Thank you Andrina for this update on your mother. Kudos to you for helping her do the right thing for herself. This new place sounds just right for her in many ways. Of course we would have preferred that she had a warm dry place indoors to indulge in her enjoyment of two or three cigarettes per day, but hopefully one day, through hard work, devotion, perseverance and patience we will knock some sense into the public health tyrants' heads and we will see civility and harmony reinstated in society starting with our most deserved members: the vulnerable elderly.
We have managed to find a private facility for my mother. It too has a non smoking policy but as long as she is well enough and wishes to have a cigarette she is free to go outside to smoke and join others who also enjoy a cigarette a couple of times a day. Chairs and ashtrays have even been provided for this purpose! A simple chair and ashtray have become a treasure.
Those in wheelchairs are taken outdoors if they wish to smoke. When seniors are given access to the outdoors they are also enjoying nature, fresh air and friendship with others who have a common interest. The most important thing is freedom to choose and not to be stuck in a lock-up facility like street criminals!
It has been difficult to take her outdoors twice a day but with the help of friends we managed to do just that. We could not stand by and watch her beg staff to take her outside for just ten minutes. Begging became her nightmare and ours too and not one that any of us will soon forget.
My mother will now have all meals provided in a beautifully appointed dining room , assistance with bathing, a hairdresser in the facility, medications dispensed and a measure of safety as well as privacy. Most importantly she will have freedom of access to the complete facility and be encouraged to talk with others at the same level as herself. Until now she has been with residents who for the most part are unable to speak because of dementia or severe strokes and other impairments. She has been using plastic cups for coffee and plastic juice glasses like one would give a little child. Thank goodness she is a reader and listens to world issues on TV. There have been few activities in the time she has been in this lock-up facility.
God bless the other individuals who are such lovely people but for the moment my mother and her happiness has become our only concern.
Basically at the new facility they are given their rights as they would be at home. Independence is encouraged and so is wellness. There is a bill of rights in Canada for seniors in long term care facilities private or government run. This should be read by all Canadians especially those who have loved ones in Ontario long-term care homes. Please read this and pass it along if possible.
We all know there is not a perfect place for seniors to live once they have given up home ownership or private apartments. What is important is that family, friends and community attempt to ensure safety, security, wellness, happiness and independence. We must do more for seniors both in private and government run facilities. Surely at this point in their lives it is wrong to put them to bed at 6.30 PM as is often the case in government run facilities. My mother was unable to have a bath because one staff member called in sick and that situation made it impossible to give baths that evening.
I am sad for those we leave behind but happy for my mother who might have a few years of enjoyment left in her life. She will now be able to have her own bed and chair from home and even her own linens. She might for the first time in months find a little joy in living. She is happy to make the move and though a bit anxious about the changes she looks forward to a better life.
Thanks everyone for your support.