Nursing facility search pays off
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