Test Drive - Page 15

Continuing Connections The Continuing Connections Program assists individuals between 18 and 65 years of age who are residing in a long-term care centre and who have complex care needs since they are dealing with both long-term physical health issues and mental health issues. The objectives of the program are to increase the clients’ confidence and to facilitate healthy living while restoring hope. These individuals may be experiencing hopelessness, isolation or boredom. Individuals participate in therapeutic recreation activities and outings offered by the program, are linked and accompanied to programs in the community and receive regular social visits from volunteers. A partnership program with Alberta Health Services, Continuing Connections is available at Bethany Care Centre, Carewest Dr. Vernon Fanning Centre, Glamorgan Care Centre, and new this year, at Garrison Centre. CMHA CLIENT: “ The group experience, sharing with others, and supporting each other were valuable. I learned about boundaries, communication, to help yourself and your loved one.” ‘Oh, you’re the light of my life. I’m so glad you’re back,’” Whitney says. The woman has since graduated from the Continuing Connections program after turning 66 (the program works with adults age 18-65), but Whitney continues to visit her. Whitney has also been paired with a new client in Continuing Connections. “I definitely think it’s been a very positive experience at least for myself, and I definitely hope so for the people I’m visiting as well.” In 2012-2013: 59 individuals benefited from the program, an increase of 13 from last year 95% of clients reported improvements in their wellness due to the program 86% of clients reported the program helped decrease their isolation A n n u a l R e p o r t t o t h e C o m m u n i t y 2 0 1 2 - 2 0 1 3 15