When we were making a decision which route to go, some of the facilities that we saw inside I just thought, “No. At this point I can’t do that. I can’t see putting her in there when we can still stay in our home as long as I’m able to cope with it.” And I guess that’s one of the keys; “as long as I’m able to cope with it”. No, the option is out there and it’s our health system. It’s very inadequate when it comes to my age bracket, and people in my age bracket that get severe illnesses or disabilities. I know the governments are treading a line. There’s only so much money and we can’t do anything about it; we have to live with it. But the situation for this group of people, as far as I’m concerned, is quite poor, quite poor.
I don’t think any government in Canada, any provincial government, is any better than what we’ve got here. I can’t say that unequivocally simply because I haven’t experienced it in other jurisdictions. It’s just here, like the support for handicapped seniors is poor. There aren’t enough facilities. As a result they are crowded, they are inadequately staffed. There are facilities that are privately run by corporations, and they are great. I saw a few of those, maybe three. They are just great places, but you have to be able to put out about $8,000/month to afford them and we can’t do that. So we don’t have any options; we are stuck with what the government can offer, and it’s not much of an option. It’s a hell of an option quite frankly. It’s the shits of an option—you can delete that later, or leave it in as you wish. That’s the way I feel about it. […] It’s a very bad situation to end up being in. It really is, and there’s nothing can be done about it; we have to accept it.
So we found out that, finally, that we could qualify for the CSIL Program. And then we knew that we had that other option, so we chose that option. And there are all kinds of things involved in that decision; there were positives and negatives for both choices. One of the positives for a facility for her was that she would be able to socialize with people in the facility, whereas where we are, we’re living in a subdivision way out there near the airport and to do anything you have to drive. There’s nothing you can walk to well—she can’t walk anyway—and the subdivision is on a hill. So, there’s that advantage of being in a facility where she would have much more access to people and social activities; playing bridge, whatever, that sort of thing. But we chose to stay in our house because the house, over the years, has been set up for wheelchair use, and it works fine. It works really nice. It’s a nice house, we’re comfortable there. We’ve made lots of changes over time and we enjoy the area with these drawbacks. Neither of the caregivers drives. The other two previous people that we had could drive, and so that was good because they could take [my wife] to appointments. They could go for groceries, but neither of the two that we have now, the live-ins, can drive. So I’m it. I’m the chauffeur for everything, and it’s very tiring.