One such lady came into Outreach looking for help about a year ago. She was referred to us through cancer care who recognized she was struggling. She was dealing with trauma at the same time she was dealing with cancer which made thing difficult for her. She was divorced and her children live out of province. She had been diagnosed with terminal cancer, was rapidly losing her eyesight and had to give up working. She needed help finding an affordable place to live on a meager budget and just over all help figuring out how to survive on a very low income. She is a very proud woman and it was extremely difficult for her to come in and ask for help, but she realized she could not survive the way she was currently living. Up until now she had been s upporting her elderly mother who lived about an hour away, but recognized that she just could not do it all on her own anymore.
As we worked with her to find her an apartment it became clear she needed help getting to her specialist appointments and chemo because she was not able to drive anymore, so we offered to bring her. Our volunteers started dropping off smoothies and soup at her place, started taking her to run errands every once in a while and picked up her daughters from the airport when they came to visit. Because her apartment was not big enough to have her daughter's stay there while they visited we put them up in our transitional apartment for the duration of their stay. We helped her arrange to donate her car to a worthy cause and a very kind neighbour offered to carry her garbage to the bin for her if she would just leave the bag beside her door. Towards the end we checked in on her several times a week, and we were prepared to help her make arrangements for palliative care when the time would come. She also had a couple of very good friend who would visit her regularly, help her run errands and be there for her as much as they could in whatever way they could be.
Unfortunately a few days ago she was admitted to the hospital with liver failure. She passed away last night with her friend by her side and her daughter connected through social media. She was a very kind soul and we will miss her dearly.
Every person deserves to live their life with dignity. We are able to do so by the support of our friends and family around us. I would encourage you to take a look at the people in your life who help you to do this and give them a brief thank you. It takes a village to care for our loved ones.