“It’s a really devastating time when a family member becomes ill and you don’t know where to go for help,” says Tara Bolden. “I thought I knew how to navigate the health care system, but I didn’t really know what hidden treasures there were embedded within it.”
For the Bolden family, the need for help came suddenly when Tara’s mother Josephine developed a rapidly progressive dementia. Her family physician, Dr. Thind, explains Josephine’s diagnosis as a “rare degenerative brain disorder” that dramatically affected her memory, speech and mobility in only a few short months.
Recognizing the support Josephine and her family would need as she continued to decline, Dr. Thind asked CCAC Care Coordinator Sandra Hastings to connect with the Boldens.
Sandra responded by meeting with the family to understand how she could best support their needs and wishes.
“Josephine faces numerous challenges that impact her health, well-being and safety,” Sandra notes. “As her care coordinator, I want to make sure that both she and her family are well supported so they can stay at home for as long as possible, which is their ultimate goal.”
Sandra connects with the family on a regular basis to connect them to resources, ensure the supports in place are making a difference, and plan for Josephine’s future care.
To Tara and her father, the support is much appreciated. “We go to Sandra for help and guidance and information… the different services and information that she has provided have been instrumental in helping my mom maintain a good quality of life,” says Tara. “Sandra has also been amazing in supporting my Dad and I, and works very closely with my mom’s family doctor. She is the central, key person in all of this.”
Dr. Thind agrees. “The CCAC has been pivotal in providing the supports this family needs,” says Dr. Thind, explaining that he meets with Sandra to discuss not just Josephine, but all of his patients who receive or would benefit from CCAC support. “It has been great working with
the CCAC,” he says, “to tap into that network of supports as a patient’s health improves, declines or changes.”
By all accounts, the partnership is working. “My mom has a great sense of humour and it has been very comforting for my Dad and I to see it still come through – despite a lot of our sadness, we also have a lot of laughter,” Tara notes.
Josephine’s husband Michael sums up their experience in a simple, heartfelt statement: “being able to support Jo at home means everything.”