Who We Are
The Friends… Supporting those with Long Term Health Care Needs (also known simply as “The Friends”) is a non-profit, charitable organization providing supportive services at a community level to disabled individuals and frail, elderly seniors.
Aims and Objectives
The aims and objectives of The Friends are to provide support services that promote a wellness environment in which persons requiring Long Term Care services can find friendship, purpose, respect, privacy assistance with personal care as needed.
Since 1983 the agency has grown from a small, Parry Sound centric service provider serving 30 people and employing 20 staff to one that provides services to 900 clients across the Districts of Parry Sound and Muskoka and employs over 100 staff. The growth in both programs and budgets demonstrates the confidence funders have in the agency’s ability to manage its business, deliver quality services within targets set for it.
For the last 30 years the organization has been providing accessible housing and attendant care to disabled individuals. The Friends Forest Hill Accessible Housing Apartment complex was developed in 1986 as a result of community need and support. Land for the project was donated by the Rotary club and the organization raised funds for the building project. This 31 unit barrier free, fully accessible housing project is the only one of its kind between Barrie and Sudbury. By 2000, a recreation/lounge area for Adult Day Away programs, totally funded through donations/fundraising efforts, was built.
In 1995, at the request of the Board of Directors for Access Muskoka, The Friends took over the delivery of attendant care for individuals in 8 units at Oakwood Heights in Bracebridge.
The agency has also since amalgamated with Muskoka’s Caregiver’s Voice, a support service for those caring for individuals with disabilities or chronic conditions as well as with Port Loring Meals on Wheels/Volunteer Transportation services. This has expanded the territory we serve to just south of Sudbury/North Bay down to Honey Harbour and everywhere in between an area roughly three times the size of P.E.I.
The agency is physically located in two Local Health Integration Networks, however, as its head office is located in Parry Sound, is designated as belonging to the North East Local Health Integration Network planning area. The Friends’ is fully funded by the LHINs and the Ministry of Health.
Board of Directors
The Friends Board consists of up to 10 volunteer Directors. Some of the responsibilities of The Friends Board members are:
- To ensure that The Friends is being managed effectively and efficiently and that the necessary services are being provided.
- To keep the President and C.E.O. informed of all activities related to Committee work.
- To understand the policies, procedures and guidelines of The Friends and its funders and ensure that they are followed.
- To attend regular Board meetings. Board meetings are held throughout the districts of Parry Sound/Muskoka.
- To respect the confidentiality of the information obtained while carrying out their duties.