If there’s anything the current COVID-19 pandemic has shown us, it’s that while we must keep our distance, we are strong together.
It’s with that in mind that the team at Points West Living in Red Deer is gathering a potential pool of volunteers who might be available to help its employee care partners support the seniors with certain needs around the residential community, should staffing limitations arise.
“We’ve been very lucky – we haven’t had any cases of the virus and we were two weeks ahead of the mandate to isolate,” says Tracy Elliott, general manager of the local Points West Living community, home to 114 residents in supportive living and 25 residents in independent living.
So while the seniors’ community itself remains virus-free, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected staffing levels, Elliott explains.
“The COVID virus has created certain restrictions for staff – some have young children at home now with no one to care for them; others have a vulnerable person at home and must self-isolate so they don’t take the chance of bringing the virus home,” Elliott says.
“Knowing that we have options will help alleviate some of the pressure on our team. For our residents, it will let us create an environment that is as close to normal as possible.”
While staffing levels have been maintained for now, the volunteer pool is a way to be prepared just in case the need arises.
Volunteers might help wth food services, for example, housekeeping, or sanitizing high-touch services around the residence, Elliott says, but emphasizes that volunteering won’t lead to permanent or full-time employment and shouldn’t be seen as an opportunity to visit with a loved one.
“We’re looking for people who will be able to help where help is needed.”
Volunteers must be symptom-free, and must be able to declare a clear criminal record that includes working with vulnerable populations. It’s also preferred that volunteers have some flexibility in their schedules and have had their vaccinations, Elliott notes. Like all team members, volunteers will be required to follow all appropriate safety protocols.
How can you help?
If you’re able to join the volunteer roster at Points West Living, call