It’s a privilege to hear the stories of love and gratitude that so often accompany philanthropy and healthcare. We recently had the opportunity to learn about a Comox family whose journey of homes, and being supported through life’s twists and turns, really touched us. We’re honoured to have permission to share some of Ed and Norma’s story with you today.
Ed is 91 years old. He is spry, a familiar face at Comox Golf Course. His mind is sharp, and he spends time with friends and family doing things he enjoys like playing cribbage, carpet bowling, and walking. He lives independently in Comox. For Norma, Ed’s wife of almost 70 years, the senior years have unfolded entirely differently.
Ed and Norma started their life together in Saskatchewan. Their many decades together brought three children, three grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren. Norma grew up in a large family on a farm. She used to tell stories of skiing behind horses in winter and she would chuckle when her brother, Harold, lightheartedly complained that he’d always had to ride and never got to ski. Norma had a happy childhood filled with family, hard work and fun.
Norma and Ed met at quite a young age and built a good life together. Ed was a teacher and then a school administrator. Norma loved to sew, crochet, knit, and after running a fabric store in Humboldt with her sister, her love for small children took her to managing a daycare. She worked as an early childhood educator for many years.
Their retirement started out with golfing, playing shuffleboard, time with loved ones, and spending a glorious twenty winters in Yuma, Arizona. Like most people, they planned for these leisure-filled years to continue.
Nine years ago, Norma started showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s. There had been signs of the disease coming. Their children noticed, but Ed and Norma adjusted and made it work for as long as they could.
The years between Norma’s diagnosis and her move to long-term care were extremely difficult for everyone involved. She was anxious, confused and she couldn’t be left alone. She was up throughout the night and needed professional 24-hour care. Ed wanted the best for Norma, and eventually realized that meant that her home would need to be in long-term care.
Norma now lives at The Views at St Joseph’s, a long-term care home where she receives the love and care she and her family needs.
Now, when Ed or other family members visit, they find Norma dancing, listening to music and sometimes helping in the kitchen, which has always been a happy place for her. Norma is safe and comfortable. At the end of the day, when she goes to bed happy, her family can too.
The Views is one of three not-for-profit long-term care homes in the Comox Valley for which we raise funds. These funds are more important than ever as our community’s population grows, and people are living longer.
Having access to great care at a local long-term care home changed everything for Ed, Norma, and their family.
Donations to long-term care can fund special things that bring joy, like music therapy, or critical things that advance care, like new buildings and research, to ensure continuous learning and improvements to how care is delivered.
We respectfully invite our community to consider a gift to long-term care. Through your gift, you can influence the care available for you and your loved ones as we all age and grow older in this very special place we call home.