West Kootenay Nav-CARE2022-12-16T22:13:48+00:00

West Kootenay Nav-CARE Collective

A compassionate community-based program helping adults living with declining health, social isolation or increased frailty by providing social, emotional, and practical support.

COORDINATORS

Nelson 778.689.6832
Nakusp 250.551.1414
Salmo 778.760.3659
Slocan Valley 250.551.6190
Trail 250.368.7347

Program Manager

Erin Thompson    613.795.2460

Contact us for other west Kootenay areas

Welcome to the West Kootenay Nav-CARE Collective

The West Kootenay Nav-care Collective operates with the support and cooperation of the Greater Trail Hospice Society.

Developed by Dr. Barbara Pesut, Ph.D. Canada Research Chair in Health, Ethics, and Diversity at UBC, and Dr. Wendy Duggleby, Research Chair in Aging and Quality of Life at the University of Alberta, Nav-CARE is an evidence-based program making a tangible impact on the quality of life of adults with declining health. Visit Nav-care.ca for more information.

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Nav-CARE is a free compassionate community-based program developed to improve the quality of life of adults living with chronic illness, social isolation or increased frailty.
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Become a Volunteer

Are you a caring person, but unsure of how to get started? Join our volunteer team to access free training, support, and mentorship while helping someone in need.
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MEET OUR COORDINATORS

The West Kootenay Nav-CARE service area covers Salmo, Nelson, Balfour, the Slocan Valley, Nakusp, and all areas in-between. Nav-CARE is also offered by the Greater Trail Hospice Society in the Greater Trail area, in Invermere through the Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley and in Castlegar through the Castlegar Hospice Society.

TONI D'ANDREA
TONI D'ANDREANav-CARE Coordinator, Salmo
Toni joined the Nav-CARE team spring of 2022. Toni previously worked as a nurse assisting persons in care and those well enough to remain in their own homes.
ERIN THOMPSON
ERIN THOMPSONNav-CARE Program Manager
Erin started the Nav-CARE program in Nelson in 2019, and is thrilled to now help people across the region with the support of her amazing team. As Program Manager, Erin utilizes her skills at navigating complex situations and securing funding.
ANA BOKSTROM
ANA BOKSTROMNav-CARE coordinator, Slocan Valley
Ana Bokstrom has 15 years of experience in hospice and seniors home support. Ana’s passion has been the development of compassionate communities.
CHRISTA REBMAN
CHRISTA REBMANNav-CARE coordinator, Nakusp
Always looking for ways to bring love into action she is grateful to be a part of fostering more compassionate and connected communities by offering heart-centered support.
VALENTINA GUARNERI
VALENTINA GUARNERINav-CARE coordinator, Nelson
Swiss-Italian born and graduated in Clinical & Community Psychology, Valentina joined West Kootenay Nav-CARE to fulfill her wish and commitment to be of service to the community.
LINDA MERLO
LINDA MERLONav-CARE coordinator, Trail
As Nav-care coordinator for Trail since July 2021, Linda brings 22 years of advocacy for individuals to her position and aspires to make our communities a compassionate and welcoming place.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who is Nav-CARE designed to help?2022-07-24T01:02:47+00:00

ADULTS LIVING WITH QUALITY OF LIFE CONCERNS SUCH AS:

  • Loneliness or social isolation
  • Recent loss or multiple losses
  • Mobility or sensory challenges
  • Increased disengagement
  • Coping with transitions and multiple decisions
  • Difficulty finding or accessing information or resources
  • Perceived need for the program
What does Nav-CARE mean?2022-07-24T02:40:03+00:00

NAV-CARE IS AN ACRONYM. IT IS CALLED NAV-CARE INSTEAD OF N-CARE BECAUSE THE LATTER SOUNDS TOO MUCH LIKE “END-CARE”. THE ACRONYM IS EXPLAINED BELOW:

NAV – NAVIGATING.
Volunteers are called navigators, as they help navigate changes in quality of life and aging with clients, a role that previous clients have described as making their life with serious illness “more liveable.” Volunteers are not involved in healthcare system navigation – that is the role of social workers at the hospital and referrals can be made for clients needing this kind of support.

Some examples of navigating: filling in forms together; making necessary phone calls together, particularly for a client who is deaf or hard of hearing; finding mobility or sensory aids to assist with daily living; helping the client and family to understand what they can expect in the future; providing empathetic listening; supporting decision-making in complex situations.

