Ottawa/Queen's Park



elderly 1461424 1280

Is this the Health Care you consider acceptable?

This is my recent experience with our Health Care System, no opinion, FACTS only.
My wife, a senior of 81, after years of waiting with excruciating pain, had a full right shoulder replacement in Owen Sound on August 4, 2022.
Excellent surgeon, excellent care while in the hospital. She was sent home after a one night stay in the hospital.

Then there was NOTHING.
Just written instructions from the surgeon and a physiotherapy appointment two weeks after surgery.
My wife and I are staying with my son and his wife. They are running a business and have little spare time . But, they do what they can to help us.
While we did everything possible to prepare for good care for my wife in her recovery from major surgery, we have no practical experience when unexpected problems arise. And they did.

I became my wife’s PSW for everything a person is unable to do when the right arm is in a sling , and the arm cannot be moved by us, while staying in a sling for 6 weeks. Day and NIGHT.
I am extremely grateful that I was able to rise to the occasion at my age of 93. I am now a fully experienced PSW , and TOTALLY exhausted.
We had to learn on the fly…a visit from a RN or Occupational therapist to show us the most effective way to keep the patient comfortable and safe from errors by amateurs, would have been greatly appreciated.

Phoned LHIN for Homecare.
The nice gentleman I was put in touch with, was very sympathetic, but had to put us on a waiting list that could not provide care for my wife for at least five weeks. I also asked him about help to get a bed safety rail and a walker. He promised that an Occupational Therapist would call us. This Therapist called us to-day, September 26, 7 weeks after the surgery.
I had bought my wife a bed safety rail, as well as a walker to assist in her recovery, which is going very well with her determination not to be a burden to her family and society.

There is an “Assistive Devices Program” which is supposed to provide things like a walker and have it adjusted to fit individual patients.
BUT, when we needed it, there was no Occupational Therapist available. So we bought the bed rail and walker from our savings. Rail at $159.- and walker at $500.- The trouble is that the Program does not pay retroactively. We were also fortunate that we were able to hire a professional PSW for an hour three times a week at our expense, to bathe my wife and do her hair.
These are the FACTS.

If I had not been able to take care of my wife’s most intimate needs around the clock, after her release from hospital, for a month, the ONLY choice would have been to return her to the hospital, or a Long Term Care Home.
We all hear daily the pressures they are facing!

Almost a generation ago, we had the Victorian Order of Nurses, who provided the homecare that is not available now.
This is NOT a result of COVID, it has been a long time coming, and our political masters were/are content to let the problem get completely out of hand. Profit trumps Care every time on their watch.

As a matter of fact, if memory serves, it was Premier Harris, who opened up Homecare to the “For Profit” sector from south of the border, and we are reaping the benefits of that decision now.
To shortchange Homecare at the most critical time after a major surgical procedure, is irresponsibly short sighted and an unacceptable burden on the patient's family and society.
Will YOU as OUR elected representatives reverse this lack of NEEDED , professional Homecare ?

Karl Braeker




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