“Acclaim Health feels like a warm quilt wrapped around our family.”
Peter is a jovial man with bright blue eyes and a passion for music. Anne, his wife, is a kind woman who is a quilter. To supplement their income, she finishes quilts for other people on her long arm quilting machine. Peter and Anne enjoy sitting in their Burlington backyard, watching the birds and squirrels at the feeders.
One day, Anne received a phone call from Peter. He was supposed to be on his way home from his German choir practice in Toronto, instead he was at his local church parking lot. He couldn’t figure out how to get home.
“Little things I had been noticing just kind of all came together and it was a sickening feeling. I realized Peter had dementia”,
Their oldest son from Boston put Acclaim Health in touch with Anne. At first Anne was reluctant to receive help. “I was very nervous. For the longest time you are just getting used to the fact that this is your life from now on.”
Acclaim Health set Peter up with a volunteer from our Memory Visiting program, Ken. Peter and Ken enjoyed weekly visits where they would go for a walk at the Royal Botanical Gardens or Paletta Mansion and always finish with lunch at their favourite spot, Wendy’s.
Peter also attends Acclaim Health’s Adult Day Program or “the club” as our members call it. When he comes home from the club Peter is “flying high”. As a very social person, Peter loves being there with all his friends. They do things like sing his favourite songs and play games together. All while Anne receives a bit of time for herself to run errands or simply enjoy a moment’s peace.
The pandemic hasn’t been easy for Anne and Peter. When he found out the club was closing due to COVID-19 restrictions, Peter was heartbroken. “I always tell people the biggest loss for us was the club closing,” shares Anne. “Peter’s mood and cognition have gone downhill. I try to do what I can but I could never do all the things they do at the club.” Peter also really misses his visits with Ken which have been on pause. “It’s been really hard, we miss it a lot. Ken is a wonderful person who still calls Peter every week and they have a nice long talk. Peter gets so animated when he calls.”
“Ken is a wonderful person who still calls Peter every week and they have a nice long talk. Peter gets so animated when he calls.”
We know Anne and Peter’s story isn’t unique. Too many families are facing the challenge of caregiving for a loved one during this pandemic. They are struggling with constant worry, stress and isolation with no reprieve in sight.
Because of you, our clients have hope. Your support has meant Acclaim Health stepped into action to continue care for our clients during the pandemic. From porch dropped activity care packages, to hot meals delivered to homes, to grocery gift cards and virtual programming, donors like you have made the pandemic bearable for our clients. You’ve made sure our clients aren’t forgotten.
Anne has appreciated the regular check in calls from the club and from Ken. She calls the grocery gift cards a nice treat that allow her to purchase some frozen meals she can easily make at home and take the night off from cooking. Peter loves the activity packages specially made for him. The most recent package included a newspaper in German (his mother tongue), a German chocolate bar and crafting supplies. Peter’s face just lit up when he opened the goodies. His favourite line is “I try not to think about what I’ve lost, but what I still have.” He is very grateful for the help.
Anne shares about how our support has made her feel less isolated and cared for throughout the last several months. “It’s been life-changing and I really, really appreciate it” Anne says. “Acclaim Health feels like a warm quilt wrapped around our family.”