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Near North Palliative Care Network looking for senior volunteers

The Near North Palliative Care Network (NNPCN) is looking for seniors who are interested in volunteering.

The Seniors Sharing The Caring event goes live tomorrow (March 31). Officials say the day is aimed at engaging with seniors to combat social isolation and promote seniors’ physical and psychosocial wellness through volunteering opportunities, including gardening at the North Bay waterfront, and raising awareness for the 13th annual Butterfly release this summer.

Monica Do Coutto Monni, NNPCN’s Executive Director, says she’s happy to host events like these again now that the province has re-opened.

“We had originally received a grant right before the pandemic hit. The original project was supposed to be a series of in-person meetings with the small communities in our region, to engage seniors with volunteering and combat social isolation,” says Do Coutto Monni. “When COVID hit the grant was put on hold for some time, waiting for the province to open up. Now we’re back on the field full force and having a mega event tomorrow. The goal is to recruit goodwill ambassadors for North north in our communities, and these ambassadors will help us engage with volunteering with the upcoming butterfly release.”

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Do Coutto Monni says NNPCN’s primary goal is serving clients with end-of-life care.

“We have highly-trained volunteers to go to our clients and give them the best quality of life possible in their final months or years. We also deal with a lot bereavement,” adds Du Coutto Monni.

She says science shows that after someone reaches 55, and if they have good engagement with family, friends and social circles, they stay healthier and live longer.

“However seniors who get lonely, health deteriorates faster. It’s not only physical, but it’s also mental health,” she says. “Isolated people are more prone to depression, anxiety and this impacts the quality of life for a senior. Seniors should be enjoying life to the fullest.”

Do Coutto Monni says it’s easy to convince people of that now, after the last two years of COVID-19 and social isolation.

“It showed us very clearly how difficult it is to be lonely and looking at four walls inside our home,” she says. “That’s why this is so important.”

The event is hosted by Hariett Madigan, Clean Green Beautiful North Bay’s Chair. The free event will run from 11:30am to 3pm, and will include seniors and representatives of surrounding communities, door prizes and more. Space is limited and you can register by calling 705-497-9239. The event will also be live-streamed on NNPCN’s youtube and facebook pages.


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