Support At All Stages

Doug and Helen live in rural Wellington County. Doug is living with dementia and his wife, Helen, is his primary care partner. The couple has a son, but he lives over two hours away by car and the family no longer drives. This has left Doug and Helen feeling quite isolated.

The Alzheimer Society has a strong relationship with the Mount Forest Family Health Team and this client presented for diagnosis there. Upon receipt of the referral, the Alzheimer Society was able to meet with the couple in-person at their home to discuss how we could support them. Doug now attends the VON Mount Forest day program once per week and really enjoys socializing with other seniors. The social worker also helped Doug and Helen get set-up with virtual recreational offerings and a once-per-week phone call with a volunteer. This has helped Doug and Helen to fill the time and meet others who are living with dementia in their community.

Helen is also interested in receiving some care partner support.  The VON offers volunteer driving (also a United Way funded program), however, Helen is nervous about leaving Doug alone. The next step will be introducing Helen to the in-person support group in Mount Forest or having Helen attend one of the virtual/over-the-phone care partners support groups, which may be more accessible.

Helen reports that she and Doug are feeling “happier” since they were connected to the Alzheimer Society. It has helped provide fun and therapeutic programming to Doug but also to help support Helen with one-on-one social work support.

“United Way helps to fill the gaps that are not funded by traditional health care dollars. The Rural Outreach program would not be possible without United Way and we are so grateful for the support.”

In Wellington and Dufferin County, local residents are dealing with complex issues that prevent them from building a good life, including; a lack of transportation, access to stable internet, cost of and access to fresh food, severe isolation, and a low sense of belonging.  At United Way we recognize that the needs and issues that impact the communities we support are different in rural and urban areas, and across distinct communities. Applying a local lens to funding in Wellington County and Dufferin County gives those who are closest to the issues the opportunity to tackle them in ways that they know will work for their location. Learn more about our Rural Communities Impact Area.

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