'I can't continue to care for my dad': Islander urges province to change home-care system
She says her father, who has Alzheimers, doesn't qualify for home care because he's in good physical health
Every three months or so another piece of him disappears.
Alzheimers has continued to take more from the 88-year-old P.E.I. man since he was diagnosed with the disease in August, 2016, forcing his daughter to piece together a life for herself and her aging father.
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The Queens County woman became her dad's primary caregiver since the diagnosis, but after over a year trying to make ends meet, and being denied home care, she's asking the province step in to help.
"I need additional support because I can't continue to care for my dad," she said.
There's a large group of seniors coming down the pipe and we are not prepared to service these people.
CBC has decided not to name the family for privacy reasons.
The woman said she was told her father doesn't qualify for home care because he is in good physical health and doesn't need help showering, dressing or shaving. Meanwhile, she's been looking after him, working full time and paying private caregivers $450 a week to keep him safe and fed while she's at work.
After all this time, and without extensive family or a support system, she's struggling to continue making ends meet.
"Anything I can afford I do and I was told once again that he doesn't really qualify for home care," she said.
"I'm simply just trying to avoid my father going to a hospital — I'm just asking for help somehow to manage my situation"
'This is my struggle right now'
As of now, her father goes to the Brecken House Adult Day Health Program in Charlottetown once a week, which operates Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
But the demand for the program is too high, and he no longer qualifies for the community care respite program because of his risk of wandering.
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This has left her to take care of her father essentially by herself with little support, which is taking a toll on her wallet as well as her health.
"Despite the government's efforts in wanting people to stay in their home longer, there's nothing really to support me in my situation," she said.
"This is my struggle right now, it's physically affecting me taking care of my father and I just need some additional help that I don't have to pay money for, or outrageous amount of money for, to help me in this situation."
'Only going to get worse'
She's asking government step in and change the current home-care system, she said, because it isn't working.
"This needs to be addressed, it's not going to go away it's only going to get worse and really the government has to put more time and energy into this," she said.
"There's a large group of seniors coming down the pipe and we are not prepared to service these people."
CBC asked Health PEI for a response but haven't received one yet.
An official did say that Brecken House is expanding its hours to Saturdays — and extended daily hours — but
those changes haven't happened yet.
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With files from Laura Chapin