Friday 30 November 2012

Kaye Devlin She had a good death!

How many people can you say this about?
It is with great sadness that I mourn a dear friend.
She lived her life to the fullest, no matter her physical situation.

Kay's Paintings

Catherine (Kaye)  Devlin née Wilson, (1916 - 2012) passed away this morning. I loved my visits with her. She was a delightful person. Despite her hardships, she was a person who responded with dignity to the world around her. She became a nurse, she was a farmer's wife, and raised her children well. She spoke fondly of babysitting her grandchildren. They gave her such joy.

She was 95-years-old. She lived in Perth Community Care Centre, with her husband. She was the chair of the Resident Council and attended Family Council meetings. She wrote and recited her poetry and she painted. She had an incredible attitude towards life and I loved her!

I interviewed Kaye for an international video project. She was obviously excited to do this.
 She tells a charming story in the video.
"Every now and again my husband is very much himself."
One day she gave him a hug and a kiss. He said, "Do you know you're the only one of all the girls that look after me that kisses me? I can't understand why you want to kiss an old man. We won't tell my wife."

One Day On Earth 11.11.11 from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

To quote her regarding being in long-term care," I learned so much about myself and about others. Things I hadn't realized when I was nursing."
In this photo, I had taken in Princess Ducky -my granddaughter's stuffed toy!

She loved the spotlight, and bringing a smile to other people's faces. She spoke highly of the people around her.
I helped her create a Valentine door hanging last year. 
  About being in long-term care, "You have to realize it's not the end of your life; it's a part of it."

Kay designed it and I helped her glue it!
Kaye was quick to let you know that her poetry is inspired by her current life situation, but she doesn't let that limit her mind. Her body has been limited in many ways, with aging. She dealt with these things well until this past year when her mobility issues began. She lost her clear vision in the past few months and had to stop painting. She learned to paint at age 75. She wrote and recited fabulous poems.

Kay loved the Fashion Show!
Kaye was so delightful to work with. Always grateful for any time I could give her, yet I got so much back from her!

There was a fashion show in her LTC home and she participated with both grace and glee.

When she was 65, in 1982, Kaye participated in a Perth community theatre production of L'll Abner. She was a true showwoman.

Here is a link to Kaye's Obituary Notice.

Kaye was a busy woman to near the end of her lifespan.

Nintendo's Wii gets seniors back in the game

Kay Devlin, 91, beams during a round of Wii bowling that she later won against Charlie Edwards.

Kay Devlin may be 91 and recovering from a fracture, but it didn't stop her from winning a bowling tournament at her old age home in eastern Ontario — thanks to Nintendo's Wii.
Video games have become the latest rage at the Perth Community Care Centre, where staff hope virtual sports will help improve the elderly residents' physical health. Kay Devlin, 91, beams during a round of Wii bowling that she later won against Charlie Edwards. (CBC)

Thursday 29 November 2012

Skywatch Friday

TVOntario Video: End-of-life care

Forgive me for calling attention to myself, however, end-of-life for those living in poverty can be incredibly difficult for the care recipient, family, friends and neighbours. I was honoured to be interviewed by TVOntario. I never fail to be shocked with the way frontline healthcare workers, called Primary Care, can ignore dire needs, failing health of home care clients, self-abuse, citing policy and the Freedom of Information Protection and Privacy Act (FIPPA) vs. the Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA).

End-of-life care for those in poverty
Streamed live on Nov 28, 2012 Hospice volunteer Jennifer Jilks describes what end of life care is like for those below the poverty line, and, what changes can be made to improve health care for the poor. 

Wednesday 28 November 2012

♪♫ ♬ It's beginning to look...

like winter! A dusting of snow in Carleton Place yesterday.
Decorations are out everywhere.
I have decorated the window of my friend's room in long-term care. It is a simple thing, that shows someone is loved. Her vision is very bad, but she can see the colours.
 While staff tell family members, "She could rally." I am giving her mouthcare and other comfort measures (putting lotion on her hands) as much as I can. The PSWs do not have time for each client. They haul her out of bed when she would rather be resting. She is bored and loves brief visitors.
Back home, the goldfish pond is frozen, covered with chicken wire as the kittens seems to like walking on frozen water.

Indoors, Buster is bored. Here he is sitting on the top of the fish tank, hoping to liberate a fishie. He is channelling the late Oliver!

I decided to take him outdoors. I had promised my volunteer agency some pine cones for a gift craft for the bereavement group.

I often take him for walkies in the forest. He loves it. He's part dog, methinks.

My buddy was very helpful in pointing out the 200-year-old pine trees, still producing pine cones, underneath I found the desired treasure. They are camouflaged, hidden by the leaves, but I found several dozen. He did some climbing, good exercise!
Back indoors, the cats play in the sunshine.

 Indoors, the kittens are cuddling in a shoe box for warmth.

They decided to harass their brother and play in the sunlight.

