Title

“I can’t really explain how important that was to be considered a human being”: Outcomes and opportunities from a compassionate community approach that supports vulnerable persons

Standing

Undergraduate

Type of Proposal

Oral Research Presentation

Challenges Theme

Building Viable, Healthy and Safe Communities

Faculty

Faculty of Nursing

Faculty Sponsor

Kathryn Pfaff

Abstract/Description of Original Work

Background: Population health approaches that comprehensively address the needs of vulnerable persons are desperately needed internationally. The experience of vulnerability is complex, and often linked with low-income, chronic disease, and disability. Compassionate Communities (CC) is a theory of practice that can be universally applied to meet the needs of vulnerable persons. CC interventions emphasize the responsibility of society to care ‘with’ and ‘for’ its citizens as a public health issue. Citizens are purposefully mobilized in partnership with health and social care entities to achieve holistic care.

Purpose: To understand the benefits of the CC intervention for vulnerable persons in Windsor, Ontario, as described by Windsor-Essex Compassionate Care Community (WECCC) stakeholders.

Methods: An applied qualitative approach. Focus group and interview data were collected from clients, care coordinators, and students. We iteratively reviewed transcripts individually and as a team. Data were compared and reduced to generate themes/categories.

Results: ‘A new set of eyes’ illuminated the true needs of people who are ‘invisible’ in the system. Program staff and volunteers ‘took the time to figure things out’. In many circumstances, the ‘little things’ had the biggest impact on client well-being and on the care system.

This research relates to the “Building Viable, Healthy and Safe Communities” Grand Challenge by bringing awareness to how Windsor-Essex is currently supporting its vulnerable population. WECCC is improving the physical and mental health and safety of their clients through social interactions which allow clients to overcome obstacles that they are experiencing in their everyday lives.

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“I can’t really explain how important that was to be considered a human being”: Outcomes and opportunities from a compassionate community approach that supports vulnerable persons

Background: Population health approaches that comprehensively address the needs of vulnerable persons are desperately needed internationally. The experience of vulnerability is complex, and often linked with low-income, chronic disease, and disability. Compassionate Communities (CC) is a theory of practice that can be universally applied to meet the needs of vulnerable persons. CC interventions emphasize the responsibility of society to care ‘with’ and ‘for’ its citizens as a public health issue. Citizens are purposefully mobilized in partnership with health and social care entities to achieve holistic care.

Purpose: To understand the benefits of the CC intervention for vulnerable persons in Windsor, Ontario, as described by Windsor-Essex Compassionate Care Community (WECCC) stakeholders.

Methods: An applied qualitative approach. Focus group and interview data were collected from clients, care coordinators, and students. We iteratively reviewed transcripts individually and as a team. Data were compared and reduced to generate themes/categories.

Results: ‘A new set of eyes’ illuminated the true needs of people who are ‘invisible’ in the system. Program staff and volunteers ‘took the time to figure things out’. In many circumstances, the ‘little things’ had the biggest impact on client well-being and on the care system.

This research relates to the “Building Viable, Healthy and Safe Communities” Grand Challenge by bringing awareness to how Windsor-Essex is currently supporting its vulnerable population. WECCC is improving the physical and mental health and safety of their clients through social interactions which allow clients to overcome obstacles that they are experiencing in their everyday lives.