The Healthy End of Life Project (HELP) Ottawa aims to understand the needs of those living with frailty, chronic or life-limiting illness, those nearing the end of life, caregivers, and the bereaved. Further, HELP Ottawa aspires to create compassionate communities that empower members to feel comfortable and confident while attending to those needs (e.g. checking in on an isolated neighbour, offering support to someone who recently lost a loved one, asking a community member for assistance while caring for an aging parent). Emily Davison and Heather McGrath, Community Facilitators for HELP at Orleans United Church (OUC), have been busy having conversations with OUC members discussing support programs and services available through the church. In doing so, they discovered how this faith-community acts as a source of spiritual growth, learning, and social connection for an ever-growing congregation.
The HELP Ottawa team is excited to announce Emily and Heather are moving onto the next phase of the research where they host interviews to learn about peoples’ experiences of illness, grief, caregiving and bereavement. Here, they hope to better understand the difficulties of asking for and accepting help, as well as how this community can make support for accessible. HELP Ottawa is impressed by the depth of commitment OUC members have for each other, to their church and to improving the resources available to those experiencing challenges and transitions in life. Emily and Heather look forward to talking to as many people as possible over the coming months, so if you have questions, comments, or concerns please do not hesitate to contact them.