Grateful Patient: The Zacharski family, Medical Inpatient/Rehabilitation

Zacharski Family

When a loved one is experiencing a health crisis, it’s reassuring to know there is a team of healthcare professionals working with you to reach a common goal.

That was the case for the Zacharski family when their mother, Diana, spent several weeks as a patient of the Brant Community Healthcare System (BCHS).

Adrian Zacharski said his mother, who is 94 years old, developed a urinary tract infection just before Labour Day in 2014. He and his siblings took her to The Brantford General where she was diagnosed and received antibiotics to help her body rid itself of the infection. Unfortunately, the medication didn’t relieve Diana’s symptoms and she was brought back to the Emergency Department a week later because she was having trouble urinating.

Her treatment included a four week stay in the hospital so her progress could be monitored more closely. Diana was well cared for by staff on the sixth floor medical inpatient unit.

“We had wonderful care,” said Adrian. “Everyone was really good to us.”

During her stay, each of Diana’s three children and her grandson spent a lot of time at the hospital, visiting and making her comfortable. Adrian said the personal, professional care his mother received made them confident she was well taken care of when one of the family could not be there.

“We all felt we were leaving her in good hands,” he said. Diana agreed, saying she was quite comfortable at The Brantford General and that staff made her stay as pleasant as possible, given that she wasn’t feeling well.

“They were very kind to me, and I appreciate all they did to help me get better,” she said.

Diana was able to return to her home after a month and settled in with a regular schedule of care provided by her family. Adrian said that worked out well until January 2015 when Diana got up on her own to go to the washroom, she fell and hit her head. That injury required another trip to the Emergency Department and another stay in the hospital to recover.

“At that point we were noticing a lack of mobility and mental deterioration,” said Adrian, explaining that his mother has always been a whiz at crossword puzzles, but those she would normally finish in 15 minutes were now taking her much longer.

During her second stay, Diana received a regular schedule of rehabilitation, including daily walks and regular exercises to keep her mobile.

It is part of the hospital’s commitment to the Assess and Restore program, that aims to prevent functional decline, improve independence, promote earlier discharge and improve quality of life.

For the Zacharski family, Becky Logan, a BCHS Navigator and Occupational Therapist, was someone they highlight as going above and beyond for their mom.

“She was incredibly helpful,” said Adrian. “She gave us a lot of important information. She was a walking encyclopedia.”

Adrian said it is staff like Becky and resources like the navigation and discharge team that are invaluable to families who want to have their elderly loved ones at home as soon as possible.

Becky was able to help the Zacharskis find the aids they would need to be able to care for their mother at home, where she has lived since 1961. Her BCHS care team visited Diana’s hospital room with information on how they could get her back to her own home and helped to get her established with community services that would support her once she was there.

“Everybody was so good to us, so kind to us,” said Adrian. “I don’t remember any request going unanswered.”

Diana now has twice daily visits from a personal support worker. She continues to do exercise every day, and is thankful to be at home. She can watch the activity outside her big picture window and is still doing her regular crossword.

The equipment supported by donor dollars isn’t all ‘nice to have’—it is critical, much-needed medical equipment required to perform daily diagnostics and care for patients.

As Adrian and Diana have learned first-hand, when crisis or illness impacts you or a loved one, the Brant Community Healthcare System is here to offer you exceptional healthcare in your time of need.

Your involvement, through a donation of any size, will allow the BCHS Foundation to purchase patient equipment not funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, provide essential resources to maintain the exceptional level of compassionate patient care, and invest in new and innovative technology.

To make a donation, click here or call 519-751-5510.

This holiday season, give a gift that could save a life and be a part of the Brant Community Healthcare System Foundation’s 12 Days of Giving Campaign.

Photo above: Becky Logan, Occupational Therapist with the Zacharski family