Celebrating Life








CapitalCare Foundation - A complement to CapitalCare

A young lady approached me the other day to help me as I struggled with too many parcels in the centre’s parking lot. As we walked, she told me her uncle had just moved in and was having trouble adjusting to his new home. He had not smiled in a long time. 
I asked if she was coming to the Resident Choir concert at the centre and she responded saying she had no idea about the event. After I encouraged her to bring her uncle to the concert we parted ways. 

An hour later she approached me once again, this time it was after the concert. I had no idea that she had come. She and her uncle had slipped into the back row and thoroughly enjoyed the concert. In fact, she shared, it was the first time in a long time that she had seen her uncle smile. He sang throughout the concert and she sang beside him with tears sliding down her cheeks. She couldn’t believe how he responded – “it was incredible!”

She thanked me for the Foundation’s work and said that she herself was a healthcare aide at a different organisation. At her place of work they had nothing like what she had seen here at the centre. She then made a generous donation and asked to please put it towards great programs like the choir program. It truly was a performance of the Hearts and Minds Choir – leaving everyone in the audience with a tear or two on their cheeks.

CapitalCare Foundation, since its inception, has been a support to the residents and staff of CapitalCare. The Foundation works to help CapitalCare provide improvements in service to the residents in their care.

The Foundation has proudly touted the phrase of “We take over where government funding ends.” This has been the mantra to help community better understand the positive relationship between government healthcare and the funding needs. Our mantra will stand steadfast as we look into the future. We will strive to ensure the programs most needed are in place and the best possible equipment is available to ensure best practice. Additionally, CapitalCare Foundation will continue to work towards ensuring home atmospheres surround the seniors who live in the care settings.

How do you say thank you?

How do you say “thank you” to a community that cares like you do?

This is the question I have pondered for some time now. My mother, Leona, was struck with Alzheimer’s in 2012, leaving my dad, my sister and I in shock. Before we knew it, the disease changed her to the point that we knew she needed more medical support than we could give. She eventually came to live at CapitalCare Grandview for nearly five years before leaving us this past January.

This is when I learned how and why community donations and support matter - the support you make happen every year. Which I hope you will do again this year.

Before Alzheimer’s, mom was a vibrant senior who had a wonderful smile and contagious laugh that she shared generously. Whether with a stranger, long-lost family, or her favorite relative, when you visited her home you were made to feel special and very loved. People truly loved being with her.

Christmas was one of her favorite times of year and as the season approaches this year I find myself thinking about all that she did to make our home feel...well... like home. And thinking about how I can help to make it home for so many others living at the CapitalCare centres. 

Mom, of course, had her signature stuffing for turkey that we are forever going to try to reproduce. She made some special desserts only at Christmas. One of my favorites is a shortbread-type cookie rolled into a ball with a maraschino cherry at its center. 

Mom knew how to be a kid at Christmas. Long before Christmas Eve, and after much rattling of presents on her part, we could count on her to suggest “Maybe we could open just one present before Christmas?”

My mom knew how to make you feel a part of the family. And that is how I felt when she moved to Grandview. A part of their centre. A part of their family.

The experience of staying at CapitalCare was incredible. The staff cared for my mom sincerely. And what was even more impressive, they also cared for my dad, my sister and I. We couldn’t help but join in the activities. My Dad, already in his mid-90s, insisted on helping the recreational therapist distribute and collect the exercise bands used by the residents in the exercise class. 

At mealtime, when she was still engaged in the world around her, banter went back and forth across the table. It was just like home “pass the buns down here please.” It was just what she needed. A place she could be comfortable in. A place she could call home.

If not for the misfortune of Alzheimer’s I would not have ever experienced the life of a long-term care centre. Although it was not our plan, I am not sorry to have had the opportunity. 

I learned just a few days ago that months after my Mom’s passing when I see someone who provided extra special care to Mom - especially toward the end - that the sadness is still quite fresh. And so is the eternal gratitude.

I thought it would be easy to find the words to say thank you. Then, when I actually see someone, I can barely speak. The impact of commitment to CapitalCare goes that deep. 

How could I possibly put into words the impact that the staff - and you as donors - have on families and residents? The amount of comfort and care that is provided, every single day, every shift, every moment. I can’t. I can only help hold up the mirror to you and hope that you see what I see.

Your compassion and commitment to health care has few parallels because there is no family, no matter how great their need, that wants to put a loved-one in institutional care. We all wish we could manage on our own and look after those we care for, but the reality is that at some point in the journey of Alzheimer’s or dementia, or a condition arising from injury or ill health, care at home will not be enough.

We need YOUR help. Your compassion and commitment.
We need YOU.

There are days when our loved one is stressed, frightened, confused and lost, but because of your support, the staff is able to create rooms that invoke comfort. They are able to soothe through music or be there to share a laugh, play a game, sing a song, or provide a hug. And it is done with incredible amounts of fortitude,creativity, and good humor. It simply astounds me.

YOU make this happen through your donations. And let me say, you did right by Mom, my father, sister and I. Right by everyone who cared for her. Your donations do matter. Your donations help to turn a facility into a home.

Please continue your commitment by making a donation this Christmas so that the extras remain to support all the caring and compassion that happens in the centres. And when you or your loved one needs the same care I hope you experience the community of caring like our family did.
Like my mother did.

Thank you, thank you, and thank you. Blessings on you all.

Gord Demers
Loving son of Leona

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