C – CONNECTING.
Volunteers and clients are paired 1:1 based on personality, interests, and life experience to encourage the development of a close relationship. Volunteers help to reconnect clients with their community by visiting them in their home, or as one client said, by “bringing the community to them.”

Some examples of connecting: having friendly visits together; telling stories; signing up for an intergenerational gardening program; finding in-person or online support groups (could be with others living with the same illness); looking up information for the client; connecting the client to their religious or spiritual community; support creating new or maintaining existing relationships after a major loss; providing grief support.

A – ASSESSING.
Volunteers work with clients to assess their quality of life and identify potential areas where the volunteer can provide support. Assessing is important for safety because it involves looking for and identifying a concern before it becomes a problem. It also allows the client to reflect on how they feel about the many aspects of their lives in an honest manner.

Some examples of assessing: asking what is most important in their lives right now; prioritizing client needs and creating relevant action plans; talking about their caregiving situation, how that might need to change in the future, and what options exist; initiating discussion about common quality of life concerns such as: pain, fatigue/exhaustion, nausea/vomiting/constipation, loss of appetite, or breathlessness and supporting connection to healthcare professionals to improve symptom management.

R – RESOURCING.
Many services and resources go under-utilized because the people who need them are too overwhelmed to actively seek them out or sift through all the options to find the right fit. Volunteers can help connect clients with other services and resources in the community that can help support them to maintain their independence. Rather than have the volunteer do everything for the client and therefore end up in a dependent situation, volunteers seek out existing services that broaden the client’s support network

Some examples of resourcing: finding transportation to appointments and social outings; connecting a client with a grocery delivery service; helping a client to create an appropriate Advance Care Plan and initiate the conversation with their loved ones; signing up for homecare services; finding low-cost house cleaning or yard work services; connecting a client to financial or legal services when necessary; helping a client find appropriate housing or transition to assisted/long-term care; referring to healthcare services such as counseling, occupational therapists, etc.

E – ENGAGING.
As people age, they may feel increasingly disengaged in what makes their lives meaningful. Volunteers can help older adults to reconnect with hobbies, social groups, physical activity, and technology to make their lives feel more enriched and enjoyable.

Some examples of engaging: attending an activity or event together; searching for interest or social groups that match the client; practicing a game or activity to rebuild client confidence in their ability to do it independently; doing activities together, such as walking or swimming; helping the client to connect with their family; teaching a client to use technology or adaptive equipment; looking at photo albums together; doing a life review; writing down or recording stories as a memoir for family/friends; talking about end-of-life.

What are some possible positive outcomes?2022-07-24T02:40:20+00:00

THESE ARE SOME OF THE POSITIVE RESULTS WE HAVE SEEN THUS FAR:

  • Clients are able to ask for help without feeling like they are burdening their friends or family
  • Having a neutral person who clients can talk to honestly about their feelings and situation
  • Someone who can help clients explore their options so that they feel they are making informed decisions for their life and their care
  • Respite for family members during visits
  • Companionship, someone who will regularly check-in and see how they’re doing
  • Having the reassurance that someone who cares is there to help
  • Decreased feelings of overwhelm, for the individual and the family
  • Greater community resilience – caring for our elders knowing that we in turn will be cared for
Who qualifies? Is there an age requirement?2022-07-24T02:40:30+00:00

IN THE PAST, NAV-CARE WAS LIMITED TO SENIORS, BUT IT IS NOW AVAILABLE TO ALL ADULTS WITH DECLINING HEALTH OR EXPERIENCING A QUALITY OF LIFE CONCERN LISTED IN THE FIRST QUESTION.

There is no need to have a specific diagnosis or condition; what is important is that the person accessing the service feels that they can benefit from being matched with a volunteer.

What measures are you taking to prevent the spread of Covid-19?2022-07-24T02:40:39+00:00

We take the safety of our clients and volunteers seriously. Most in-person services have been reinstated, however, we continue to offer virtual support based on personal preference. If a client and volunteer wish to meet in-person, and the provincial and local health guidelines allow, both people must adhere to our Safe Meeting Plan and sign a Personal Responsibility Agreement acknowledging that they have read and will adhere to the protocols stipulated by West Kootenay Nav-CARE. Please contact the Nav-CARE Coordinator for a copy of the Safe Meeting Plan.

Nav-CARE’s specially trained volunteers are matched one-to-one with clients to provide consistent, caring support and to encourage the development of a close connection.

Contact us to volunteer or request services

We’re happy to respond to all inquiries. We can provide online, self-directed training for volunteers. Clients and their families can self-refer.

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