Community Care planning for move to ‘new normal’

We’re waiting for the time when Public Health and the government say it’s safe to reopen our office building, Thrift Shop, and programs.

We’re planning for the time when we can move into the new normal.  Quite likely it will be a gradual opening, depending upon the activity and the people involved.

Since Friday, March 13 the Community Care office has been closed.  All staff are working from home offices.  Some services have been operating with modified procedures – such as delivery of hot & frozen Meals on Wheels.  Reassurance calls have been ramped up so that hundreds of people now receive a regular telephone call.  Active Living Programs have been moved online and a full schedule of webinars and telephone chats can be found listed on the website.

Community Care has started new programming during the pandemic.  We now arrange for free pick up and delivery of groceries, medicines and other essentials.  We also help seniors place email and online orders.  This is in an effort to make it possible for seniors to self-isolate at home for the safety of themselves and the community.

There are also programs that have been stopped and then restarted.  We’ve been working with CRA for over 30 years to offer the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program and on March 13th we had to stop the program because the office was closed.  CRA has now approved modified procedures and extended the tax deadline to June 1st.  This makes it possible for Community Care volunteers to again complete tax returns for eligible seniors.  Call 613-476-7493 and leave a message.  Staff will call you back and explain how we’re managing the program during the pandemic.

Now that the government has allowed landscape businesses to operate we’re again offering our outdoor home maintenance program.  Physical distancing protocols must be closely adhered to.

The Thrift Shop volunteers that you love to chat with when shopping at 153 Main Street are all anxious to get back to the store.  Community Care’s Thrift Shop is an important fundraiser and supports programs to help seniors live at home.  All the volunteers are seniors and the Chief Medical Officer of Health has asked all seniors 70+ to self-isolate at home. Also, retail operations are not yet on the list of businesses that can open.  We’re planning for that day, however, and we hope that soon we’ll be able to welcome back our customers and donors.

We know that seniors are waiting for news on when the Foot Care Clinics will reopen.  We’re planning for that, too, and when we can open staff will call and book appointments.  We’ll run back to back clinics until we can catch up on the backlog.

A huge dose of patience is required as we all wait in this holding pattern.  A bigger dose of patience will be needed when we can gradually open up and find our way with new procedures and modified processes in the new normal.

For information about services call 613-476-7493 and leave a detailed message.

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-Debbie MacDonald Moynes