CULTIVATING A COMMUNITY OF ELDER CARE ON THE SUNSHINE COAST
Who cares? Chances are, if you’re reading this, you do. You care about your community; your parents and your grandparents; your children and your grandchildren; your neighbours and your friends.
The word ‘care’, however, has begun to lose its meaning. Even before the pandemic began we were increasingly aware of a crisis in our elder care system, and growing research shows the situation has only worsened: inadequate staffing, lack of beds, overburdened nurses, administrators, health-care aides, and care partners, alongside increased social isolation, disconnection, and lack of mobility for our elders.
So what does it mean to ‘care’ for our elders in this context? How can we, as a community, respond to this evolving crisis without putting more pressure on our existing care systems and networks? How do we build points of connection with elders in our community that add to, and build resilience for, a care system that is on the brink of collapse? What points of connection already exist, and where are they emerging?
“Who Cares?” is a 3 year research, design, and arts-based collaboration based out of the Sunshine Coast that is taking a deep dive into all these questions, and more. Project partners Emily Carr University, Douglas College, and Gibsons’ based Deer Crossing The Art Farm have been meeting with elder care professionals, elders, care partners, and community members for over a year now to connect, explore, and share our creative responses to these questions. Now, we are stepping out a little further into the community so we can connect, explore, and share with you!