On Sept. 10, we were fortunate to spend the afternoon with three health professionals who shared their knowledge and experiences with us as part of our BTIERA “Age-Friendly Communities” project. We were all so happy with the attendance as the level of interest shown will likely mean that additional workshops and presentations will be offered in the future.
The first presenter and organizer of this event was Jennifer Briand, Western Caregiver Support Coordinator for Caregivers Nova Scotia. Jennifer provided us with an overview of services and programs that are available to all Nova Scotians including an explanation of Continuing Care programs, financial programs available and an overview of the ‘transitions in care’ information from the CaregiversNS website. Transitions in Care
Then Cheryl MacKay from the Alzheimer Society Nova Scotia (ASNS) discussed caring for someone with dementia and she gave an overview of symptom management.
Finally, Robin Philip, Occupational Therapist and member of the “Seniors’ Community Health Team” discussed fall prevention in the home. This team visits seniors in their homes to assess and meet their health care needs. The team includes a Dietician, Nurse, Occupational Therapist, Pharmacist, Physiotherapist, Social Worker and a Geriatrician.
Contact information you may find helpful: Jennifer Briand – Caregiver Support 902.521.5592 western@caregiversNS.org Cheryl MacKay – Alzheimer Society 902.422-7961
email@example.com Robin Philip – OT 902.634.7015
In honour of Earth Day we wish to pass along two programs shared with us by island residents.
Rising Sea Level Project The first is a program aimed at educating coastal communities about sea-level rise. On this interactive map, you can identify and share your observations and experiences with sea-level rise impacts in our area. Interactive sea level rise map
The colour coded map markers allow you to indicate the type of impact the rising sea level has. The categories are:
~ Inundation: A permanent submergence of the coast, which creates a new normal water level
~Coastal Erosion: The movement of sediment (e.g., gravel, sand, mud, etc.) away from the land or to another part of the coast
~Coastal Flooding and Storm Surge: Storm surge and flooding result in temporarily flooded homes and properties
~Salt Water Intrusion: Occurs when salt water seeps into fresh groundwater
Another resident let us know about a radon detection program offered by the Nova Scotia Lung Association. This program includes a Department of Natural Resources map on which people can see the concentration of radon in their geographic area. To date, there is no data for Big Tancook Island. You can access the map here This map loads slowly.
The Nova Scotia Lung Association offers radon testing kits for $40. You can order one online here: radon detection kit
Or pick one up at 6331 Lady Hammond Road Suite#200, Halifax.
Several months ago, the Nova Scotia Department of Seniors announced their Age-friendly Communities Grant program. We submitted an application to this program through BTIERA and have just been informed that our application was successful. As a result we have been awarded a grant to accomplish the following four goals:
Survey island residents to assess which health services they currently need or may need in the years ahead.
Conduct thorough research to determine which health service providers are willing to come to Tancook Island.
Create a print resource to be made available to all island residents documenting who to contact for specific health services based on the research results.
Establish a cohort of trained volunteers to help residents age-in-place as long as possible. (This includes palliative care training.)
Several months ago, Lorraine Burch, General Manager of Our Health Centre in Chester came to Tancook to meet with residents to discuss issues and concerns regarding health services. After the meeting, Lorraine lobbied on our behalf and, as a result, we are pleased share a few developments with you.
After an extended suspension of services, the VON has agreed to return to Tancook should a resident require their services. The VON Tri-County office number is 902-742-4512.
There is also a Palliative Care team willing to come to Tancook should their services be required. This can be arranged through a referral from your family doctor.
In order to resume these services, we had to comply with a standard risk assessment given to all communities for which these services are requested. The primary concern was safe transportation of service providers. Among the required criteria were current police checks for drivers as well as vehicle insurance.
Our voices were heard and this is good news for all Tancook residents.
Big Tancook Island is home to many adults and children who have developed a culture of caring for and about others – in little ways and big ways. One small way in which we feel we can spread this culture of caring is through our “Tancook Wishing Stones” project.
A wishing stone is a magical stone or pebble that is found on the seashore and has a white quartz ring on it somewhere. The ring must be complete with no breaks or pauses in the circle it forms. The ring can be crossed by other rings, but must have no beginning and no end in order for the magic to work. When you find a wishing stone, stand by the seashore, hold it in your hand, close your eyes and make a silent wish. Once you’ve made a wish, throw the stone as far into the sea as you can.
We will leave baskets of Tancook Wishing Stones in hospital waiting rooms throughout the province. Each stone will be packaged in a small fabric bag with a card explaining the idea behind a wishing stone and encouraging people to leave a comment on the Tancook Wishing Stones website telling their story. People who spend time in medical waiting rooms often feel worried or alone. Our goal is to spread some cheer and enchantment for patients and their family members with this project.
If you would like to help with this project, please keep an eye open for wishing stones as you stroll along the shore. Or, if you know of a location where we can leave a basket of wishing stones, please let us know.
We are delighted that Thursday’s meeting to discuss health care issues was productive and positive. The meeting was facilitated by Lorraine Burch, Manager of Our Health Centre (OHC) in Chester. She was accompanied by Gord Tate, Active Living/Transportation Coordinator, Chester Municipality; Louise Hopper, Community Health Coordinator and Barbara Carthew, Board Member, Bonny Lea Farm.
We had a good turnout and residents who attended had an opportunity to share their current and future health care needs and concerns.
This meeting is strategically significant as we have now established a valuable link with OHC , an excellent community resource at our doorstep. OHC offers a variety of services and workshops from Diabetes Education to Understanding Dementia. The Centre is open to suggestions for workshops and Lorriane has offered to investigate the possibility of bringing some workshops to Tancook.
Solving problems is very much about building relationships and this meeting did just that. To paraphrase Peter Stephens, “People cannot help us with a problem they don’t know we have.” We now need to maintain the momentum we have set in action and continue to build relationships with health care providers to ensure that we will have a healthy community especially as so many of us enter into the ‘golden” phase of our lives.
“The power outage to Big Tancook this week was due to a cable failure between Blandford and Little Tancook. The failure was on the older of the two cables that run between Blandford and Little Tancook. We did some switching and are feeding the Tancooks from the newest cable between Blandford and Little Tancook. We have determined the place where the cable failed and we are currently putting together the plan to make the repair. The location of the fault is about 600m from the Blandford shore so we require a barge and divers to assist in bringing the cable to the surface to install the splice. If all goes according to plan, this will be completed by the third week in November.
Background: We currently have two cables that leave Blandford and go to Little Tancook. One of these cables was put in service in 2006 and the other in 1990. We also have two cables the run between Little Tancook and Big Tancook. One of these cables was replaced in 2007 and the second was put in service in the 1970’s. We have other islands that are fed through underwater cables that would not have any redundancy. We have replaced a cable between the mainland and each island in the past 10 years to ensure that we have a reliable supply to the islands. The cable that has failed is on our list to be reviewed for cable replacement. This cable has failed 3 times in the past ten years and this would factor into the replacement timing.”