Woodland resident’s son commends staff for supports provided to family

Mike Robillard commends front-line team members for helping his family understand palliative process

Mike Robillard says he and his family had lots of support from staff members at Woodland Villa when his father, Raymond, was receiving palliative care at the Long Sault, Ont. long-term care home.

While the supports caregivers provided Raymond helped ensure he was always comfortable and his needs were tended to, front-line staff was also there to provide emotional support and information to help the family through the process, Mike says.

Mike contacted The OMNIway in December, asking us to publish a story about the high-quality care his dad received while a resident at Woodland Villa. Mike says he, his mother, Ruth, and sister, Gloria Richer, appreciate not only the care Raymond was provided, but also the supports the family received.

Raymond passed away in late November. When Raymond began receiving palliative care, front-line staff members would speak with the family to explain the process.

“I knew the next step; they would tell me what the next step was, because I didn’t know what would happen next; I’ve never gone through this before,” Mike says. “They explained things to my family and me in a positive way.”

Woodland Villa staff members provided Mike and his family with information packages that included pamphlets and other written materials about palliative care. Everyone read through the information, which Mike says helped the family through the process.

“And it wasn’t rubber-stamped – someone had put some thought into this,” he says.

Having worked as a firefighter in northern Alberta, Mike is well-versed in emergency medicine and has experience in tending to people with health issues. Losing a parent is a completely different experience, but Woodland Villa staff made a difference, he says.

“I’ve been around hospitals and ambulances and fire trucks and all of that, but I’ve never had to deal with an 88-year-old man passing away, somebody who I cared so much about,” he says.

Often, it was the small things that mattered most, Mike says. For example, he recalls how staff members would come into Raymond’s room with a cart filled with muffins, tea, coffee and juices.

“They didn’t need to do that; we didn’t pay for that, but they did that for us,” he says.

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