 My fuschia is blooming in the low rays of the sun. A delightful spot of colour.

Whilst in town to visit the dentist, I visited the newest Habitat NCR build in Carleton Place. It is coming along, with flooring in most rooms, the kitchen cabinets will be next. Check out our blog for more photos! I have been taking regular photos since the ground breaking, here are the latest of the kitchen.

The most exciting time was when they brought in the prefab sections by truck and crane! It was a first for Habitat.


Tuesday 27 November 2012

Swans on Lake Ontario

We travelled to Belleville, staying in a motel in Quinte Bay, to attend a day of workshops: Navigating the Journey Through Palliative Care on patient trajectories.
These swans were down by the Trenton base and the Canadian Repatriation Memorial (my photo post). A beautiful spot by Lake Ontario. It was a cold day, and I needed gloves.

Monday 26 November 2012

Do you have heroes in healthcare?

 I do.
We focus much on mistakes and disparities, people rant and rave about their individual healthcare. As a community home support volunteer, I see and hear many good stories.
Dr. Brian Goldman, medical journalist.
He chose to broadcast this TED talk in which he speaks out about mistakes by physicians. Too many are afraid of admitting to mistakes. Which IS a mistake.
From the physicians to nurses, to home care professionals, we need better accountability.

As a senior's healthcare advocate and volunteer, I always have questions as I assist clients in advocating for themselves. Much is printed about elder abuse, yet most harm is done in the name of misinformation or ignorance. If we put more money into home support, especially for the poor and the working poor, our citizens would be much better off. We spend millions on preventing abuse, when the money would be better spent putting the professionals into homes, training them to recognize abuse, and speaking truth to power.
I have long advocated for regulation of personal support workers (PSW). They need to understand their scope of practice, they need more than just a certificate to enable them to provide the most intimate of care to our loved ones.

I wrote about Brian's theme on my healthcare blog:

What is your physician's medical batting average?

Uploaded on Nov 15, 2011
Physician, CBC Radio Host, and Author of "The Night Shift" Dr. Brian delivers a Talk at TEDxToronto 2011 on the theme of Redefining the Practice of Medicine. 

Sunday 25 November 2012

Engaging Baby Boomers and Seniors through Social Media

Baby Boomers (post WW II; 1946 - 1955, or 1966 in Canada.) After the vets came home, there was a population boom. These are people with pensions, work histories, and women who began to work as a matter of choice or necessity, outside their homes.

You know the myths, that seniors are not on-line, and don't use computers!

This slide show, below, does provide some insight for those youngsters who think we don't know a mouse from a mole!
What bothers me is that we are not the target audience for many advertisers, despite being pretty sedentary evenings, unlike our younger folks.
We have the disposable income to spend, yet they do not target TV or radio shows to our generation.

I began using computers at work in 1989! My late mother, born 1945, learned to use a computer at work, when she was 40 years old, in order to publish their weekly newsletter for the Rotary Club of Toronto. I was so proud of her!

My friends in long-term care use them. A skill they learned in their 80s and 90s!

My late Aunt Lillian (Forsyth), Uncle Fred,
Marion, who died at age 16 in the 40s.
'Timmie is down the well!'

This slideshow is a publication of AARP, American Association of Retired Persons, which is a US-based lobby group. They survive on big bucks from those of us with disposable income.
The Canadian equivalent, CARP, does similar lobbying here in Canada.

Saturday 24 November 2012

Kittens, videos, goldfish pond life

Buster and the bullfrog from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
In the warm temperatures Friday, the ice on the goldfish pond melted. I had covered the pond with chicken wire as the kitten, Dorah, seemed to want to play on the ice. The bullfrog came out and Buster cat couldn't quite reach it. It was as if the bullfrog knew this. It didn't budge!

Dorah is such a cutie! She thought the pond looked lovely. There was a 1/2" of ice on top.
After two nights in a hotel, I was as happy as she was to get home and out in the yard.
I attended a workshop

"Does Anyone Have The Map? Navigating the Journey to the End-of-Life".

This is a new initiative in Ontario, about nurse practitioners being assigned to support long-term care homes. An excellent idea, as you cannot find a doctor for love nor money in many of the LTC homes in our province. 
Hubby and kittens stayed in the hotel while I learned about nurse practitioners!
Dora explores the pond from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
It is frozen and I watched her carefully. Soon it will be very frozen.

Curtain climbers and Tree Climbers from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
First Dorah, three months old, in a fit of a burst of energy climbed 12' up a tree. Buster decided he should climb a tree, too. Being a year and a half, he is fine having two new sisters. He is teaching them a lot! Dorah lost her balance and it was humorous!

Daisy and Dorah birdwatching from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
They were perched on the corner of the deck, under the bird feeder. Their little heads move in tandem as a chickadee flies in.

Dorah hunts a plant from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.
Our flowers are gone to seed. She thought, in her new liberation from being in a hotel room for two days, she would hunt down and kill the seed pods.