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My Dad’s Courageous Journey During Covid-19

BY: Phillip McKenzie

It’s a confusing and unnerving time in our world. As the coronavirus spreads, our life is drastically changing most especially the Seniors. Many of us are facing difficult decisions about whether our loved ones should stay in an assisted living facility or be taken out due to the pandemic crisis.


When my mother passed away last March, then left my father alone in a long-term senior’s residence. Due to the pandemic, the residence was not allowing visitors and my father faced a dark situation – mourning the loss of his spouse of 65 years alone and without family. We decided to take him out of the residence for several weeks so he could spend time between my siblings’ and my residence so he did not have to be alone during a very difficult time for him.

After a few weeks, Dad decided he wanted to return to the senior’s residence as he wanted his own space and he felt like he was being a burden to his children. However, once settled back in at the residence he had to quarantine for two weeks without any human contact. This was unbearable for him so once again he left the facility to spend time at the residences of his four children. Shortly after he left he needed to have surgery. After the surgery and having been under anesthesia for several hours it was apparent that he had suffered some mild strokes and had some cognitive decline, including increased dementia. His driver’s license was taken away from him and he was headed back to the senior’s residence. We all hated the thought of him being in isolation for another couple of weeks and further, there had been outbreaks of Covid at the residence, where it appeared my mother had contracted it.


We decided that Dad would get his own one-bedroom apartment and we would take turns staying with him. This was fine for a few weeks but because we are spread throughout the province this became a disruption to all of our daily lives, including his. We contacted Cheri at FILCAN and contracted a full-time caregiver for my dad.


Under the circumstances, this has been the most ideal solution and it has really worked out perfectly. Dad gets to stay in his own space, his meals are prepared for him daily by the caregiver and she can take him around town for errands, groceries, drive with his own car or hers. We can still visit however often or for as long as we wish. The caregiver ensures my dad is fed, she cleans for him, bathes him, and actually provides him with good companionship. It also keeps him out of the senior’s residence where Covid-19 remains a serious threat. Further, the cost of providing Dad with a full-time caregiver was significantly less than paying for him to remain at the senior’s residence.


FILCAN HOMECARE has really provided my father and our family with the most ideal solution during these difficult times.