My family became his voice and advocate. My mom kept track of all the different medicines my dad took and was able to fill in the blanks with the nurses. We praised them when they helped and questioned them when we weren't sure why he wasn't feeling well. My parents were a team for 64 years and they needed to be with one another to get better. I remember my dad would perk up just knowing my mom was on her way to see him. Earlier this year, my dad passed away quietly in the hospital surrounded by his family.
As South Asian seniors, my parents, like many others just want to be sure that they will be taken care of by family when they get older. Nirpal was working with this couple and had been speaking (advocating) on the couples behalf... quite vehemently and passionately! And it brought a smile to my face. I knew I would do the same myself because this young lady didn't treat her clients like clients, but like family. And that's a key differentiator for PCHS and she needed our help.
She spoke about the senior who had his walker stolen and he didn't have $25 to replace it. She told me about the case where a senior had received funding to get a wheelchair, but he had to match the funds - $200 - in order to take possession and he didn't have it. It went on and on. I was ready, willing and able to write a cheque right there and then. But that was a band-aid solution for one senior. I asked what kinds of things would make life a little easier for these seniors and we came up with the ADOPT-A-BABA/BIBI campaign - where we determine the needs of the senior and with a donation they are met:
There are 20 of Nirpal's clients who need the following immediately:
ADOPT-A-BABA/BIBI Box: heating pads, puzzles, cleaning kit, heater, exercise balls/putty, arts and crafts, magnifying glass, grab bars for the bathroom, rubs for arthritis, cane, winter gloves, diabetic socks, warm wool socks, winter hat
But we know there will be others who will need assistance:
STARTER Box: heating pads, rubs for arthritis, cold pack, grab bars of various sizes, bath tub chair, bath mats, raised toilet seat, small heater, diabetic socks, exercise equipment, shoe horn, extended brushes, magnifying glass, mat, cane
Many of the items reminded me of what my dad (especially the shoe horn) required to be independent and comfortable in his own home. He was one of the lucky ones who had a good pension and a loving family to take care of his needs. This is not the case for many South Asian seniors who don't have the support that my dad had, who can't afford the necessities, let alone the things that assist them as they grow older.
PCHS launched the program on Guru Nanak Dev Ji's birthday - Gurpurab. My family and I celebrated the day by donating on behalf of my late father, Sucha Singh Saran. Our Dasvandh - contributing in the name of the guru towards those seniors who need it most. It was also another way to teach Tej about Sikhism. You too can donate online at PCHS4u.com or you can drop off a cheque or item for the box to PCHS' offices - Malton (2890 Drew Road, Unit #241) or Brampton (11730 Airport Road) in order to donate in person. or Brampton office. All donations of $25 and over will get a tax receipt. It's as simple as that... being inspired by all the love and support we have received from our elders and honouring them by helping their brothers and sisters.