Champlain LHIN Helping Seniors Remain Independent and Safe at Home
Bernard Turcotte’s journey – "I love to be around family.”
Oct 25, 2016 - Bernard Turcotte’s greatest wish is to stay close to his wife and two daughters. Diagnosed with dementia several months ago, the 79-year-old former custodian previously underwent two heart surgeries, and also suffers from a spinal condition.
|Lynn, Beatrice and Bernard Turcotte
Despite his health challenges, Bernard is able to stay at home - thanks to support from a number of new community programs that assist people with cognitive challenges and their caregivers.
These programs promote independence among seniors, helping them avoid unnecessary admissions to hospitals and long-term care homes.
“I love to be around family,” Bernard says. “I remember when we were first married, we didn’t have a lot of money to go places. That kept us all together. We went cross-country skiing, and I played with the kids after supper. I still want to see them, and remember all those days.”
Bernard’s wife, Beatrice, says there is no reason for her husband to move into a long-term care home now, thanks to all the support he is getting right at home. “I think we have a long way to go before something like that happens,” Beatrice says. “We are not ready yet. My husband still likes to be with people that he knows, and do certain activities – and we can do them together.”
Bernard’s patient journey took him from primary care to various community support services. After visiting the Primary Care Memory Clinic at the Montfort Academic Family Health Team, the family was enrolled with the First Link program delivered by the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County. They took part in two First Links programs: Living with Memory Changes program for people newly diagnosed with cognitive impairment, and Caregiver Education sessions.
Bernard also participates in the adult day-program at Centre d’Acceuil Champlain, which he attends twice a week. Beatrice is currently able to drive her husband to medical appointments and the day program, but that task is becoming more difficult and will be a challenge in winter, so Bernard has applied to the regional Non-Urgent Transportation program.
WATCH video clip: slideshow with captions
The Champlain LHIN and its partners have made significant progress in planning and implementing new health services for seniors, such as those benefitting the Turcotte family.
“One of the LHIN’s strategic priorities is to improve the health-care experience of clients and families as they move through a more integrated health system,” says Champlain LHIN CEO Chantale LeClerc. “At a time when the population is aging and demand for health services for seniors is increasing, it’s important to ensure services are well coordinated and align with the unique needs of individuals and caregivers.”
“Our government is committed to helping seniors receive care in their homes and their communities,” says Marie-France Lalonde, MPP for Ottawa-Orléans. “The community services available through the Champlain LHIN have a major positive impact on the members of our community, helping our seniors to live independently for as long as possible. Healthy and active seniors are an essential part of our community, keeping our culture and traditions alive and thriving.”