – two in Lindsay, one each in Bobcaygeon and Fenelon Falls – the 100 staff and more than 400 active volunteers of CSS provide care and support to close to 5,000 CKL residents each year.
There are four CSS service teams: Adult Day, Home Support Services, Personal Support Services and Specialized Transportation. Whether it’s activation, a ride to a medical treatment, homemaking, personal care in the home, a meal, a home visit by a friendly volunteer, linking with personal alarm devices or a combination of any of these services, CSS helps with specialized needs, independence, keeping people active and keeping them connected with their communities.
Fees do apply for the services that are not fully funded by the government and where additional revenue is required to operate. Every effort is made to keep fees as low as possible while recognizing the need for sustainability of important CSS services.
The Community Support Services are an integral part of the family of services that are available through the Community Care Health & Care Network. Many CSS programs have been mainstays of Community Care’s basket of services that have been offered to local residents since the organization was founded in 1985. Collectively, they comprise important positions in our society’s health care system, and go a long way toward improving the health and well-being of everyone in our community.