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Time passes and lives change. In March of 2018 my husband, Bill, died. He had suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease for 15 long years and carried his burden with the kind of courage and grace few of us can imagine having.

In the last 14 months of his life he and I faced a grueling battle with various health care professionals and agencies after Bill was certified as a danger to himself and to others by a G.P. who thought he was protecting me, but who, in fact, set in motion the most distressing time I have ever known.

What I learned in that time is that what we (Canadians) often call ‘the best health care system in the world’ is woefully inadequate when it comes to dementia patients in how it looks at them, in the training provided to caregivers who look after them in our hospitals and long-term care facilities, and in the policies regarding dementia patients’ care that have been adopted in those same facilities. I also learned that when some health care professionals take action that is expressly against the wishes of a patient’s spouse because they can, the spouse loses all agency when it comes to making decisions regarding the person they have lived with and loved for almost 50 years, and it is one hell of fight to get it back.

I fought hard to get Bill released from the unbearable circumstances he found himself in, and finally succeeded in getting him back home, where he belonged. He died at home, peacefully, and surrounded by those he loved and who loved him. But it took a toll on all of us.

So, my task now is to write a book that will make a difference in how dementia patients and their families are treated in our health care system, in the kind of training health care professionals receive concerning the assessment, treatment and care of dementia patients, and in the policies concerning dementia patients’ care that are adopted by acute-care hospitals and long-term care facilities. Wish me luck!

sincerely,

Jocelyn

 

Here’s wishing everyone a low-maintenance, high energy kind of summer.

Present and future pursuits include more writing, painting, editing and publishing, along with more swimming, laughing and loving. Because there’s always room for more.

More recently, I’ve bent my efforts to writing novels, short stories and picture books.

Check out my art gallery.

Upcoming events.