The famly of Elizabeth Korstad is pleased with her care as her Alzheimer’s progressed. (Korstad family/Special to The News)

The famly of Elizabeth Korstad is pleased with her care as her Alzheimer’s progressed. (Korstad family/Special to The News)

LETTER: Family grateful for care of aging loved-one

Maple Ridge family speak highly of staff at Willow Manor during mother’s final days

Dear Editor,

We have all heard and read about the situations in long-term care and so many of them are disheartening and albeit frightening. We the family of Elizabeth (Betty) Korstad wish to share a much different story and one that we hope sheds light on some amazing, dedicated, devoted caregivers at Chartwell Willow Manor in Maple Ridge.

Mom, grandma, aunty, and friend required full care and assistance as dementia had slowly over time took away the capable, bright, active, and socially engaging woman that we all knew and loved.

Over time Mom required more and more assistance and support as her health declined. We were kept abreast of any changes and needs that she had. Staff were always engaged and willing to try and keep Mom as active and engaged as possible – and her physical and dietary needs were well attended to.

Visitors were always welcome, and staff on hand to answer our questions or concerns.

Due to COVID, we had to visit in private but were very endeared to hear laughter and joy often coming from staff and residents outside of her door and in the common area.

It is not an easy job.

It requires physical, mental and emotionally demanding teamwork work at all levels.

We often saw the same staff working beyond their shifts and always so cheerful, pleasant, and finding ways to find moments of laughter in their work. It takes a team, and we saw the best of the best working as a team.

As Mom neared the end of her life journey, the level of gentle and kind caring to not only Mom but the family was so appreciated. We were regularly offered nourishment and asked if there was anything we needed or could be done.

“Too often we underestimate the power of touch, a smile, a kind work, a listening ear, an honest compliment or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around “ said author Leo Buscaglia.

All those moments made a difference in Mom’s life and may you continue to know that you all make a difference.

Susan Korstad, on behalf of the Korstad family, Maple Ridge

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