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After the loss of her husband and caregiver, Ellen was connected to Maria, a Circle of Care Social Worker, who helped her access essential resources and navigate a new reality. With Maria’s help, Ellen gained back her confidence in pursuing her passion of designing one of a kind jewellery made from polymer clay.

A Message From Tanya, Circle of Care Communications Director

I joined Circle of Care’s communications team in August 2022. Although I had often come across articles in the media talking about the vulnerability of older adults in our society, my personal experience with this topic was limited. However, when I joined Circle of Care, I came face to face with the realities of what it means for older adults to experience isolation, food scarcity, and complex health challenges. I also witnessed the dedication of their caregivers and of the not-for-profit organizations that support them in living with independence, dignity and joy in their homes for as long as possible.

Ellen’s story, which she has bravely shared, particularly resonated with me not only because her challenges were and continue to be so complex but also because it is a story of her ongoing strength, and of a new, albeit challenging, beginning. It is also a story of the vital role that social work and not-for-profit organizations that provide these services can play in making sure people don’t slip through the cracks.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ellen, and of hearing firsthand what it means to live a life with severe hearing loss and physical disability. After suddenly losing a life partner on whom her daily existence largely depended, she told me about her struggles and how she managed, with the help of a social worker and kind people in the community, to find some support.

Ellen is now for the first time in decades able to hear the sound of her car, the nature outside her window, and her small new dog impishly barking – thanks to a specialized hearing aid she obtained with the help of Maria, a Circle of Care social worker. She can access medical emergency services at the click of a button through a remote monitoring alarm system. She has support with grocery pick up and has joined our bereavement counselling program.
It’s not an easy journey – but Ellen can now live an independent life in the comfort of her own home, with a support system that will continue to be there for her.

More than anything, I was struck by Ellen’s non-wavering fortitude. She has turned her jewelry making hobby into a small business to support herself, making beautiful handmade pendants, brooches, and earrings that have now won international prizes and speak to her fearless creativity.

Resources such as the one that Maria was able to provide for Ellen exist in our community – through organizations such as Circle of Care and many others across Ontario. Please call us to find out more about the supports we provide – or how you can help join these efforts by donating or volunteering.