Silvia Weidner

Better at Home boosts quality of life

A client of a new program to assist seniors who want to continue to live in their own homes but need help wants others to know about it too.

A client of a new program to assist seniors who want to continue to live in their own homes but need help doing daily tasks wants others who need it to know about the program too.

Silvia Weidner, who has been receiving services since shortly after the program started in January, has a homemaking worker come in to clean her place for an hour-and-a-half every two weeks as part of the provincial Better at Home Program.

“I’m so glad to have this program,” said Weidner. “It’s taken the weight off my shoulders and improved my outlook.”

The Better at Home program, rolled out a year ago by the provincial government and organized and overseen by the United Way, is aimed at providing services to seniors so they can continue to live in their homes.

Volunteer Terrace works with We Care Home Health Services, which provides the workers, who do personal care, homemaking, and medical care at home to name a few things. We Care Home Health Services is accredited and all staff are registered and insured.

Confidentiality is also a big part of the workers’ jobs, which means the clients know that anything said or what happens at their residences is kept confidential, leading to trust between the client and worker.

Weidner, who has cancer, finds it difficult to do things, such as cleaning and doing dishes.

It’s difficult to ask friends and family to help because they work and aren’t always available, she said.

She didn’t even know about the service until a friend mentioned it and encouraged her to apply.

“I didn’t think I’d qualify,” she said, adding she was pleased when she found out she’d been accepted.

The service helps with a person’s mental well-being which in turn, affects physical well-being, said Weidner.

“She keeps me in the standard I like to have,” she said about her worker, whose name is kept confidential.

“Because the cleanliness is kept up, it’s not depressing,” she said, adding it’s easier to keep it up afterward and that also makes the work easier for the worker the next time.

Ida Mohler, the Better at Home coordinator at Volunteer Terrace, said after an application for the program is received, she and We Care staff will go to assess a person’s home to see what needs to be done and what kind of worker is required. Then We Care matches the worker to the client, which has been a perfect match for Weidner.

“My worker is just fabulous,” she said.

Her worker cleans her place, which has included the ceiling fan, and after several months of wanting to do it, finally had time to clean the knick knacks on top of the cupboards.

She took them down, Weidner washed them and she put them back up.

“They work along with you,’ said Mohler about the workers. Workers come in to assist the clients, who may still want to do some tasks themselves, such as make the bed or do their own laundry, but need help with other aspects of living, and that’s fine, said Mohler.

Workers are sensitive to the client’s needs and compassionate too, said Weidner.

One time, Weidner was too sick to do her dishes and her worker asked if there was anything else she’d like her to do.

“She actually asked ‘can I do this for you?’” said Weidner, who was pleased to be asked.

“Quality of life is important and this contributes to my qualify of life.”

Mohler said the program can have 30 clients and, with only 17 clients at present, there’s room for more.

A worker may come in temporarily or on a permanent basis and the service can be put on hold for a while if a client has family visiting and doesn’t need the help during that time.

Weidner encourages those who have never thought of getting the Better at Home program to try it.

“I know what a difference it makes for me and if it helps me, it can help somebody else,” she said.