Nurs­ing fa­cil­ity search pays off

Cape Breton Post - - EDITORIAL -

My wife’s Aunt Edie turned 104 this past May. She had to leave her home in Syd­ney as she suf­fers from Alzheimers.

My wife’s fam­ily — the Weres — searched long and hard for a nurs­ing fa­cil­ity in Hal­i­fax for her as she could do very lit­tle on her own.

They needed help but where would they find it? They were look­ing for kind care­givers and it worked, and over the next cou­ple of years the good Lord brought an amaz­ing cou­ple into her life and ours.

Their names are Ron and Hazel Hec­tor and they live in Dart­mouth. Each of them have unique per­son­al­i­ties and gifts that en­riches Edie’s life and ours.

Hazel is tall, el­e­gant, well­spo­ken and very com­pas­sion­ate. She loves to talk. This gift comes in handy as Edie feels left out of con­ver­sa­tions be­cause her hear­ing has de­te­ri­o­rated. Hazel would get right down in Edie’s face and they would talk and talk. Edie loves Hazel be­cause she treats her with dig- nity, re­spect and quiet kind­ness.

She can calm Edie down dur­ing her emo­tional episodes when the rest of us fail. She is able to make Edie laugh with her funny tricks and that’s not easy. As any­one who cares or has cared for some­one with de­men­tia knows the dis­ease com­pletely changes one’s per­son­al­ity.

But Hazel pos­sesses another price­less skill. She will go into Edie’s room at night and com­fort her when she is un­able to sleep. Many nights Hazel does not get any sleep. Hazel holds Edie’s hand for hours when she is scared. When Edie is cry­ing and doesn’t know what is hap­pen­ing to her, Hazel will em­brace her with a big hug. Hazel got Edie in­ter­ested in knit­ting again and her broth­ers and sis­ters have be­come in­volved in help­ing to take of Edie. She has be­come part of the fam­ily.

What im­presses me most about Ron is that he is an ex­cel­lent cook and bakes mouth-wa­ter­ing cook­ies which Edie loves to eat. He is what I call a pow­er­house man — prac­ti­cal and well-or­ga­nized.

When Edie has a doc­tor’s ap- point­ment, he makes sure she gets there on time. He and Hazel vis­ited Edie in the hos­pi­tal and brought her food and gifts. Ron has a great sense of hu­mour and most gen­tle and nur­tur­ing na­ture.

It shows when he looks af­ter Ruthie who is 82 years old and has been liv­ing with the Hec­tors for more than 10 years. Ruthie had a stroke and is hard to un­der­stand at times. Ron has learned to be pa­tient, com­pas­sion­ate and un­der­stand­ing in or­der to make Ruthie and Edie con­tented and happy. He makes sure they get their med­i­ca­tions and snacks on time and will lit­er­ally carry Edie out to their swimming pool where Edie sits for hours watch­ing their grand­chil­dren swim and play.

He is a shin­ing light in Edie’s dark­ness. As Ron said: “We can­not con­trol what is hap­pen­ing to Edie, but we can con­trol how we treat her and Ruthie. The an­swer is kind­ness and love.”

How blessed we are by such won­der­ful and kind peo­ple. In our eyes this cou­ple has be­come clas­sic un­sung he­roes. H. Roy White Hal­i­fax

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