Friday, January 7, 2011

Learning from our stories


I first started supply teaching with CBE and OBE, 1982.
Full time in 1989 in CBE, then OCDSB in amalgamation! I used to teach computer workshops to peers.
Then, I moved in April 2006 to Muskoka to care for my parents, who were dying. 
I had a teaching job in Parry Sound ( 62 km away, NNDSB) teaching Anger Management students.
 Mom died 6 weeks after I moved there doing this horrible job, I was away in Toronto giving three workshops at a ETFO Women's IT conference. No one told me how ill mom really was. (Mother's Day weekend).

 I managed to find a transfer to another NNDSB in Humphrey only 40 km away, I lasted there about a month, with a principal who was a bully, ended up on antidepressants, having put Dad into a retirement home, and then long-term care. I retired in December, when I turned age 50, clinically depressed. Dad died in Feb. 2007 from his brain tumour (the dementia was horrible).

I wrote a book about it (see the sidebar). I now give presentations on senior's and senior health. I worked for a Transfer Payment Agency, coordinating blood pressure workshops, presented to caregiver and other (e.g. MS, stroke) support groups on heart health.

We ended up back here to be closer to the grandkids (3 yrs., and 8 mos. old girls!).
Life is different. I miss teaching. I'm still second guessing what might have happened if we hadn't moved the 430 km to Muskoka. But it was a wonderful 4 years by the lake, for the most part.
This is a huge decision adult children make daily: do we move, take our parent(s) in, pay for more help?
This daughter had an issue with her hospital.

Health system failed our mother


Edmonton Journal
 
The mom was 3 hours on a bedpan, with a call button that was unplugged. You'd think that the hospital would have better staffing than this. The family brought mom home, but had difficulty getting a home care program in place through the government services.
 
'Because my mother's home is in a rural area, we had to hire private caregivers to assist us. We did this feeling confident that reimbursement would be forthcoming through the government s "self-managed care program." '
 
What bothers the daughter is,
Finally, on Dec. 23 the social worker arrived to do the assessment required to activate the self-managed care program. We were told that the paperwork would be "rushed" but that it would not be retroactive.

Mom died on Dec. 27, with her life savings greatly reduced by the palliative care costs.

I'd be more worried about her treatment in hospital and ensuring this doesn't happen to others, rather than protecting my inheritance. Far too few people have not got the savings and resources to pay for private home care. I am rather shocked with the response the daughter has had from the media.
Think of those without the means to pay for such support. This also indicates the disparities between rural and urban home care.

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