Harvey Outreach Selected For
National Research Project
PARTICIPATING IN RESEARCH PROJECT — Beverley Weeks of Harvey Out reach Services shows Michael MacLean the “Generations of Good Cooking” cook book put out by Harvey Outreach For Seniors. Proceeds will go toward ongoing education of home support workers.
Brenda MacMinn Photo
By BRENDA MACMINN For The Daily GleanerHARVEY — Harvey Out reach for Seniors has been selected as the only home sup port group from Atlantic Canada to participate in a nation-wide research project of Michael MacLean and Associates on positive aging.
Michael MacLean of Ottawa visited Harvey to select a case study and talk with home sup port workers involved in the program, the Harvey Community Hospital nurse manager, social workers, Extra-Mural Hospital staff, Outreach staff and board members and additional people involved in providing services to the clientele of Harvey Outreach.
Dr. MacLean will be visiting seven program areas including urban, rural and remote sections of Canada. This project is funded by Health Canada and Fitness Canada for the Canadian Association for Commu nity Care (CACC) and the Canadian Home Care Association
The project looks at how to provide services for frail seniors, seniors who are probably 80 and over who would basically be receiving long term care services, home support services or services that would help them stay in their own homes and as independent and active as possible, he explained.
“Many seniors have conveyed to me the wonderful philosophy of what they can do rather than what they can’t do,” said Dr. MacLean. “I have developed this idea of positive aging from the seniors I have spoken to all across Canada and in England.”
The fact that very little has been published regarding the independence of frail seniors and activities to keep them active sparked this research project. He developed a questionnaire which was sent through the newsletter of CACC and CHCA.
“I heard through the CACC and New Brunswick Home Support Association that the Harvey outreach for Seniors program was a really, really innovative program and that is why I came here to learn more of what you are doing,” said Dr.
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Outreach because it had an innovative program in general but it also serves a rural community and a large number of outlying communities in its programming. It is possible that there is a rural attitude and an urban attitude and I think this fits into the rural attitude,” said the researcher.
From his contacts here, Dr. MacLean learned that it is a real partnership between EMH staff, home support workers and the client in this area. “The whole system would not survive if home support workers were taken out of the system, it’s like a family,” said nurse manager, Ann Walsh.
She noted that the majority of seniors in Harvey think young, they do not consider themselves as old.
When asking seniors what barriers there are to being active and being independent, Dr. MacLean discovered that family members who didn’t rather the debilitative state of health of the individual is the factor.
“It is a matter of how to hold them back,” commented one board member.
It was brought to light that loneliness seemed to be one of the biggest issues throughout the senior population.
To combat this, Harvey Out reach has instituted the Wheels to Meals program where seniors are taken to a central location for a noon meal one day a week and every other week some entertainment or educational program is planned following the meal.
Younger, active seniors do not seem to experience the loneliness to the same degree as the elderly who are house bound and do not have as much independence due to the rural setting.
Source: Rev. Bill Randall’s “From The Scrapbook“