Non-profit Handi Apte welcomes new volunteers, expands caregiver services

Woman in wheelchair petting cat
Photo by MarcusAurelius on Pexels
Derek Bullard - CJMQ - SherbrookeQC | 19-10-2023
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Handi Apte, the non-profit in Sherbrooke, is putting out an urgent call for volunteers and caregivers as its community needs grow.

Volunteer Coordinator Elisabeth Janssens recently spoke on "Reaching Out to the Community" with CJMQ, emphasizing the organization's need. Handi Apte's primary mission is to empower disabled individuals to maintain their independence, enhance their quality of life, and combat feelings of isolation in the Eastern Townships.

"Promoting autonomy is central to our mission," Janssens shared. "We not only support individuals in staying in their homes but have also facilitated their transition from retirement facilities back to their personal spaces. This is possible due to the dedication of our home care workers and volunteers."

The organization offers a variety of services, from transport assistance to companionship, to ensuring that disabled individuals can attend medical appointments and complete essential tasks like grocery shopping. Janssens highlighted the importance of community for Handi Apte's work.

"There are members who cannot leave their homes due to their conditions. Our committed volunteers conduct friendly visits and calls, ensuring these individuals stay connected and socially active."

The organization also has a home care referral system, connecting those in need with skilled caregivers. These professionals assist with daily routines, from personal care to household chores, providing relief to family caregivers.

To raise awareness about the challenges faced by the disabled, the non-profit hosts events where participants can experience life with a disability.

"We aim to highlight the daily challenges faced by the disabled. Activities include navigating with a blindfold and white cane or using a wheelchair," said Janssens.

The non-profit organization regularly hosts group events, reflecting its focus on community engagement, from cultural outings to adaptive sports.

"During these outings, members come together to share meals, discuss various topics, and support each other. It's like a large, supportive family," she added.

Janssens encouraged those looking to make a difference to join the organization as volunteers or home care providers, stating, "being part of our team is about making a real impact."

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