Why We Exist
THIS IS HELEN AND DAVID’S STORY
Helen is 45 years old and a caregiver for her husband David. They have lived in Irricana for the past 20 years.
David has a terminal illness and wants to die at home. Irricana is his home, not Calgary. Helen often feels isolated in her journey with David, and says she is stressed. She has difficulties concentrating and is mentally and physically fatigued.
As David’s illness progresses, the truth is David could no longer stay in his home because of the care that was required. Helen’s only option is to have David transported from their community to hospital where they will wait for a Hospice bed to open up. This is a reluctant choice for them.
David wants to stay close to his family and his wife but he now finds himself in Calgary. Helen is faced with the long drive of 1 hour or more each way to see her husband.
Each day; Every day.
One day, David dies when Helen is driving to see him in hospital. He never did make it to hospice. In a world of very unfortunate choices, David never got any of his.
As a community please hear our message. We are not Calgary and we are under served. How could we have supported this family?
· Family physicians’ being more knowledgeable palliative management.
· More nursing support from the Home Care team.
· Appropriate and timely palliative care planning.
Outlying rural communities are now considered Calgary Zone but do not have the same resources available in their communities. Albertans like David should have the right to die in their place of choice with the exemplary support from knowledgeable physicians, nursing staff, volunteers and home care staff.
How could we have made the end of life better for David and Helen?
What we are working towards is clearly stated in our Mission .enhance our community capacity to care for our family, friends, and neighbours who are dying. We want effective collaboration and partnerships with Government & Community.
We want to minimize the burden of those in palliative care.
Ask yourself are rural communities expected to settle for second best?