A Clear Vision of Independence
This is a true story. The names have been changed to protect their privacy
Laura Keegan, Alice's CCAC case manager at home,
also understood how important it was for Alice to maintain her independence,
and did everthing she could to help
Alice was blind. She worked for many years at the CNIB library in Scarborough. When
her husband died six years ago, she moved to Chatham to live with her son and be near her daughter and granddaughter. Last fall, Jo was diagnosed with cancer of the esophagus. She had surgery to remove the tumour, but the doctors were unable to prevent its spread.
Alice was determined to return home after the surgery and spend the time that remained to her with her family. Sandra Holland, the CCAC's case manager and discharge planner at the local hospital, worked with Alice to ensure that she had the support she needed.
One of the main issues was providing tube feeding at home. There was concern that a blind person wouldn't be able to operate the feeding pump, but the CCAC team found one that was easy to operate and bottles that only needed to be replaced every 48 hours.
Laura Keegan, Alice's CCAC case manager at home, also understood how important it was for Alice to maintain her independence, and did everything she could to help. "Alice didn't see her loss of vision as a disability," says Laura. "Remaining at home right to the end was so much a part of how she lived her entire life.
Alice died at home in late November. Her daughter Jayne was deeply touched by the support she and her family received during her last days. "The CCAC provided overnight care and nursing visits two or three times a day as needed," says Jayne. "They helped us to get the supplies and equipment we needed, and to communicate with the doctor and the pharmacy. Being able to be with Mom at home was important to all of us, and having the support of the CCAC made it possible."
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John has been reporting on home health care and independent living for over ten years. In addition to extensive research, John writes on important issues from personal experience.