Weʼre raising $7,000 to help fund a daily personal support worker to take care of my uncle who has advanced Alzheimer's and prostate cancer.
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I grew up in a very tight nit family. My mother, father, brother, uncle (my father's brother) and I lived in a small 3 bedroom apartment. My dear uncle helped raise my brother and I as if we were his own children. He never got married and I never understood why nor did I ever question it. I just knew that I was incredibly fortunate to essentially have 2 wonderful dads and male role models in my life.
My uncle has always been the kindest, most generous and compassionate person I have ever known. He would literally work overtime to save money for my post secondary education. He would take two buses to pick me up from school as a kid so that he could carry my heavy back pack for me and so that I would have company on the bus when I no longer qualified for school bus drop off. When I was 12, he would take me to the dentist and wait in the dental office for me, sometimes for hours, during those dental visits between bite plate and braces. I would cry or be upset by how I looked and he would buy me a Popsicle or take me to Baskin Robbins for a scoop of ice cream which somehow always made everything better. That was just the kind of person my uncle was.
Several years ago, my parents and I started noticing some deterioration in his memory and a slower capacity to concentrate and focus. Over time, it became more and more evident that he was dealing with some form of dementia. Over a year ago, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. His mental capacity has been on a rapid decline since then and he is still being cared for by my parents who are both in their 80s and suffering with their own health and mental problems.
We will soon have no choice but to have him placed in a long term care facility but he will require a dedicated support worker by his side daily for dressing, meals, bathing etc. He is also recovering from prostate cancer and has urological issues.
Beyond the heart break, sadness, feeling that we are losing someone we all love so much, beyond the sleepless nights, stress of caring for him, exhaustion and strain, we are now facing some serious financial issues regarding his long term care.
We know we cannot afford a specialized retirement home with Alzheimer care as those costs run well over 8,,000 per month. We now must face the fact that a government operated long term care facility is the only solution but that will not be enough. The LTC facilities we have inquired with have all said he will require someone or several people in addition to the regular nursing staff (a 12 patient to 1 nurse ratio) to help take care of him. While I would love to be able to assist him every day, I live an hour away and have a family of 5 to take care of and 3 children under 12 to raise. My parents as mentioned are finding it increasingly more difficult to care for my uncle and they will do whatever they can to help take care of him however long they can.
This is an initiative I am undertaking myself as a way to try and help my uncle; help maintain his dignity, help him during this transitionary phase of life and help us all knowing that he would receive a good level of care when we are not there to help him ourselves. If anyone reading this has been touched by this terrible disease through a loved one or friend, you understand my plea and desire to help one of the best people that G-d has graced my life with. Please do consider pledging. Any amount will help. My ultimate goal would be $8,000 which would help us provide a personal support worker for the first year at a long term care facility. We can only take this one day at a time, one week at a time and look ahead to the coming year to try and finance the help necessary for my dear uncle.
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Betty Hi started crowdfunding