Help with housing
Your doctor’s office might not seemthe obvious choice to get helpwith affordable housing, but that’sprecisely where Sharon T* got thehelp she needed. A 74-year-old self-employed massage therapist, Sharonsees fewer clients than she used toand so her income has shrunk. Anindependent senior, she’s neverneeded subsidized housing before.
“It was very scary. I wanted to beproactive, but I didn’t know where tostart,” Sharon says.
Through the psychologist ather doctor’s office, Sharon metBrady Galenzavier, a communitysocial worker for the CalgaryFoothills PCN’s Health HomeCommunity initiative. The initiativeworks alongside family doctors,health professionals and otherorganizations to connect patientsto community resources, includingsocial workers.
After living in the same placefor nearly a decade, Sharon wasoverwhelmed with finding a newhome. “Brady had all the resourceson what was out there,” she says.
“He helped me set out a plan anda schedule, and told me whichagencies to contact. He followed up,and was very supportive. I could callhim at any time. I don’t know how Iwould have done this without him.”Community social workers “offera helping hand to reduce feelingsof isolation and hopelessness inmoments of struggle,” Galenzaviersays. Above all, Health HomeCommunity connects with peopleto improve access to care. “A majorfunction of Health Home Communityis to prevent our most vulnerablepatients from feeling lost withina complex health and social caresystem.”“It’s a true mental, emotional andphysical safety net,” Sharon says.“To know that even after I move,Brady will call me to see how it went,that makes me feel good. It’s a realconnection. And doctors are not justfor medical issues; they help with lifeissues. Ask for help. We all need helpsometimes.”
*last name withheld for privacy
Call 1-855-79-CFPCN (23726)
to book a free appointment
with a Health Home
Community social worker.
No referral required. Free
workshops also available; book
online at cfpcn.ca.
Walking the walk
Overcoming barriers to exercise
can come down to simply
listening. “We kept hearing the
same thing. Individuals wanted a
safe, affordable and social way to
exercise in their community—they
wanted a walking group,” says
Katie Krenz, a kinesiologist and
the new community development
lead for the South Calgary PCN. So
Krenz helped start an adult walking
program. Since it began nearly four
years ago, the group has evolved
to meet the mobility and social
needs of its members. Walkers meet
twice a week to walk laps together,
socialize and cheer each other on.
Many of South Calgary’s recreationcentres focus on youth programs,so “the 50-plus demographic hasvery few options to get activesafely,” Krenz says. “The walkinggroup addresses that need as well asprovides a platform for socialization.Lasting friendships have been madeand most importantly, a communityin itself has been created.”“This group has really helped me,”
says member Bev Neuls. (See Neuls’story on page 8.) “When you go,you feel so much better. You havedone some walking, met somepeople, had some laughs—the wholeatmosphere has been great for mygeneral well-being and health.”
The South Calgary PCN walkinggroup meets Tuesdays andThursdays from 11 a.m. tonoon at the Lake BonavistaPromenade, 755 LakeBonavista Dr. S.E.