FAITHWORKS with our
Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care:
Program for Clients with HIV/AIDS
or who are HIV-impacted
"While we are not ready to return to “business as usual” in the current, COVID-19 environment, our team has been providing phone and video remote supports to clients of our hospice care programs. Our women’s HIV / Spiritual Care support group that normally meets monthly in person, is now doing a weekly video conference meeting, facilitated by a Case Manager. The need for peer support, in high-anxiety times such as these, seems to be greater than ever.
Testimonial from the PAC Women’s Spiritual Care Group:
“As someone living with HIV, I look forward to our monthly discussions, "Around the Table," where women share their spiritual journey and growth. This is the only organization that I am aware of which provides this service for Persons Living with HIV. As a Black woman from the Caribbean, staying spiritually grounded is essential to me, and I am thrilled to know this service is available in Toronto.
Perhaps you think that I can practice my spirituality at church. However, this is not the case. My congregants are not aware of my HIV status; I feel safe sharing this experience with like-minded individuals
Note from our new Chaplain on Women’s Group:
“One lady talked about this group being like her church.”
Note from a PAC volunteer who visits a man who is palliative and dealing with comorbidity complications of aging with HIV/AIDS:
“My client is not only palliative, he’s completely blind and prone to seizures. Even though he sits alone most days, and even though he was sad when his dog died, I’ve never seen him depressed. His partner (who works full-time) told me that he really looks forward to my visits.”
Philip Aziz Centre for Hospice Care
is finding innovative ways to support people impacted by HIV. The team is modifying program delivery and partnering with local AIDS Service Organizations to coordinate services for improved mental health and well-being outcomes. Some of the recent issues addressed include:
- Child welfare issues: As children are getting older, parents are experiencing difficulties in communication and enacting guidelines for their children. This can create tension in the home. We are working with parents and navigating services to help them support their families.
- Aging: People living with HIV/AIDS are experiencing new financial difficulties. Clients who were on ODSP and have now transferred to CPP are challenged to meet their basic need and medical costs with limited funds. We continue to work with PWA to support these clients.
- Securing long-term care: Many clients are reaching the age where they are no longer able to care for themselves and must move into long-term care. Clients share their fear of stigma and discrimination due to their sexuality and HIV status. We are utilizing tools to better understand the needs of aging clients, and how we can best support them.
- Comorbidity: Clients are experiencing new complications of multiple, simultaneous chronic diseases or conditions, which add emotional stress.
- Financial hardships
- Emotional support: PAC is providing counselling support to clients. The case manger/ social worker and the Spiritual Care Coordinator provide ongoing counselling.
- Isolation: PAC is working with the local ASO to help reduce the isolation clients face.'