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Alyssa and Danielle Charbonneau, Registered Practical Nurses

When caring for seniors and Veterans living with dementia, you need every tool possible.

As young nurses, every day brings new challenges. My sister Danielle, who is 25, and I, Alyssa, 22, are both nurses at The Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre. I’ve been working with residents here right out of school since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic – responding to the dire need for nurses– while Danielle has been here for 3 years now.

We both work caring for those living with dementia. It’s a difficult job, but it’s also heartwarming to help residents cope with the forever challenging phases of the disease. For someone living with dementia, everyday can be a battle or an adventure – we need to be really creative to find the best way to care for them.

Some days that means setting up a laptop and desk for a man who thinks he’s still running a large business or calling an Italian resident “Nona” to remind her of her grandkids. The Specialized Behavioural Support Unit (SBSU) where Danielle works is designed to manage responsive behaviours and enhance care plans to give residents the best living experience possible. We both find it so rewarding to help residents and their loved ones, we feel like the entire care team are a part of their family, and that’s what makes Perley Rideau an exceptional home.

Your support makes us feel so safe while working with COVID-19 restrictions – and allows us to focus on residents. You’ve provided us with some amazing and innovative tools that help us to interact with residents, like iPads and tablets that are invaluable in keeping residents connected with their families through video chat. These ‘visits’ always bring a smile to everyone’s face! Even with all those amazing items in our inventory to use, we still have many other priority needs, and hope you’ll consider a donation that will help us continue to enrich the quality of care for residents, such as portable bladder scanners.

You can help us improve every facet of long-term care.

When we’re caring for those living with dementia, we’re always on our feet. Time management is essential, which is why we hope to purchase 11 hand-held ultrasound bladder scanners. It may not sound that important, but these scanners allow us to perform a quick, easy and non-invasive scan of the bladder to safely and accurately evaluate the need for catheterization. Residents can’t always express their needs and it’s our job to figure out the clues. With the right equipment, residents are more comfortable and can focus on living life to the fullest.

Without you, Danielle and I couldn’t work with the confidence we have.
    
Click here to view a “Day-in-the-life” snapshot of a typical workday for Danielle and me. To be honest, it’s a little overwhelming to put our thoughts to paper. To see all the tasks, responsibilities and residents we care for humbles us. But it also reminds us of the reality of caring for seniors. We know as the future unfolds and especially with COVID-19 we’ll have to continue providing exceptional care without hesitation to ensure residents stay well, healthy and provided for. But we’re confident generous donors like you will be by our side. Will you give a gift today to improve residents’ lives?

It can be heartbreaking at times to see a grandparent confused, scared, or frustrated as they struggle to live with dementia. But when you find a small way into their reality and have the ability to assure the resident that they’re safe and loved, it reminds us why we chose this career – and how Perley Rideau is leading the way.

We’re committed to giving residents a place they’re happy to call home. Which is why we need kind people like you! It’s hard to express how much your donation means, because it doesn’t just provide better equipment. It gives us confidence knowing we have amazing supporters like you helping and enabling us to bring residents so much joy and happiness!

Danielle and I are always grateful for the admiration we receive as nurses, but honestly, we’re just two sisters from Ottawa. You’re the reason we start our shifts knowing we’ll have the resources we need now and in the future.

We are truly grateful for your support. So please, donate today. Perley Rideau strives to be the best home possible for seniors and Veterans. Your gift will make this possible. 

Sincerely,

Alyssa & Danielle Charbonneau 
Registered Practical Nurses
Perley Rideau Gatineau Residence

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