Clara’s quality of life was severely impacted when her health took a turn for the worse. Chronic, debilitating pain left Clara with many unmet needs including feeling isolated and overwhelmed. Other than receiving support from a mental health worker, Clara did not qualify for any other health services in her rural community where she lived alone. Unable to find the energy to even make phone calls, Clara described the assistance of the volunteer navigator as crucial at a time when she felt increasingly frustrated trying to find and connect herself to local resources.
When Clara first joined the Nav-CARE program she described herself as having no energy and felt strongly that her needs weren’t being taken seriously.
“The volunteer navigator helped me through some problems when I was really running out of steam. She was able to handle people on the phone for me. You know, it was just a really nice thing because I just wasn’t capable of it anymore especially when somebody doesn’t want to listen or hear what I have to say, which happens a lot.”
In addition to advocating on Clara’s behalf when needed, the volunteer navigator assisted her in creating an advance care plan. Having a plan was really important to Clara but her health status prevented her gathering information and documenting her wishes. According to Clara, over the course of the regular in-home visits with the volunteer navigator she was able to get her life in order.
From assisting Clara to get signed up with the Memorial Society, gathering information on organ donation, and connecting her to a funeral home, the volunteer navigator was able to work with her to put together an advance care plan. Clara identified this support as most valuable as it not only allowed her to prepare for the future but it helped her to “stay grounded” knowing that she had a reliable, non-judgmental advocate working on her behalf.