A family member of a resident at North Vancouver’s Kiwanis Care Centre wrote a letter to applaud staff for their professionalism and dedication in the care they showed his wife.

‘It takes a very special sort of human being… to take care of patients suffering from dementia.’

A family member whose wife resided at Kiwanis Care Centre wrote a letter to thank all the staff at the North Shore residential care facility for their “patience, love, caring and the magic…” David Kirkpatrick, whose wife passed away recently, graciously allowed us to reprint his letter in VCH News.

Good morning KCC,

I am writing to thank you and all the staff at the Kiwanis Care Centre for the love and professional care provided each and every day to my wife Dr. Clair Hawes during the years she resided at Kiwanis. I am sorry that it has taken me this long to put pen to paper .

All of the staff were incredibly supportive of Clair since the first day she arrived at Cypress Cove. They treated Clair in an honourable and respectful way and ensured that her stay provided her with not only the food and medication that she required, but with the friendships and relationships that make life special, even when suffering with Alzheimer’s disease.

The many activities, from Rosabel (Sinclair) reading the news to them each morning, to the wonderful music provided by volunteers, to the games and outings – it all made the transition more bearable for Clair and her family.

It is a testament of sorts that Clair continued to have manicures and hair appointments almost until the end. How these occurred is really a tribute to the patience, love, caring and the magic of the staff.

Staff not only helped Clair, but they also helped me and our family and friends learn how to cope with the ongoing changes that Clair experienced, sometimes offering a word of wisdom, a warm smile or a hug that really did make a difference on a particularly bad day.

You are gifts to each person that walks through the door and I am grateful that she received such care from the staff. It takes a very special sort of human being to have the strength, both physical and emotional to take care of patients suffering from dementia. I never heard an unkind word or saw an unkind action – only loving expressions were shown by all of the staff. I often left wondering how they were able to do all they did each day in such a positive way .

And at the heart of these gifts given so unselfishly to Clair at both Cypress Cove on the first floor, and Seymour Trail on the third floor lies the secret to the beauty of Kiwanis Care Centre. Its staff-your staff-embodied and continues to personify both professionalism and warmth.

Thank you deeply from all of us in Clair’s family.

Her husband,

David Kirkpatrick MA, MD

KCC Activity Worker Rosabel Sinclair often sits and reads the news to residents as she did for Dr. Clair Hawes.

5 comments

  1. anne moonan-woods says:

    This is such a beautifully written letter from Dr. Kirkpatrick, a former family member and family council committee member at KCC.
    It is the dedication of these family members who work so closely with the staff and embrace the family-centred model that we value within complex residential care…..

  2. Mimi Scoretz says:

    This is a lovely and thoughtful tribute to the staff at KCC, Rosabel, and I affirm and second it with all my heart.

    Our thanks to David Kirkpatrick for giving such kind and generous words to what so many of the families of other residents at KCC also experience.

    Thank you for being “there” for all of us.

    Mimi Scoretz

    1. Judy Langstaff says:

      I could not agree more with what David Kirkpatrick has so beautifully said,
      My husband John has been at the KCC since Dec 6 2016 and I have been with him almost every day and have always
      been very impressed at the beautiful way they handle the most difficult situations, John has not had a minute when he was not happy with everything and everybody. We feel so fortunate to have the love of our life in such a kind and caring setting.
      Many thanks from us all Judy and Johns 4 loving daughters Sandy Lynda Lori and Susan

  3. Tara Macauley says:

    What a beautiful letter from Dr.Kirkpatrick❤️ Clair was a pleasure and maintained her sense of humour and warm smile right to the end. I know she felt the love and care that staff provided.

  4. Vivienne Plunkett says:

    Many many thanks to David for putting into words, so graciously, about the staff and the experience they alone provided for the residents of Kiwanis. I wish I had the eloquence to do the same. However, I will underscore every word David says, to thank every last staff member of Kiwanis for the kindness, help, understanding and love they showed my mom, Maureen. Maureen smiled every day, and I am sure that was because she woke to a kind face and went to sleep in the company of a kind nurse.

    For myself and my family, we received a wealth of support and made friendships that in my mind will last forever.
    I am sure there is no other place quite like Kiwanis and it is a testament to the staff there who consistently give of themselves
    daily. You are forever in my prayers and my heart.
    Thank You, Thank You, Thank you.
    Vivienne Plunkett

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