In a rural location like the Methow Valley, it can be difficult, and at times feel impossible, for aging and isolated community members to find the support they need to lead safe, full lives. The Lookout Coalition, now in its 6th year as a Room One program, centers their supportive resources individuals and families facing complex medical or end of life issues.
In 2017, the Lookout Coalition has assisted 92 individuals in our community, 56% more clients served than in 2015. While the challenges our neighbors face are wide ranging, feedback from our community is consistent t: Lookout volunteer providers make a difference in the lives of the families they work with. When asked what they valued the most from their LOC provider, clients shared:
“Someone to talk to who has been through the hospice program who could tell us what to expect and who to go to for questions & referrals. Loved how responsive they were on the phone when I felt alone and afraid.”
“Assistance and non-judgmental compassion and expertise, kindness and remaining effective when I was falling apart.”
“The Lookout Coalition helped clarify who to talk to and gave some general guidance on what to expect when taking care of a dying loved one. They helped reduce the extreme stress of the situation.”
In addition to direct services, LOC staff is at the table of several community conversations that bring and build health resources for our community. The LOC played an instrumental role in developing the Methow Valley’s suicide intervention team and is a key participant within a regional health care provider network to integrate and develop safety net services for crisis or acute care needs. As need continues to grow across our community and we see changes to health care provision for vulnerable community members, Room One and the Lookout Coalition are critically examining the next phase of the program while staying responsive to what we know is a critical need: compassionate support for our most vulnerable neighbors.