Meet family member Leslie …

“My mom had nothing but good things to say about moving to Veterans Memorial Lodge. She had so much joy when she moved into her beautiful room on A3. She could see the inner courtyard, and she was so excited about it.”

Leslie, left, with her mom and granddaughter.

Leslie’s mom moved to Veterans Memorial Lodge in late December 2020 – in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The move delighted her mother, who had been living in an independent living home when COVID-19 hit. With the restrictions placed by Provincial Health Orders, and without staff that long term care homes had, people in independent living homes were mostly restricted to their suites, without the benefit of outside visitors.

This was very hard on Leslie’s mom, a social and lively person, who ended up hospitalized as a result. Her ‘essential visitor’ was Leslie, who saw her mom flourish and return to health with social interactions with hospital staff, Leslie’s daily visits, and video calls with other family members. “It’s time for her to move to long term care,” said the hospital, and Leslie began the process of finding an appropriate long term care home for her mom.

Their number one choice was Broadmead Care. Prior to her retirement several years ago, Leslie had worked for the CEO and Board of Broadmead Care. In earlier years, she had given her parents a tour of Veterans Memorial Lodge. They were impressed with the Home and its staff and volunteers. So when Island Health identified an opening at Veterans Memorial Lodge, they took the opportunity right away!

Family visits at the window

“Mom came out of the hospital healthy and happy to be moving to Veterans Memorial Lodge. She was beside herself with joy when she saw her room. We moved her in, and set everything up for her – she loved her photos, her TV, and her computer. She’d learned to play games remotely and visit with family members on the computer, so we kept that up. She moved in during COVID-19, so I was the only one allowed in. But because she had a ground-level room, people could come and sit outside her window. That’s what we used to do, through that period. We put a couple of chairs in front of her window, and she could see us looking out. So that was really cool, and she enjoyed all those visits.”

Leslie felt incredibly supported by the team of social workers, nurses, healthcare workers, physicians, and other staff members. “Before she moved in, we met with Tracy, one of Broadmead Care’s Social Worker. She’s a wonderful lady who made everything so easy for us. Debbie, the nurse, was absolutely incredible. She was so wonderful and compassionate. She really got it.”

And as the time came for her mom to pass, staff were there for both her mom and the family. “People checked on us every day. They’d ask us how we were doing, and if there was anything they could get for us. Dr. Nicoll and his team were fantastic. Dr. Neweduk was lovely. He talked to us about the states of the dying process, and what we could expect, and what to look for.”

Leslie’s mom passed peacefully mid-October of this year. “It was hard to watch her go through the process, but at the end, it was lovely. After she passed, my brother and I sat in the room and reflected about her life. We told her how much we loved her, and how glad we were that she was reconnected with my dad and everyone else who had passed before her. She was 93, and she’d lived a good, long life. I’d never have moved my mom someplace that wasn’t 100%, and when we saw her joy when she moved in, we knew it had been the right choice. We were so lucky to have her at Veterans Memorial Lodge.”

Leslie (L with two grandkids), her mom (centre), and daughter (R)