‘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.
David Kirkpatrick MA, MD