Wise 50 Over 50 Award™
Gary Buffet – Who Cares
I worked in provincial health care communications for more than 20 years. Most recently, I worked as a Small Business Consultant with the local Small Business Centre providing advice to start-ups. I was 54 when I started Who Cares. After my position being downsized as part of provincial health system restructuring, I was left with a broken heart for all the suffering that people endured while governments kept promising to improve the system.
I knew that only 30 percent of home-based care was provided by the provincially funded health system and the remaining 70 percent is provided by family caregivers, friends and neighbours. One out of every three Canadians is helping someone to live in the community. Studies showed caregivers were burning out and needed access to information and services.
Increasingly, governments and health services are promoting their services exclusively on-line and many seniors appreciate printed content.
I wanted to highlight all the great work being done in the community, especially by individuals who care and small organizations that don’t have budgets or expertise to promote themselves. In addition, most organizations only promote their own services and I wanted to create a medium that would promote all services available to help people remain in their community. Essentially, I started Who Cares because I am one who cares.text
The region I live in consistently ranks very poorly in health status compared to the rest of the province and most people are unaware of the statistics. I care about my brothers and sisters and want to encourage people to take better care of themselves, especially if they have been diagnosed with a chronic disease.
Who Cares is a printed magazine and compendium web blog aimed at seniors and family caregivers. To date, more than 80,000 copies have been distributed to the community at not charge to readers. I have been featured on local television shows and presented to seniors’ groups to share information about local health statistics and to share information about information and services available in the community.