Practical support is offered on a voluntary basis for short term emergency care by parishes operating care programs. The support offered is unique to each individual parish and is determined by the volunteers available. Support is offered free of charge by coordinators and volunteers who are unpaid. The parish also does not receive funding for this voluntary work.
As all practical support is undertaken by volunteers sufficient notice should be given to allow time for the coordinators of the program to locate a volunteer who is available to carry out the task at the required time. If sufficient notice is not given a volunteer may not be available to undertake the task. (This is especially important for transport to doctors and specialists appointments).
When a volunteer is not available the coordinator may be able to direct you to another agency or organisation which may be able to help you.
Care programs in some parishes offer Bereavement Support Groups which support the bereaved by providing a regular opportunity to share their stories in a safe and comforting environment.
Bereavement Support Groups also aim to support and assist people who are bereaved in the
- understanding of the grief process
- adjustment to the loss
- taking on a new direction in life
The Grief Recovery Method® Outreach Program
The Grief Recovery Method® Outreach Program has been established throughout the United States and Canada through the Grief Recovery Institute, an organisation founded by John W James and Russell Friedman after experiencing recovery from personal grief and loss.
Out of this awareness The Grief Recovery Handbook was written and is used as a basis for the Outreach Program. The concepts of grief recovery presented in this book represent a breakthrough in helping grieving people deal successfully with loss.
People say you have to let go and move on in your life, but they don’t tell you what you need to do to accomplish that. The Grief Recovery Method® Outreach Program not only makes that possible, but provides skills and tools within a safe environment with partnerships and guidance to ensure that it happens.
“Most professionals have addressed grief from a conceptual, intellectual perspective. This has often left grievers with much understanding – but very little recovery.” The Grief Recovery Handbook.
Catholic Outreach is delighted to offer the 7 week Grief Recovery Method Program to grieving people who are dealing with losses from death, relationship, career, trust, faith, safety, health and other losses.
Betty Thompson, a certified Grief Recovery Specialist said that over time the pain of unresolved grief is cumulative and can have a lifelong negative impact on a person’s capacity for happiness. The tools implemented are designed to integrate grief into people’s lives and support a more contented life. Betty was very encouraged by the positive comments made by the participants.
What participants have said about the program
“I realised there were many losses in my life which I hadn’t dealt with in a manner to bring closure to certain relationships and events. Emotionally they affected me still but I was unable to ‘let go’ as I didn’t have the necessary tools. Doing this program gave me the tools necessary. I have a much better perspective.” Silvana
“I gained an understanding of grief and taking hold of grief, putting grief into writing and sharing it with my partner helped tremendously.” Shelia
“Acknowledgement of the fact that I carried many misconceived ideas of what grief is, how it affects me and what I can do to assist myself in working through it. I will hopefully have a ‘listening heart’ to my grief and to the grief of others. The program closed doors and opened windows.” Rosemary
“I gained a clearer understanding of grief and the tools to work with in the present as well as the losses from the past that can still have an impact on the present.” Dennise
“I gained a better understanding of what grief really means. It is not just someone passing away but involves so many other experiences in life.” Cheryl
“I gained a self-awareness of past behaviours and experiences and a deeper appreciation of faith beliefs in coping with grief. Exhilarating and revealing.” John
“I gained the awareness that I need to deal with my grief (with someone I trust) if I want to live the life that I want to live. Everybody has a share in their own grieving, sharing makes it half as painful and doubly effective.” Bonnie
“A lot of the past surfaced and it has been a great relief after voicing it. I have learnt that one can slowly overcome past tribulations by using the very simple guidelines in the book.” Caroline
“The tools learnt gave me greater wisdom in identifying both the positive and negative aspects of every relationship. I learnt that grief is part of being human. This takes a lifetime of learning.” Fr Patrick
In most care programs coordinators can organise a volunteer to provide an emergency meal, such as a casserole, for a family in need. For example, meals may be provided for a short period when someone is recovering from an operation or other crisis.
Parents often appreciate support, especially during stressful times (e.g. sickness), when a care program may be able to offer (subject to available volunteers with Working with Children Cards)
- Read to a child
- Take a child on an outing
- Care of a child with a disability
The occasional handyman, gardening or lawn mowing job can often be organised for a frail aged person or someone facing a crisis.
Emergency home help (such as cleaning, general housework, ironing and washing) will often assist someone in short term need.
Requests for transport are some of the most frequent calls received and it is very important to give as much notice as possible to allow the coordinator time to locate a volunteer who is available to carry out the task at the required time (especially for appointments during office hours). If sufficient notice is not given a volunteer may not be available to undertake the task. Volunteers are available to undertake driving jobs such as going to/from
- Doctors and Specialists
Visiting is more and more important in society today where social isolation and loneliness is very prevalent. Volunteers are available to
- Visit the sick, lonely or a person with a disability (in your home or at a cafe)
- Sit with a house bound person to allow the “Primary Carer” time off
- Read to the aged
Care programs may also undertake other tasks and coordinators should be contacted to determine whether they have volunteers who may be able to assist with special tasks such as
- Interpreter services
- Writing letters