How long has your family member been a client of Deafblind Community Services?
How has Deafblindness impacted your life?
“Like many elderly people, my mother was gradually losing her hearing and sight. However, in November 2008 she was in a car accident which resulted in her suddenly losing her eyesight in one eye, and the peripheral vision in her other eye (the remaining vision she has in this eye is blurred and cloudy). In addition to this, she had significant loss of hearing.
Because her deafblindness occurred so suddenly, the combination of these two sensory losses put a lot of strain not only on my mother but on our family. My siblings had moved away so all of the responsibilities to care for her were transferred to me. Due to her Deafblindness, my mother lost her independence, had trouble accessing information, found communication with others difficult, and could not move around in the world easily. She now needed someone to help her do all of the things she once did for herself.
She now needed me to: take her grocery shopping; run errands; schedule appointments (e.g. CNIB, social workers, physical therapists etc.); take her to the bank; cook; clean; schedule and track doctors’ appointments; visit friends; garden; and reconfigure the house to enable her independence. My life became solely focused on caring for her, and by me trying to help her and minimize the impact of her Deafblindness it resulted in me losing my independence, losing friends and partners, becoming depressed, cancelling trips, and jeopardizing my employment (taking a lot of time off). “
How has intervention impacted your life?
“The CNIB Intervention program has helped me and my mom in several ways. The program is sensitive to the needs of each client and does not provide a one size fits all solution. Instead, clients are visited to assess their personality, their needs and compatibility and then, Intervenors are specifically selected to work with each client. This ensures that a relationship is formed between the Intervenor and the client built on trust, patience and understanding. As a result, my mother adores and trusts the intervenor, and feels more confident and independent to run errands during their visits or attend appointments.
This has helped to reduce the pressure on me and the family. I have time to run my own errands, was able to move to Ottawa for a job and now also take a lot less time off from work. More importantly, my mother is happier now. She knows that when she has a bad day and is all alone that she has a visitor coming that she can confide in and trust. This is key to helping because regardless of how my mother feels the intervenor just adapts to the situation, removing any pressure on my mother. Lastly, in addition to all of the wonderful things intervention has done for us, the intervenors have also introduced several aids that help support Deafblindness.”
What would you like to tell others about Deafblindness or intervention?
“Words cannot express how grateful I am that my mother was accepted to become a client of the intervention program. This is a group of qualified, kind, patient and thoughtful people whose sole purpose is to help your loved one gain a sense of normalcy and independence in their daily lives. Intervenors are there for your family member and are advocates for them. Intervenors will help clients with daily tasks, errands, appointments or any reasonable activity and clients are always treated with unconditional respect and support. This is truly one of the best programs I have ever come across. I would and do recommend it to everyone.”