Southwood Meeting Notes April 1/14
1. Accessing SMC in Calgary is a particularly long and arduous task. It takes months to get an assessment, and weeks for the assessment to be forwarded to SMC. Apparently overworked and underpaid. One caregiver was told "there may be a waiting list". Also, any agency which is contracted to Home Care cannot be used by anyone who is on SMC (not sure of the logic here, but it is a rule!) So far, SMC in Calgary is barely getting a passing grade.
2. Between work, being the primary caregiver, taking care of house, immediate family - the plates are full. One more thing goes wrong and it is totally overwhelming. Some experiences shared.
3. New caregiver to our group! Her mom was diagnosed 4 years ago, but in retrospect issues probably started 10 to 12 years ago. Doctor thought it was depression....a lot of nodding heads in the room. We have all heard this before.
4. One of our group went into care just over a month ago. Eveyone else is quite elderly but our friend seems content. Her caregiver is visiting a lot which is also a strain, and making for very long days but he reports that things are actually easier now. When he is home, it is more restful.
5. Partner was away visiting family for a month. What a wonderful rest! Time for yourself, to sleep well, to spend time with your children. But perhaps in an attempt to make up for not being available on a daily basis, the family hosting partner do a lot for him, and little skills start to slide.
6. Personal directives: check the personal Directive of your spouse. what are the terms of enactment? Check with your lawyer or the office of the public guardian. there is a form on the AB govt website - office of the public guardian. The form is called Declaration of Incapacity.
General discussion of life with our partners: NO conversation. No rushing! Hyper-vigilant, every minute of every day. One of the caregivers was talking to the home care nurse who asked how she was doing. She started to cry. And where do you go to cry? Shower, in the car.
A very good discussion this evening.