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Your Community Needs Your Help...
Become a Nav-CARE Volunteer

"Social support is not the same as merely being in the presence of others.  The critical issue is reciprocity, being truly heard and seen by the people around us, feeling that we are held in someone's mind and heart.  For our physiology to calm down, heal, and grown we need a visceral feeling of safety."

"No doctor can write a prescription for friendship and love."

~Prof Bessel van der Kolk

Making Connections, Making a Difference

Nav-CARE Volunteer = Quality of Life Navigation

A volunteer navigator is a person who works with individuals living with declining health and their families to facilitate connections, independence, and promote quality of life. They do this by establishing relationships so that they learn who these individuals are and what is important to them. Volunteer navigators then use this knowledge to help them connect with people, resources,

and services, in their communities through a “best fit” family-centric approach. Nav-CARE is a person-centered approach that works with each person and family to determine, and help meet, their unique needs.

"Something as simple as having a cup of tea with

someone can change their life."


What Nav-CARE volunteers do...

Volunteer Navigators:

  • Improve the quality of life for people in their community.

  • Provide support, encouragement and compassionate listening.

  • Help people to stay engaged in what is meaningful to them.

  • Connect people to resources to help them and facilitate community connections.

  • Help people to stay independent for as long as possible.

  • Enjoy special friendships with persons that make both of their lives more meaningful.​ 

  • Advocate for clients and families.

  • Support virtual navigation.

  • Serve as a “stepping-stone” to exploring important, but sometimes difficult, topics like advance care planning.

  • Provide a safety net for those living at home alone and without family nearby.



Who can be a Volunteer Navigator and is there training?

Volunteer navigators are skilled people who are able to support those living with declining health. They may choose this role because they want to help people and make their community a

better place to live.

“Being” versus “Doing”

Above all, volunteer navigators listen
to, support, and encourage individuals with serious illness and their families. Sometimes just being there is a big thing. Volunteer navigators check in on people in their community.

“Being” with the client has many positive benefits such as promoting client engagement and reducing feelings of isolation.

Nav-CARE provides easy to manage
on-line training that you can do from your home.  Organized into 6 modules, you will learn the skills that you need as a volunteer navigator.  Each module has competencies, learning objectives, content, as well as reflective exercises to assist with you ongoing development.


Nav-CARE provides "around the clock support" to ALL of our wonderful volunteers navigators! 


How much time is required to be a Volunteer Navigator?

Each volunteer has only two clients.
The luxury of time that comes with home visits every 2-3 weeks for about 1.5 hours facilitate the volunteer navigator’s ability to be a listening and supportive presence.


Some of the things a volunteer navigator will do:

• Work with individuals and families to describe what is most important to them (priorities for quality of life)

• Help individuals and families find services or resources that make their lives easier

• Provide encouragement and companionship

• Help with overcoming barriers to getting services or resources

• Support and encourage individuals and families as they look for their own resources


What is the role of a Volunteer Navigator?

The navigator role is not a new one. Healthcare navigators have been used for many years to help patients navigate the complexities of the healthcare system.

Nav-CARE Volunteer are NOT healthcare navigators.

A Nav-CARE volunteer works with the client and family to identify their priorities for quality of life. For example, helping clients to connect with friends, leisure activities or social services, or simply being a listening, supportive presence can have beneficial health effects. The emphasis is  on helping to determine what is most important for the client and family within their community relationships, and facilitating access to what is most important. Furthermore, volunteer
navigators begin their work with clients upstream, often before they need home-based healthcare services. This proactive approach enables supportive care to be provided early on in the
declining health trajectory, which enables clients to remain independent for as long as possible.


Nav-CARE clients tell us that volunteers make their lives “more livable.”


What Skills and Knowledge Do Navigators Need?

Learning the role of a volunteer navigator involves learning to see things in new ways and making new connections.

Skills volunteer navigators need:

• To be excellent listeners

• To be excellent communicators

• To understand families and how they work

• To be able to treat each person as an individual

• To be able to solve problems

• To be flexible and adaptable

• To be able to speak up for others

Volunteer navigators need to know:

• Their community

• How to access resources

• How to anticipate the needs of clients and families dealing with serious illness

• When they don’t know something or when they don’t have the information

• When to contact their community agency for support

• How to be supportive with their client when problems can’t be solved

•Their boundaries

Change Someone's Life...
Become a Nav-CARE Volunteer

For information, contact
Kathleen Monahan | Nav-CARE Program Coordinator
Cell:  778-874-8187   Office:  250-285-2255

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