Home With A Heart
Providing support to people with HIV/AIDS and HCV (Hep C) who have immediate health care needs to realize positive health and wellness outcomes through the provision of Transitional Care, Respite Care and End of Life Care.
The following points provide further understanding and perspective on themes within the Vision:
Home – reflects the primary activity of LRAH in terms of providing a haven for individuals who are experiencing turmoil and significant challenges in their lives due to HIV and HCV, along with related co diagnosis issues. A home is a haven. It is a place of stability where most people are loved, experience compassion and where a sense of safety can be achieved. These are all fundamental attributes that many of the clients served by LRAH need in order to even begin to understand and then effectively deal with the challenges they are experiencing.
With a Heart – reflects the culture, atmosphere and environment within the John Gordon Home. That is, a home where people care, are willing to help, respect each person for who they are, are committed to enabling individuals and provide a haven, a place of safety that clients need in order to respond to their challenges and to positively progress.
The following material provides additional perspectives and insights relative to the key themes within the Mission Statement.
Providing Support – this phrase identifies what LRAH undertakes on a day to day basis. It interacts with clients, providing them a range of supports, involving referrals; a home like living environment; and nutritional, recreational and other supports that allow clients to experience a stable living environment, to gain time to reflect on the changes they need to make and to access the services necessary to help facilitate the overcoming of their challenges.
With HIV / AIDS and HCV (HEP C) who have immediate health care needs – this phrase defines the client base that LRAH is primarily associated with. Clients involve individuals who have been diagnosed with HIV / AIDS or HCV, and who also have immediate health care requirements in order to effectively deal with their disease. This statement reflects the lens upon which potential clients are assessed, enter into the LRAH programs and services and for whom LRAH makes a difference.
To realize positive health and wellness outcomes – this phrase defines the principal outcomes or benefits that LRAH delivers. Through its range of services and supports, LRAH assists individual clients London to realize positive health and wellness outcomes, that is, it creates a safe and nurturing environment whereby individuals who have HIV / AIDS or HCV can begin to access the information, services and other resources that allows them to realize an improvement in their physical health, as well as their overall wellness.
Through the provision of – LRAH supports its clients through three categories of supports and services involving: transitional care, such as short term housing; respite care; and end of life care for those individuals who require palliative supports. These areas of services are supported by a range of in-house activities involving nutrition, referrals, recreation, selected health and other supports necessary to both create a nurturing and safe home environment, as well as to connect clients with key partner services that allow clients to achieve positive health and wellness outcomes within their individual situations.
Meeting the Need
John Gordon Home, works in collaboration with community partners to provide a supportive living environment and continuum of programs and services to people with HIV/AIDS and HCV who are in crisis.
There is evidence that deaths from AIDS-related causes have decreased significantly. This appears to be directly related to the aggressive introduction of HAART (highly active anti-retroviral therapy.) The leading causes of AIDS-related deaths are from multiple causes including mycobacterium avium complex (MAC), pneumonia, and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Deaths from non-AIDS related conditions have increased and are related to the increasing age of the HIV population and the high incidence of co-morbidities like intravenous drug use and Hepatitis B and C (HCV) infection resulting in changes to service directions and resident needs. Drug overdoses, suicide, violence, malignancies, cardiovascular disease, and the increased history of smoking are also significant.
Despite the positive trend that individuals are living longer with HIV, there is still a need for palliative services and care. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines palliative care as an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering and the early identification and impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and other problems.
A new pattern is emerging in the care and treatment of individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Individuals increasingly experience periods of health interrupted by bouts of illness that often respond positively to complex new treatments under HAART. Serving individuals with advanced HIV/AIDS and supporting individuals episodic exacerbations of their illness, requires the ability to competently assess, refer and work with multiple agencies and health care providers. This combination of palliative and supportive specialized care is at the heart of the services provided by the London Regional AIDS Hospice (LRAH).
Given longer survival, families and friends require active support to develop coping skills required to support individuals through the many manifestations of the HIV/AIDS trajectory.