To me, the Holiday Season is all about family, food and friends and it is also a time to reflect. While you may know me best as the Chair of the Board of Directors at Momiji Health Care Society, my father lives at Momiji, which also makes me a family member of one of the tenants as well. In this role, I see first hand what excellent care and respect he receives from the staff at Momiji. I am sure any of our tenants or their family members will tell you the same thing.
In the time that I have personally been involved with Momiji, I have seen so many changes. The biggest is the health of the seniors. Since few tenants move out of Momiji each year, our waiting list, currently over 750 individuals, continues to grow. By the time the seniors move into Momiji, they are on average much older. With age comes increasingly complex care needs, much more than a supportive housing organization can provide. The daily tasks for our 29 PSWs include safety checks, medication reminders, personal care, homemaking (i.e. shopping, light meal preparation), medical/non-medical escorting, health promotion/consultation, and joint services with outside providers of foot care, physiotherapy, and family physician clinics. Increasingly, our PSWs are required to do heavier personal care for many of our tenants. An incredible 55,170 days of personal care services were delivered in the past year alone, and the demand continues to rise. With demand, so do the costs.
While all of this happens inside the Momiji Residence, Momiji is also so much more than just a building. Momiji staff connect seniors in the community with services and programs they need to maintain their quality of life and independence. This includes providing nutritious Japanese meals at our Community Dining programs, friendly visits from Momiji-trained volunteers, personal care services and counselling and information referral services. As the seniors in the community age, their needs continue to grow. This too stretches our resources.
Thanks to our volunteers and donors like you, we have been able to accomplish a lot this past year, but there is still much to be done. As we enter our fifth decade, we know that we must continue to provide excellent care – both at Momiji and in the community. We also know that we must innovate in order to anticipate and accommodate the needs of a new generation of seniors while serving the needs of the current seniors.
Honouring our seniors by caring for them and preserving their dignity and independence is both a duty and a promise. We hope that we can count on your support during this season of giving to help us continue on with our important work. Please give generously so that helping our seniors today will enable them to do more tomorrow.
With best wishes for a healthy and happy New Year.
Chair, Board of Directors