A Diabetic Man on His Way to Recovery

Romeo Maisonneuve, 75, of Calgary, Alta, sits in his bedroom while answering questions from a Southern Alberta Institute of Technology Journalism student.

By Courtney M Lovgren

As a 75-year-old diabetic, low capacity man, Romeo Maisonneuve depends on Calgary Regional Health Authorities (CRHA).

CRHA send out home care workers that are expected to first and foremost have the client’s dignity in mind, always be punctual, prepare healthy well balanced meals, preform light house keeping, help with daily hygiene, and empty the fridge of old foods.

Maisonneuve was recently hospitalized due to an infection in his gall bladder and kidney.

Maisonneuve’s sister was visiting from British Colombia while he was in the hospital.

During her visit she found her brother was not being cared for as the family had expected.

Maisonneuve experienced poor living conditions, unhealthy meals, and very improper hygiene routines while home care was responsible for his wellbeing.

He doesn’t want to elaborate on hygiene routines, but would like to make it clear he is too old for love.

“Love? I’m too old for love!” said Maisonneuve

For Maisonneuve a certain home care worker made him very uncomfortable during shower times.

My showers were never right! I won’t go into detail but they were not nice,” said Maisonneuve

There were rotten vegetables and fruit that had liquefied on the kitchen table.

His bed was left covered in feces and blood.

Maisonneuve is unable to clean or cook for himself.

His home care workers are required to clean daily; if this were done Maisonneuve would not have been living in an unbearable state.

The state of my home was unbearable its no wonder I ended up sick. How can a person be expected to live in such filth?” said Maisonneuve

Maisonneuve may have a low capacity, however he still knows how a person should live.

It was very apparent to Ms. Maisonneuve that her brother needed further care when returning to home from the hospital.

She took it upon herself to hire a private caregiver to oversee the home care.

The private caregiver has responsibilities such as; making meals, completing laundry (weekly), doing daily light house keeping that homecare does not do.

She must also check daily that home care has recorded Maisonneuve’s blood sugars and given insulin on time.

Medication needs to be administrated at correct times; therefore if homecare is late the private caregiver must help Maisonneuve administer his tablet medications.

Mr. Maisonneuve feels that prior to having a private caregiver he was not cared for properly.

“Home care does not do what is expected. They rush and leave things incomplete, leaving me in an unhealthy state, they just don’t care as long as their making money, this is very saddening for me,” said Maisonneuve

Prior to having a private caregiver Maisonneuve was eating canned meals and his blood sugar were at unhealthy rates.

My doctors are very pleased with my sugar levels since my private caregiver began making my healthy meals,” said Maisonneuve

The private caregiver cooks homemade meals every night for him, which is helping to keep Maisonneuve’s blood sugar at correct healthy levels.

Maisonneuve feels that it’s ridiculous that he must have someone look over his home care workers to make sure he is getting correct care.

Their paid to do this, this what their educated and trained for,” said Maisonneuve

It is unfair to him that he cannot trust an educated and trained company to care for him correctly.

Without the private caregiver it’s likely that Maisonneuve could be hospitalized with further infection.

Without the private caregiver overseeing the home care Maisonneuve wouldn’t have been able to return home a month ago.

Thankfully the private caregiver not only does as expected; she makes Maisonneuve feel comfortable and cared for.











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