Last year, Chapleau Health Services (SSCHS), along with agencies in four other northern communities, was provided with a Senior Transportation Van by the North East Local Health Integration Network (NELHIN). The purpose of the van is to support seniors in their homes, helping them to maintain their health and live independently.
In the near future, SSCHS will be conducting a Senior Transportation Community Needs Assessment Survey to determine the biggest area of need for the van. Surveys will be distributed within the community for seniors (age 60 and older) to complete. Please watch for further notices on this. Results of the survey will be compiled and will guide SSCHS in implementing the program.
In order for the Senior Transportation Program to be successful, the participation of volunteers is required. The Van comes with no operational funding, therefore volunteer drivers are needed. The program will operate on a cost basis to cover all operating costs (eg. fuel, insurance, maintenance, etc.). Although some advertising for volunteers has been done in the past 6 months, we still do not have sufficient volunteer drivers to operate the program when it is ready.
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer driver, please contact Julia directly at SSCHS at 705-864-3061 for information. As with all our volunteer programs, volunteers must go through a legislated volunteer screening process which involves providing a clean criminal record check, proof of up-to-date immunization and occupational health clearance (done with our Occupational Health Nurse), read and sign pledge of confidentiality, read and sign Volunteer Code of Ethics, completion of Volunteer application, copy of valid driver's license, and proof of a clean driving record. Specific orientation will also be provided for all volunteer drivers, which will assist them in safely completing their role. Volunteers should indicate what kind of availability they can provide to the program (eg. a set day or week, or set time of month, etc.) and if they are willing to do in town, out of town or both kinds of driving. Although some community members find the initial setup for becoming a volunteer time intensive, SSCHS is legally required to complete these steps in order to provide a safe and quality experience for both the clients of their programs and the volunteers.
We strongly encourage all seniors (age 60 and over) to watch for and participate in the upcoming Needs Assessment Survey that will be distributed. It is critically important to get your feedback in order for the Transportation Program to best meet the needs of seniors in our community.
Additionally, without the assistance and dedication of volunteers, the program will not be able to operate, so we encourage all those who can donate some of their time to the program to contact Julia at 705-864-3061 to discuss.
We will be providing feedback to seniors in the community on the outcome of the needs assessment survey once the results are completed. In the interim, for other questions about the Transportation Program please call SSCHS directly at 705-864-3053 and ask for Maria.