What can Ostomy Canada do for me?
The Ostomy Canada Society (formerly the United Ostomy Association of Canada) is an organization for people with an ostomy and their families, loved ones and supporters. Having ostomy surgery is a big change in the way your body looks, functions and how you feel in it; knowing there are other people who have been through the same thing can be helpful. This is the idea behind Ostomy Canada.
Ostomy Canada provides many services; they offer support groups around the country where people with ostomies and supporters can get together to learn from each other, see new products, and talk to ET nurses. They do fundraising through the Stoma Stroll, and raise awareness that for many, having ostomy surgery is a life-saving decision.
Their website shares stories from people who have had surgery and are living successful, full lives with their ostomy. They publish a newsletter, and post surveys about life with an ostomy that can help change access to products and supports. Joint work between Ostomy Canada and the Canadian Association of Enterostomal Therapists (CAET) resulted in an increase in annual reimbursement for people living with an ostomy in Ontario, for example.
Ostomy Canada also supports a network of volunteers who are open to sharing their experiences of living with an ostomy with people who are considering surgery, or have already had surgery. Talking to someone who can answer your questions from their own experience can change your outlook on what it means to have ostomy surgery. Your local chapter can help connect you with a volunteer like this. There is also an online forum where people can share their experiences, as well as a library of resources about living with an ostomy.
Youth Camp is an event sponsored and supported by Ostomy Canada. This is a sleep-away camp held each summer for kids who have ostomies and other bowel or bladder diversions. This is a special opportunity for kids (ages 9-18) to share their experiences and knowledge with each other, and discuss the varying issues that arise as they grow up with an ostomy.
Ostomy Canada also offers bursaries to attend post-secondary students with a permanent ostomy or other urinary or bowel diversion surgery. Donations can be made to help support these kids accomplish their dreams through your local chapter, of by participating in the Stoma Stroll.
Not everyone wants to join a support group, but everyone has questions after ostomy surgery. Knowing where to access resources is key to adapting to your “new normal”, and Ostomy Canada is the hub for helping you find the information, support and contacts you need to have a full and successful life after ostomy surgery.
Take a peek at our Upcoming Events listings to find out when the ostomy group near you is having their next meeting!
Find Ostomy Canada Society at www.ostomycanada.ca