It had not been a good year for Emily Woodruff. After her husband of 60 years died in January she was lonely and increasingly confused, and in June she experienced a stroke, leaving her with right-side paralysis and limited speech. Eating was so difficult that an abdominal feeding tube was inserted.
In July she was discharged to a Complex Continuing Care unit; in September her son asked me to ‘check out her care’. What I found was appalling – the elegant, loquacious lady I had known was alone in a bare room, curled in an awkward fetal position, staring at a silent TV screen on a wall high above her head. Her hair was flat and oily, her hospital nightie reeked of urine, her eyes dull and lifeless and she did not respond when I held her hand and spoke to her. It was clear that a non-hospital environment was essential for Emily’s mental and physical well-being.
While all expert advice indicated long-term care, we succeeded in finding a retirement home to accommodate her needs including a sling-type lift and the feeding tube. We worked with the staff on a routine that got her out of bed, dressed, and into the wheelchair to attend scheduled programs. A companion was hired for one-on-one conversation, outings and weekly hair and manicure appointments.
Six months later Emily Woodruff has been restored – not to her pre-stroke self, but to someone any friend would recognize.
All ElderCareCanada services are billed at an hourly rate, on a fee-for-service basis. In this case
The family paid for 2 hours of assessment, 2 hours of hospital staff meetings, 1 hour to research a caregiver, and $15/hour for the caregiver for 20 hours/week.
No contingency or retainer fees are charged, and ElderCareCanada does not pay or accept commissions, contingency fees, kick-backs or gratuities of any kind. Clients are encouraged to check their employee benefits package, as these services may be covered under their Employee Assistance Plan.
“Pat Irwin has been a godsend. Faced with trying to assess available care facilities when it became apparent that my aged parents could no longer cope with independent
living , I emailed Pat early one morning. She responded within hours, saw my parents that day and had them placed in a week. My mother loved her. She knows the elder care system and provides great advice and help and a variety of service from placement to storage of excess furniture to procuring needed medical appliances. She has continued to assist me and my sister (who is overseas) as changes have been required as my parents conditions changed. I frankly don’t know how I would have managed over the past few years without her help.”
David R. Allgood, Executive Vice-President & General Counsel, Royal Bank of Canada