Social connections and answers to questions
Living with or caring for someone with a life-limiting illness can be a lonely and frightening journey, but a successful program in West Niagara gives people and their caregivers a place to go for companionship and support.
The Rose Cottage Visiting Volunteers Drop-In Centre at Mountainview Christian Reformed Church is a twice-monthly chance for residents of West Niagara to meet experts and others with similar experiences.
Thanks to a partnership with the Alzheimer Society’s Brain Wave Café, participants can get answers to their questions, share their experiences and participate in healthy brain activities. The drop-in centre, re-launched in September 2015, has seen hundreds of people take advantage of the caring and friendship it provides, with word of mouth drawing new people each session.
A $4,000 grant from the Niagara Community Foundation enabled the Rose Cottage Visiting Volunteers to revive a version of a day program that had originally run from 2008-2012. The grant paid for refreshments, speakers and a coordinator. It operates from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of the month, at a church that is accessible and conveniently located. Rose Cottage coordinators and volunteers are on hand to facilitate the conversations and activities and to provide refreshments.
“We’ve heard that this is such a sanctuary, especially for caregivers,” said executive director Sherry Cain. “It’s such a welcome break and we know there is such a need.”