Following is an article we came across in the Mississauga News.
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Victorian Order of Nurses in dire need of volunteers to visit seniors
By Nouman Khalil
The Mississauga branch of Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) Canada, a national not-for-profit charitable home and community care organization, is in urgent need of volunteers to visit elderly residents in Mississauga on a regular basis to help them maintain their health and wellbeing.
Along with several other programs, VON runs Volunteer Visiting – a social support and companionship program where volunteers visit clients to relieve their stress in different way including going for walks and driving clients to medical appointments or grocery stores. Volunteers also share stories and provide a daily phone call to make sure they are safe and healthy.
“Visiting contributes to the overall psychosocial wellbeing of seniors and adults with disabilities by building meaningful relationships that helps them feel connected to their community,” said care and service manager Heather MacArthur. “It provides them with a sense of belonging and decreases social isolation.”
MacArthur said the program also serves as an outlet for those caregivers who need some relief from work.
However, the numbers of volunteers has been declining for the past two years and the charity is struggling to meet the needs of seniors in the community.
Presently, VON has less than 100 volunteers – each matches one client – for as many seniors in the community. There is more than 300 on the waiting list to join the companionship program.
“We have a long wait list, but don’t have enough volunteers,” said Marissa Trauzzi, care coordinator of client services. “Just in Mississauga, over 300 seniors are waiting and we need at least 300 volunteers for them. Currently we have only 95.”
Trauzzi said lack of time is the biggest barrier for a person to get involved.
The charity is urging residents to spare two hours a week for six months for seniors in the community. Anybody (18 and over) can be a volunteer.
For more information, visit von.ca or call 905-821-3254.
Nouman Khalil is a reporter with The Mississauga News, Brampton Guardian and South Asian Focus. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @NKhalil25 .[/fusion_text][/one_full]