Creating Caring Communities
Hospice Toronto advances its model of volunteer-based, home hospice palliative care and support in some of St. James Town’s diverse communities through this innovative approach to end-of-life and life-limiting care to help people living with a life-threatening illness, and their families realize their choice to remain at home and receive care.
Creating Caring Communities is a transformational community development program where we collaborate in culturally sensitive ways with local social agencies and their networks to identify, engage and assist those who are ill, and their caregivers. With the goal of promoting sustained resiliency, families are able to care for their loved ones and community members in their homes for as long as possible.
While introducing our Creating Caring Communities model in some of Toronto’s diverse communities, we have learned that while education is not the primary focus of our work, it is important to fully consider its impact when engaging diverse communities, with a community development approach. Our commitment to a mutual process of information sharing to learn from one-another has become the hallmark of our program and a key element to its success. Community outreach within the St. James Town neighbourhood is driven by its members from the knowledge and trust they have developed through our focus group information workshops and subsequent training sessions. Through word-of-mouth, community members further engage their families, friends and neighbours – it is one of our most effective strategies to engage the many diverse communities in building and sustaining the program.
By supporting existing networks of informal caregivers in the community, while also facilitating links to additional supports through our in-home hospice palliative care volunteer support programs and services, the need to transfer care to a hospital or long-term care facility is minimized. Central to the success of Creating Caring Communities is our ability to work closely with family caregivers and their community members to help them provide care in their own culture and language.
Through Creating Caring Communities, Hospice Toronto helps St. James Town’s diverse communities address:
- General lack of knowledge about medical supports available in the community;
- Navigating the healthcare system to access the right care at the right time;
- Linking people living with illness with our in-home hospice palliative care volunteer support programs and services;
- Need for sustained, on-going caregiving support; and
- Seniors living in isolation at home with serious disabilities and chronic illness.