Ashley Andrusiak, Classic LifeCare Operations Coordinator, (Left) and Karol Gouschuk, Community Access Coordinator for CAPCC, look over a care plan at Classic’s office on Friday.
A program in Alberta has been giving younger people living in long-term care access to the community for more than a decade.
Karol Gouschuk, a registered social worker, is the Community Access Coordinator for CAPCC (Community Access for People in Continuing Care.) CAPCC is a program under Spinal Cord Injury Alberta and is funded by the provincial government to provide community interaction for people between the ages of 18 and 65 living in long-term care.
Whether a client is interested in concerts, movies, fitness classes, museums, church services, volunteering, sports, or pretty much anything else you can think of, CAPCC tries to make client-focused community outings possible.
The program was initially created in 2008 as a pilot program to reduce social and cultural isolation and offer clients individualized options for activities in the community.
“A lot of individuals in long-term care settings can experience isolation. Also, the focus in those settings is on group activities without the option to cater to individual interests,” says Karol, who has been with CAPCC since its inception.
The clients come from diverse backgrounds with varying levels of need.
“The circumstances are very broad regarding clients,” says Karol. “We don’t focus on why they are in long-term care. We focus on getting them into the community based on their individualized interests and requests.”
The program serves 350 clients throughout Alberta, which is the only province where CAPCC exists.
Classic LifeCare is one of the contracted agencies in Calgary to provide caregiver support for CAPCC’s clients.
“Classic attends the initial meeting with a new CAPCC clients along with Karol and a representative of the long-term care facility where the client lives – often a social worker or recreation therapist,” says Britney Didier-Shaw, Classic LifeCare Alberta Leader.
Karol gathers information about the client, their specific needs, and, especially, their ideas about what they want to do in the community.
“I help them explore what the options are out there and, if they present a specific request, I research how to make that happen. For example, we have a client right now who wants to get out and shoot some hockey pucks. So I find out where that can happen for him.”
Britney says the Classic LifeCare employees working with CAPCC clients often enjoy the outings because they get to experience unique things in the community with the client. Some great relationships have developed between client and Health Care Worker through their CAPCC outings.
Karol says it’s been gratifying to see the program grow from five initial clients in 2008 to where it is today.
“There are a lot of spokes in the wheel to make this work happen and we are extremely thankful for our partnerships with facilities, staff, clients and agencies.”
For more information, visit http://sci-ab.ca/programs_services/capcc.