From The Heart Supportive Care
Aging at home with HEART
Our story likely begins as yours; with family.
Nearly 15 years ago, my own lovely Grandmother (aka GG) was blindsided by a terrible case of MRSA and sepsis during the holiday season. With a not-so-encouraging prognosis, I sat at her bedside every opportunity I got, and observed how incredibly overwhelmed her attending healthcare team looked; breathlessly rushing from patient to patient, room to room, and family to family.
When asked how they were coping with the holiday rush, a nurse confided she “didn’t know”. They were short staffed, over worked, emotionally drained, sore, and the majority were trying to juggle personal lives, family, and holiday obligations on top; all while providing their patients the best care and treatment they could humanly muster. I honestly, to this day do not know how they did it but through all the turmoil, GG miraculously recovered and was discharged.
Of course..this was just the beginning of our experiences with the healthcare crisis in Canada.
Upon discharge, her health continued to decline. She became dependant upon family and friends for much of her daily personal care, housekeeping, laundry, shopping needs and activities, thus it quickly became evident she could no longer remain living independently. Moving an hour away to live with her Daughter and Son-in-law, she finally received the personalized quality of care needed at this stage of her life.
Fast forward a few more years, and we see a weary family member suffering the effects of caregiver burnout, a family stressed and on the brink of breakdown and yet, another suffering the effects of grief through loss of home, independence, and health. With personal care becoming more clinical, outside help became a necessity, HOWEVER…the resources were just not available. Now, that’s not to say a few hours each week were not allotted to her case, but the actual time necessary to provide quality, personalized home healthcare and family respite for burned out family caregivers was not a reality.
This ultimately resulted in the devastating decision that aging at home was no longer a safe option, and with aging at home no longer a safe option, term care became inevitable .
If short staffing and overwhelmed healthcare teams were witnessed in hospital, it was nothing compared to the burned out and over worked faces of the healthcare team working tirelessly in long term care. Patient to staff ratios were astronomical, often only allowing less than 15 minutes daily of personal care for each person. Twice-weekly bathing/showering soon became twice-monthly bathing/showering. Fitness for life and social programs were not a reality when physical care had to take priority, and any specialized care became rushed or often over looked. It had to be…healthcare teams had fall victims to attend to, choking risks to supervise, dementia behaviours to redirect and monitor, families to appease, charting to update hourly and as needed, meals to serve and feed, linens and briefs to change, call bells to answer, stock to replenish…you get the idea.
Long story short without the whole-person, one-on-one care she was receiving at home, my lovely GG declined rapidly within 6 months of admission to her beautifully facilitated long term care home, and sadly was laid to rest in October 2013.
They say your greatest achievement is born out of your greatest disappointment, and I was disappointed in a healthcare system that simply could not provide the WHOLE PERSON care she needed…the care every human being needs and deserves. PERSON CENTRED care that not only addresses a physical need, but an emotional, spiritual and social need as well. Care, that I felt (and witnessed eventually as a PCA in hospital and PSW in long term care) could only be provided one-on-one, at home surrounded by family, friends, and familiarity, where healthcare associated infections were essentially nonexistent and personal routines and specialized care take priority.
Personalized care for your loved ones and for my loved ones …. the type of personalized care that only comes FROM THE HEART.
isn’t she the cutest?
Our Mission and Goals
The collective experiences of From the Heart Team members in providing personal care has been established in rehabilitation centers, dementia units, complex care settings, palliative and pastoral care settings ,long term care units, restorative care programs, and childcare settings. Each allowing us to witness on a personal level, the healthcare crisis we Canadians are currently facing. The rising number of people living with a dementia diagnosis, hallway healthcare, long term care wait lists, lack of one-on-one person centered care, over worked and over stressed healthcare professionals, and budget cuts are just a few of the contributing factors to this never ending crisis. Where this crisis may be cause for concern, From the Heart Supportive Care is dedicated to supporting the healthcare goals in aging at home and safe independent living of each of our Clients.
Balancing the Wheel
The Whole Person
With a common goal of providing the complete WHOLE PERSON care we want and need for our loved ones and ourselves, our mission at From the Heart Supportive Care has been built on the principles of caring for the whole person with empathy and compassion. We, as human beings need more than just physical care and support. We need emotional/psychological care, we need social care, and we need spiritual care. When one of these needs are no longer being met, we become unbalanced. A wheel cannot roll smoothly if it is not balanced, and we cannot expect to achieve optimum physical health and wellness without balance and a healthy mindset first. Our focus on ALL four aspects of human health requirements support the emotional/psychological, social, spiritual, and physical care of each of our Clients in an effort to help them thrive.... not just survive.
Whole Person Care