After my musings on Ontario’s homecare system, you may be wondering how far we have come in
adjusting to our new lives. It has been an incredibly hectic nearly 4 months, and a very fast learning curve. We’ve met more new people than you can imagine, and the whole experience has been exhausting. But on balance we’d both say we’ve done well.
The highlights have been the person we hired to help us in the morning, my progress at physiotherapy, and our connections here in our local community. Our mornings are now fairly relaxed as a result, and learning to do a slide board transfer has us both excited about the future. We have taken advantage of all the services we can find that will help us, even if they aren’t enough.
Meaford has turned out to be a great little town. There are more community breakfasts and dinners than we can keep up with, and we have a good group of friends. There’s a Robbie Burns supper coming up we hope to go to with some of them. Above all, Mrs. F.G. has held it all together, doing everything from serving as administrative secretary to the laundry.
On the other side of the coin I have to mention the exhaustion, which we both struggle with. Keeping track of the appointments, prescriptions and supplies, and keeping track of phone calls has been a real challenge. Just this morning a caregiver apparently showed up at the door, but we were out running errands and having coffee. No one had told us a thing!
And our lives have changed completely. My hobbies of hiking, paddling and photography have gone by the board, and I can no longer contribute much of my share to the household chores. This leaves Mrs. F.G. to pick up the extra. As she has done that, guess what she no longer has much time for – her favourite hobby, her sewing. As I learn to contribute more, we continue working to find the balance.
Our major challenge remains sorting out the assistance we need from PSW’s. We’re almost there, and have a meeting scheduled which we hope will help. But in the meantime I have to admit it’s a major frustration.
Never-the-less, I think we’re over the hump of the learning curve, and understand the challenges we face. I’m currently finishing an application for the Direct Funding program, which would give us the funds to hire the assistants we need ourselves directly. It appears to be best suited to the ‘younger’ disabled (yes, that includes me) who can manage the business of managing and reporting on a budget, and hiring and firing staff.
It’s going to be interesting to see where we stand 6 months from now.