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Makes me Proud to be from Canada


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Dementia care has become more problematic than ever as people are living longer, so higher chance to succumb at some point in their lives.  Everyone knows the staggering cost associated with NOB care facilities, with some families forced to send loved ones south for affordable care that eludes them any other way. Sadly, this can mean little or no familial contact from that point on.

So I'm thrilled to share this Vancouver Island news story (June 14/22)as an example of what CAN and SHOULD be able to happen almost anywhere.  Following a concept created in Europe, B.C. is applying it vigorously. Fingers crossed it becomes the "new normal" in many other places everywhere.  And take special note that all but one bed will be publicly funded!!    (Yes, that will mean a "means test", but that's been the case in gov't-run care homes in Canada for decades and certainly allowed my low-income aunt to live out her years in comfort and safety.)         

https://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/construction-of-first-dementia-village-on-vancouver-island-begins-1.5946761      Go B.C.!!  Go Canada!!

 

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Starting in 2020, I had to familiarize myself with these facilities and went to 13 of them within a hour of Barrie, Ontario to check them out for my mother. The process is quite involved and to apply, you must choose three and the first one that comes available is the one you take so it's important that you do your due diligence. If you don't take it, you go to the bottom of the list and start over. I chose, for my mum, Simcoe Manor in Beeton, Ontario. All on one level and opened out to a huge patio garden that was fenced where the residents could wander around freely among the trees and flower beds. The dining room overlooked the patio area. Superb and caring staff and I asked about staff turnover. The staff pretty much stayed the same during my mum's time there. Her room overlooked another part of the property (that is not the enclosed area). I was allowed to decorate her room to her taste and put a recliner in her bay window alcove so she could see outside. Private bathroom, that was wheelchair accessible if needed, was equipped with a sink and toilet and lots of storage. Showering or tub bathing was elsewhere and was supervised but private in case of a fall. Her little "suite" was cleaned daily and her laundry was also done for her (everything had to be labelled). Meals were good and you could join your loved one for a $5.00 meal charge. Weekly menu was posted outside the dining area. Lots of activities and her favourite was the sing-a-long to the piano which was played by another resident. All the songs from the war years so she knew all the words. She was happy and content and safe. The cost? Because it was a government of Ontario facility that was inspected regularly without prior knowledge, I would have expected it to cost more. $1,500 Canadian dollars per month. Yes, I am a proud Canadian that these facilities exist to meet the needs of seniors whether they are physically or mentally infirm. I would have preferred to have her with me but it was all too strange and different here. Dementia patients do best in familiar surroundings. It's not hard to get on a list but the patient must be assessed by a qualified Geriatric Doctor to do so. I highly recommend the Canadian book "Ready, Willing and Able" to guide you through the process in Ontario. I'm sure there must be other publications for other provinces. I still miss my mum but she passed away, on the Day of the Dead in 2009.

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My aunt paid $750 in BC (1998-2002) due to her low income. Yes,  rates were based on "means test" and  this happened all across Canada (and still does) . Wonderful facility.

But what's interesting about this new concept is how it's laid out, how people will be in "homes of 12", and a lot more activities including helping in the kitchen if you so desire etc. that MAY lead to decline taking much longer.

 

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I understand. My mum failed the "cooking" assessment miserably. Couldn't keep it together to even make toast and tea. She needed the help desperately and I was grateful that it was there. My daughter-in- law's mother passed away a couple of months ago and her stepfather followed two weeks later. I believe it was the VON (Victorian Order of Nurses) that visited them daily so they could stay in their own home as long as possible. The VON helped with bathing and dressing and light housekeeping along with medication organization. Nice to have options.

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My friend's mom was not allowed to have actually flatware to eat with in her assisted living facility , because her natural penchant for nastiness she had had all her life intensified with her dementia. She used to chuck the utensils at her fellow residents in the dining room. So while the dining facilities and food were good, she was only given plastic utensils 🙂

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