Spouses & Significant Others (SASO)

SASO volunteers are a group of ordinary individuals who offer practical and emotional help to the spouse or partner of the new ostomate. Before and after surgery the ostomate's medical and physical needs are looked after by professionals. Once home, it is the partners, family and friends who provide the practical and emotional help that is needed. SASO volunteers can help, they have been there themselves and know how far a little help and advice can go. After all, it is not just the ostomate who has to adjust to a new reality!

Betty Woolridge started the SASO movement. In 2007 she received the Maple Leaf Award, Ostomy Canada's highest honour

How can a SASO volunteer help?

When you call the SASO volunteer coordinator, you can expect to be asked about the type of ostomy your significant other has, your age, and your place of residence. We will do our best to pair you with a SASO volunteer whose significant other has the same type of ostomy and who is close to your age, and of course gender. Our volunteers are frequently asked to help share concerns about Diet, Intimacy, Activities, Travel, Pouches and Hygiene. And at times the most difficult issues can be emotional. It’s all about helping you to believe that living life with an ostomate can be just as normal and fun and productive as before; our volunteers after all are living proof! And finally, one more important fact - Our volunteers do not offer medical advice which should be provided by a Doctor or an ET nurse.

SASO volunteer coordinator
Betty Woolridge

Our volunteers are trained and certified by Ostomy Canada and observe a strict code of confidentiality


How SASO Came To Be An Ostomy Canada magazine Winter 2007 article by Betty Woolridge

Supporting your Spouse and Yourself A Vancouver Ostomy Highlife article by Debra Rooney

Having an ostomy doesn't mean the end of the world A Chronicle-Herald "Bright Spot" article by Joel Jacobson