THE PILGRIM PROJECT RESPONDS:
Our volunteer caregivers are matched with patients whose needs they are best equipped to meet, and they go out into the community to visit with patients in their homes or anywhere their support is needed. They are trained to:
It should be noted that in these circumstances, it is recognized that it the patient who is the primary benefactor. It is the patient who is the one who extends the benefit of being willing to be open to a personal relationship with the volunteer caregiver. Without the patient's willingness to accept the volunteer, no service from The Pilgrim Project is practically possible.
- provide one-to-one peer response, companionship, and emotional support;
- facilitate communication with medical and social professionals;
- establish contact with community and professional resources which may be of help to the patient;
- help with the day-to-day activities which the special situation of the patient and family necessitates: transportation, meals, shopping, and similar tasks as is appropriate to each individual case;
- help family members understand each other's needs and communicate openly with each other;
The Caregiver Support Program
Meetings held at the offices of The Pilgrim Project at Dorval allow caregivers to meet. An example of a prior meeting:
Outreach Program: Volunteer and Caregivers meeting.
1. Ines Marchand organized this meeting. About 50 people were specifically invited. There were 31 in attendance.
2. Dr. Brendan Cavanaugh, the Director welcomed everyone. And Ines Marchand, SW, the Director of Volunteers announced the simple agenda. Malcolm, a natural caregiver gave a brief talk.
3. Katherine Walker, the Director of the Caregivers Program brought her Cello Trio (Kathy Walker, Molly Read and Amanda) They played a short Program (four Quebec folksongs, e.g. "Une Canadienne", the 18 Goldberg Variation (Bach), the theme from the PBS "Civil War" series, and four Beatles songs: e.g. "Yesterday," "When I am 64….," and others. They ended with Ave Verum.
4. Ines invited everyone to enjoy the refreshments and to continue to sit and talk. (The fourth items usually takes the longest and is the most beneifial to the group who attends the meetings. They do not really come for the structured information or gentle entertaining, they come for the individual attention.)