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My grandparents moved to Calgary last year from the east coast because they found it difficult to live by themselves due to memory issues. Their memory issues were getting worse after they came to live with my family.
Sometimes my Grandfather would turn on the taps or the stove during the night. He’d gone out by himself and got lost twice.
My husband got so worried that he was unable to sleep at night which was affecting his work performance. My grandparents’ OAS and GIS payments had been stopped and I didn’t know what to do. We had to pay for all their expenses and medical costs which put a lot of pressure on our finances.
I shared my concerns with a friend and she took me to CCECA. After knowing my situation, a service coordinator paid us a visit.
Because I already had their Power of Attorney, she was able to help me inform Service Canada about their move to Calgary so their benefits were reinstated. She also helped them to apply for Alberta Seniors Benefits and referred them to home care. Both of them were qualified for home care services.
These services, especially the respite service, lifted some of our pressure. We were able to leave home to run errands knowing they were safe in the house. She also provided us with information about dementia and helped me get guardianship of them.
A subsidized housing tenant with depression had been harassed by the building manager for months. He conducted frequent surprise inspections at her suite and took photos without permission, violating her right to privacy.
The building manager clearly wanted her evicted to lease out her suite at market rent.
Her only income was social welfare. She also needed to support an adult son with a long-term illness. Her benefits could not sustain her living and she was forced to top up her income with a personal loan.
When she came to the agency for help, the service coordinator noticed she had low esteem and didn’t know how to reach out for resources that could help her to sustain her daily living and protect her rights.
The service coordinator identified that the first priority was to protect her human rights. By conducting a workshop on Residential Tenancy Act information in her apartment, she and other tenants understood their rights were protected by law and that they no longer had to allow the manager to invade their homes without consent.
Financial independence was another major issue: the service coordinator helped her to connect with Service Canada and Alberta Works and successfully acquired a CPP disability and AISH benefit. Such efforts helped her to pull herself out of debt.
While her benefits applications were still in progress, the management filed a false complaint to her Alberta Works caseworker, accusing her for having vacation in Europe without reporting it and had her social welfare terminated. When she had no money to pay the rent, the management filed an eviction application.
While the client was in a panic, the service coordinator assured her she could get legal aid and eventually defeated the management’s eviction application in court.
Since then, the client has started regaining her confidence. The service coordinator further empowered her through consultation, counselling and referral to human rights agencies. Eventually she gained the courage to launch a civil claim against the manager and the management. She won her case.
To the staff of The Way In program.
As I sit to write the obligatory thank you notes that one must write in a situation such as this, I honestly don’t know what to say to you. You played such an immense role in[my brother]’s life that words fail me.
My brother loved you, trusted you and relied on you. He was truly grateful that you came into his life. With your help, his life turned from one of chaos and desperate poverty to an ordered and reasonably financed existence that gave him great pleasure and quality of life. We watched him blossom from a depressed hermit to a social butterfly with a wide circle of friends and a life full of volunteer work and even university studies. He told me before he died that he had no regrets or fears because his last years had been filled with such enjoyment and satisfaction.
You put far more into assisting my brother than any client is entitled to expect and that says a lot about you as an organisation.
My husband and I were sponsored by our daughter to come to Canada. We stayed in Airdrie for a while until it was time to move on. Calgary is now our home for 12 years.
The Way In, through an Elder Broker and Service Provider gave us new meaning in life, happy, comfortable and secure at the tail end of our life.
We are moving to a better apartment and there are nutritious meals at the dining table, unlike before.
There are bountiful blessings coming regularly every month.
Thank you Way In!
As an Elder Broker at The Way In, my job is to promote the services of the network and refer clients who could benefit from those services.
I’m always looking for ways to promote my role in my community: from word of mouth to social media, displaying flyers at events and distributing business cards.
One day, I received a call from a lady related to one of the people I gave my business cards to telling me that she nd her mother, both seniors, needed help as the daughter who usually helps her mom around the house broke her leg.
After getting her permission, I filled out a couple of referrals for them and one of the service coordinators with The Way In paid them a visit.
Again, I received another call, but this time it was a call of gratitude. The family had been provided with help with their shopping and also with some medication they were paying more than they should for.
Our success encourages me to continue my work for The Way In to ensure more older adults get the help they need to live in their own homes and communities.
For intake into any network office of The Way In, please call 403-SENIORS (403-736-4677). Alternatively you can email us by filling in our contact form here.
Need help immediately? If you are in crisis, call the Distress Centre at 403-266-HELP (403-266-4357) OR 911