Our Clients: Journey Stories
A lively woman in her 80’s, Joan enjoyed a busy social life, a home of her own and the independence of her own car. But as her health declined, her needs changed. HealthCare Sisters worked with Joan and her family to create a plan. We recommended eight weeks of respite care and worked together to help her select a local retirement home. This enabled Joan to tryout the residence and its services. After her experience there, Joan decided that a permanent move would help her maintain her independence. We created a shortlist of retirement homes based on Joan’s criteria and visited them together. And, we helped her finalize her decision and supported her move into her new retirement home… with her car.
Deciding to move to a retirement home was very hard for me. Diana and Hillary were with me every step of the way. Looking, deciding, packing and moving. My comfort and concerns were always first with them. Diana even helped me sort through my things in order to downsize. I couldn’t have done it without them. -- Joan C., Toronto
Single moms don’t have time to get sick. Following upper spinal surgery, Karen assumed she’d be back in action quickly. Unfortunately, the surgery left her with partial paralysis and she needed assistance with eating and personal care. Karen turned to the HealthCare Sisters for help. Together, we crafted a plan to support Karen and her family during her hospital stay and long recovery at home. We set up a schedule to coordinate visits, meals, transportation, and shopping. We accompanied Karen to her medical appointments and took detailed notes. This enabled her to compile a portfolio of her health record, medical visits and discussions, which ensured better communication and collaboration between Karen, her family and her health care team.
“After unexpected complication due to surgery, I needed the services of HealthCare Sisters. Your humour, patience, organization and planning was invaluable. Thank you so much for helping me get back on my feet!” -- Karen, Toronto
Kate and her siblings started to notice that their physically fit parents were beginning to show signs of cognitive decline. They contacted the HealthCare Sisters to put a plan in place that would support their parents’ desire to remain in their own home for long as possible. We worked with Kate and her siblings to access a dementia assessment for both parents. We also arranged for an occupational therapy assessment for hazards in their home and recommended additional caregiver support. But everyone recognized that this would be a short-term solution and they will ultimately need to leave their home. Together, we identified five local long-term care homes with dementia support services. Kate and her siblings now have a plan to guide them in supporting their parents as they age.
Thanks HealthCare Sisters for your compassionate listening, practical suggestions and helping us understand the confusing Long-Term Care home system in Ontario.” -- Kate D., Toronto
Bob and Catherine's Story
Bob and Catherine are enjoying condo living, but they are both slowing down. At age 97, Bob realizes that they need more support in order to stay in their home. While they are able to do things themselves, such as bathing, cooking, shopping and laundry, everything takes longer than it used to and seems more complicated. Falls are a big concern as they cannot help each other up from the floor. Bob had surgery for colon cancer a few years ago and has a colostomy bag. A nurse comes in three times a week to check on him. The Healthcare Sisters worked with Bob and Irene to develop a plan to age in place. With support from their GP and the local LHIN, the HealthCare Sisters coordinated an in-home cognitive assessment, a meeting with a dietician and a safety assessment by an Occupational Therapist. As a result of the assessments, Bob made the decision to give up driving and their home was made safer with the removal of area rugs, cleared hallways and new grab bars in bathrooms. A consultation was arranged with their pharmacist to get weekly blister pack medications delivered and both Bob and Catherine agreed to wear fall alert necklaces. Family members were advised to attend all doctors appointments to help the couple record and interpret doctors’ advice. As a WWII veteran, Bob is also entitled to some additional government benefits which the HealthCare Sisters helped him to access including: a few hours of light housekeeping, a stipend for cab fare and an annual assessment from Veterans Affairs to determine any additional needs. Catherine and Robert continue to see friends in the building and in their neighbourhood, shop at their favourite stores, and enjoy local outings. They are aging gracefully in place.
“My husband and I want to stay in our condo for as long as we are able. But we recognize that some things need to change. By consulting with the HealthCare Sisters, we were able to come up with a plan for us to remain safely, with peace of mind, in our home. Thank you!” -- Catherine, Toronto