The Careable Blog
Dr. Barbara Pike-Armbrust, BPHE, DC, Only Child, Grateful Client
“My Mum, Maggie or Mrs. P, was not a nursing home kind of gal. She was a feisty, independent, intelligent, inquiring woman, who loved politics and current affairs, and a good argument or discussion about it all.
She had been an executive secretary in a large publishing house; a top-notch legal secretary in both downtown law firms and a one-lawyer local office; and an engaging teacher of legal secretarial science at community college. She was also the “community organizer” of events, children and politics when I was growing up.
After I moved to San Francisco in 1998, and saw Mum’s decline beginning in 2005-2006, I knew that I needed to find a nurse/manager to oversee Mum’s health and well-being in my absence. My cousins, Rebecca and Elizabeth, did a great job in my absence, but it was becoming too much for them to handle Mum’s needs.
A dear friend gave me Carol Edwards’ name. I called and spoke with Carol and felt she and her service was what Mum and I needed…but it wasn’t that easy, nor was it on Mum’s agenda!
Mum fought for 18 months against the idea, until she ended up in emergency. Knowing my flight would take six or seven hours to deliver me to help, I called in Carol. Carol met my cousins at the hospital and we all breathed a huge sigh of relief as Carol maneuvered the system expertly. We wouldn’t have known what to do, nor how to get what Mum needed.
In less than 12 hours, Carol had created a team, and we were able to have Mum recover at home, and live for the next 19 months, in her home, independent and running the show, mainly on her terms. With Carol, Anne and Sheila (the GCM that Carol assigned to Mum’s case), I was able to keep Mum’s medical needs, and SOCIAL needs fulfilled. Mum remained engaged intellectually and socially, even as she stayed close to home in the final year of her life. Mum felt in control of her life, a much-needed feeling for her.
With steady, daily care and human/humane interest from two Professional Service Workers (PSWs Camille and Karen) that Carol and Mum chose together, Mum felt cared for and secure…and at home. When Mum stroked, she was found by her dear PSW in the early morning, and taken to hospital, instead of lying helpless, waiting to be found.
Carol called me immediately upon notice of Mum’s stroke, and she, Anne and her PSW looked after Mum until I arrived 6 hours later. The final 33 days of her life, Mum spent at Scarborough Grace Hospital, with familiar professional friends helping the doctors and nursing staff keep her comfortable, as she gently slipped away.
What was helpful for me and Mum was that Carol was always available, by phone, e-mail, (and smoke signals) to confer, discuss and plan for the best choices/actions for Mum. Mum felt secure and this meant that I could maintain my life with my American husband and my business, knowing our bases were covered.
Carol has excellent systems and personnel in place, so that needed actions happen quickly for the best care of client and family.
Work with Carol is a dynamic collaboration, with humane and effective outcomes for all.”