Kathleen’s Story: How she found Quality of Life for her Dad
My dad, John, suffered a severe and life-changing spinal cord injury in October 2016. By March of 2017, he had been in Complex Care for several months. The facility staff were doing their best given my dad’s very complicated case but I was troubled by the many medical and quality of life issues that weren’t being adequately addressed. Even though I was very pro-active about my dad’s care, I couldn’t make any real progress for him and I became frustrated and disheartened. My husband desperately searched Google for a care manager and emailed a number of companies. Carol at Careable Inc. (located in Toronto, Ontario Canada) got back to us right away. We had a reassuring conversation on the phone and within a week she met with us in Guelph Ontario, my dad and my dad’s head nurse to further discuss his case, problem solve and develop care and action plans that could be managed long distance by email, texting and phone calls.
Carol quickly connected with the key people (the complex care physician, the facility’s care coordinator) involved in managing my dad’s care and respectfully but firmly shared our concerns and proposed formally collaborating to address them effectively. She also liaised with the hospital and private healthcare practitioners (nurses, speech language pathologists, physiotherapists) working with my dad to ensure progress was being made. Carol also requested and reviewed daily reports from private caregivers to stay on top of my dad’s physical, mental and emotional status, thereby preventing small, simple problems from becoming big, complicated ones.
My dad’s health and well-being consistently improved under Carol and her team’s management. Working with Careable gave me the invaluable gift of being able to just be a daughter to my father again.
My dad became well enough to leave Complex Care and move into Assisted Living at a Retirement Facility. After the transition, my dad gradually became more anxious, depressed, agitated and eventually aggressive. It was difficult to watch him suffer again after already having suffered so much.
He was prescribed anti-psychotic medication to address his aggression. It unfortunately caused over-sedation; he was rarely ever fully awake or aware. He lost significant weight and developed other physical complications that could have been life-threatening. He had no quality of life.
This is when Rosalee, a geriatric nurse newly working with Careable, became involved in his case and turned it all around.
She made the connection between a decade’s old stroke and my dad’s challenge to regulate his behaviour. Rosalee liaised with his caregivers and with careful data collection and consideration was able to determine what triggered my dad’s difficult behaviours. She then developed specific guidelines of how best to avoid these triggers (don’t force him to go to bed if he isn’t ready, come back later and try again), and equally importantly, how to deal with behaviours once they had been triggered (if he becomes agitated and aggressive, give him safe space to calm down and then re-approach).
Rosalee respectfully educated everyone involved in his care about why he was having trouble regulating his behaviour, provided them with her behavioural management guidelines and consistently advocated for their use.
In this way, we were able to significantly reduce my dad’s agitation and aggression and his doctor agreed to lower the dose of my dad’s anti-psychotic medication. His anxiety lessened, his mood improved, and he recovered his spark and spirit. Rosalee and Carol facilitated my dad’s timely move to a Long Term Care facility, where he could receive the level of care he required. We were able to reduce our private caregiver hours by half, which made his care much more affordable. While Rosalee continues to liaise with everyone involved in my dad’s care, her efforts are much less intensive now that we have resolved so many issues.
Today my dad is leading the best life he can and I am truly grateful to Carol, Rosalee and the Careable team for making that possible. Their approach to care management is personalized, compassionate, holistic and highly effective for both the client and their loved ones.
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I was caring for my parents in their Rosedale home and as the care became increasingly complex, I was aware that the burden of care, added to my business responsibilities was affecting my own health. As my parents care needs were becoming increasing onerous , the unskilled caregivers were a challenge to organize, the food preparation was less than satisfactory, who could do the shopping and attend the numerous medical appointments with my father and mother etc etc
Around this time, while visiting a geriatrician with my father, I was introduced to Carol Edwards who while caring for her own parents seemed to appreciate the difficulties that I was experiencing. I decided to hire Carol, who was a nurse, and guide her through what I knew my parents needed and wanted. We worked together with staff training and reporting , Carol interviewed, hired and engaged staff from an agency with whom she partnered, we managed the food preparation and trained the staff to prepare food that my parents liked.
Carol, under my tutelage, attended physician appointments with my father. At first my parents resented Carol’s intrusion, but eventually warmed and actually came to trust her and appreciate her involvement in their care. I was now able to take vacation, and Carol remained close to my parents while I was away, rather like a substitute daughter. Carol reported directly to me on an as need basis and monthly.
The challenges increased and we involved other skilled assistance to both identify my mother’s care needs and my father’s equipment needs.
As emergencies occurred in the home Carol was both available and attentive. The emotional burden was now overwhelming and it was a benefit to have Carol to delegate tasks while other family members required support . Since I had my own family and responsibilities and other family members increasingly required support and everyone looked to me for guidance, since I was the physician in the family. With Carol’s assistance I had time to be with my parents as their health deteriorated.
Following my parents passing, I remained in contact with Carol, and have found many occasion to refer other “lost souls’ for her guidance and support. Her advocacy role has assisted many friends to navigate our complex and limited health care system.