Friday, 8 August 2014

Disability advocacy

The focus of this blog will be changing for a bit as the challenges of my life have changed. Like many people my age, I'm dealing with the complications of having parents who are aging while at the same time raising very young children.

Two years ago my father suffered a series  of debilitating strokes. He went from a fully functioning member of society who owned and ran a company, employed sales people and paid his taxes. He was a husband, a father, a grandfather, a friend. He loved, gave love. He drank wine, cooked dinner for my mother, hosted epic dinner parties and ate danishes for breakfast. He lived his life to the fullest. 

Overnight it was all gone. 

My father lived in a hospital for a year while we waited to see if he would come back to us. He didn't. He hasn't. He currently lives in a long term care facility where he receives help eating, toileting, walking, getting in and out of a wheelchair. He can't read or write anymore and doesn't always recognize my mother. He is completely dependent on others to facilitate meeting his needs. He is totally disabled.  

My mother has been dealing with some health problems of her own. It has become more and more evident to her that she is lonely where she is and wants to be near family. Overnight their she had built for herself with my father was gone. 

She wants to move to Alberta, be near my family and watch her grandchildren grow up. How hard could a move like this be, we thought. We'll just move my dad across provinces and settle him in a long  term care facility here, we thought. 

Then we hit the wall of the Alberta legislature. Who mandated a number of years ago that in order for someone to get a place in a publicly funded long term care facility that a 1 year residency must be completed. So someone who is completely helpless, unable to care for themselves, must live independently for a year before they qualify for long term care. Or, the family must pay for private care for a year while they fufill the residency. We cannot even apply to the wait list until this year has passed. It's ludicrous and totally unfair. As far as I know, no other province has a policy like this. Ontario certainly doesn't. 


  1. Ugh. I'm so sorry- for all of it. I cannot believe the unfairness of that law. I hope you find a solution that makes the situation workable for your family.

    1. Thanks. It is really unfair. I think the next step is a human rights challenge. I'm pretty sure we have a solid case, I'm just going to try to get some things in writing from he government first.