Each week we will post a summary of interesting and representative 211 calls. This week, we have connections from New Brunswick and Newfoundland and Labrador.
It is so important that people feel connected to their communities and that their views matter. Since the pandemic began, those who do not have access to the Internet or who are not comfortable online have often felt excluded. Fortunately, they can still easily reach out to 211 by phone and connect to a Service Navigator.
A 211 Service Navigator took a call from an older adult. He had seen an item on the news about seniors giving their opinion about aging and long term care services in New Brunswick. He wanted to share his views, but he did not know how to proceed or where to go. He said he had no family or friends that could help him with this, and that he did not have access to the Internet.
The Service Navigator asked clarifying questions to make sure he was referred to the proper program. She then offered to do the survey with him over the phone, and she could enter his answers online for him since he had no one to assist him with that. He accepted that option and he completed the survey with her.
He was pleased that he was able to make his opinion known even though he did not have Internet access. He was also pleased that the Service Navigator had taken the time to listen to him. The Service Navigator thanked him for his call and encouraged him to call 211 again should he have any other questions about services in his community.
Newfoundland and Labrador:
Confronting health issues can be so hard, but also dealing with other difficulties at the same time is overwhelming. When people are facing several problems at once, 211 Service Navigators can help them to clarify and prioritize their needs. Then they can help make a plan to confront the different problems.
A woman reached out to 211 at first by email. She was facing several hard issues and it was clear by the message that she was very overwhelmed. The 211 Service Navigator let her know that she wanted to help, but if at all possible, it would be good if the woman could call, so that the Service Navigator could ask more questions and make sure that she was all right.
Fortunately, the woman was able to call and she told the Service Navigator about her situation in depth. She had cancer and was going through treatment. She was also going through a painful divorce and had financial issues. She felt that her most urgent needs were emotional support and counselling. She also needed legal advice. She had applied for Canada Pension Plan Disability and Legal Aid, but was awaiting decisions from them. She told the Service Navigator:”I have nowhere to turn and I don’t know what to do!”
The Service Navigator empathized with the caller and gave her emotional support over the phone. She found agencies to assist the caller with counselling. She also gave her some options for legal advice while she was waiting for the decision from Legal Aid. She urged the caller to call 211 again anytime, and also asked if she wanted a follow up call. She accepted the offer, so she will receive a follow up call to make sure the referrals worked out for her, and that no other new needs have come up.