Support for Elderly Patient

July, 2017

Question:

I am searching for information/help/support for an 80 year old friend who has just had her bowel and bladder removed and now has two ostomies that she is totally unaccepting of or prepared to look after. She is presently 6 weeks post-op and still quite frail and in a rehabilitation unit at the Brampton hospital. She was not at all prepared psychologically for what her reality would be and doesn’t seem to be getting the support she needs to accept and move forward with her ostomies or her independence. The support has been very poor. She is a widow and has two sons who although caring don’t seem to be able to organize a helpful plan for her.

How does one go about getting teaching for her ostomies as well as support for the extreme life style changes she now has. She was in her own condo and driving before surgery. I was unable to find information on an ostomy clinic in Brampton. She/her family are in the dark with things as basic as how and where she gets supplies and what is and isn’t paid for. In fact some of this information may have been given to her, however if it’s given when she’s alone, she is too overwhelmed to be absorbing information. We need a coordinated treatment plan with her and her family present. Any help with how to get her physical and mental support would be appreciated. I live in Ottawa so I am unfamiliar with help in Brampton.

Response:

Your friend, her family and friends although at the moment feel overwhelmed and isolated, there are in fact many resources and services available to educate and support new and veteran ostomates. Organized programs are available that are designed to assist all people with ostomies and their caregivers. The following is important information that highlights these programs:

Ostomy Support Groups

Ostomy Support Groups provide a comfortable private setting where people who have had, or are about to have, ostomy and related surgery can obtain literature and view videos related to ostomies. Trained ostomy visitors are on hand to discuss varying aspects of ostomy management and living with an ostomy.

                             Ostomy Support Groups are non-profit, these Support Groups offer:

  • Monthly peer support group meetings that are designed to promote social connection with fellow ostomates, speakers presentations, and more. Chat with individuals who are thriving after surgery. They will inspire you.
  • Network with others about valuable rehabilitation needs, both pre and post surgery.
  • Access to an assortment of literature and videos on ostomy and related surgeries.

Ostomy Support Groups offer “Trained Volunteer Visitors” with a vast experience that can provide reliable, timely information to help deal with all unique situations. Share personal questions and concerns and you can arrange a follow-up appointment with a Visitor at a convenient time and place, if necessary. These trained volunteers visit post-operative patients.

I highly recommend that your friend call or email the following to determine what Ostomy Support Group is the most convenient location to her, and to inquire about the Ostomy Visitor Program, and  where the most convenient locations for purchasing ostomy equipment in her area, etc..

The Ostomy Support Groups I located in your friends area are:

Ostomy Toronto
344 Bloor St West, Suite 609,
Toronto, M5S 3A7
Located at Bloor and Spadina.  Please call if you need precise directions from your home.
Telephone: 416-596-7718 or 1-866-285-5948
Fax: 416-596-8250
E-mail: info@ostomytoronto.com

Halton/Peel Ostomy support Group (Oakville Ontario)
Primary contact: Richard Olley, President; Phone: 905-825-3443; Email: richard.olley@yahoo.ca
Alternate contact: Chuck Davey, Secretary; Phone: 905-712-0427

Professional Assistance

I highly recommend that your friend make an appointment with an Enterostomal Therapy Nurse (E.T. Nurse). Enterostomal Therapy nursing specializes in wound, ostomy and continence care. An E.T. Nurse is a registered nurse with advanced specialized knowledge and clinical skills in wound, ostomy and continence care. E.T. Nurses work closely with ostomates and have the experience to assist them.

To find an E.T. Nurse in your friends location see the following instructions below:

Go to Ostomycanada.ca website (this site). You will find the menu at the top bar, click on “Support”, there will then be a drop down menu, click on “Find an E.T. Nurse”, follow the instructions on that page.

Here may be a helpful ET contact in Brampton:

Care Partners
Svetlana.Soukhinina@carepartners.ca
60 Gillingham dr. Unit 301
Brampton ON
Canada L6X 0Z9
905-452-7118

Financial Support

Assisted Devices Program

The province of Ontario provides the Assistive Devices Program. If an individual has a long-term physical disability, they can get help paying for equipment and supplies when they qualify for the Assistive Devices Program. Ostomy equipment qualifies.

To qualify in Ontario, you must be an Ontario resident, have a valid Ontario health card, and have a disability requiring the equipment or supplies required for 6 months or longer. The program does not consider income. Ostomates receive 2 cheques per year (fall and spring), to help offset equipment costs. For more information (Ontario Resident), go to: https://www.ontario.ca/page/assistive-devices-program

Disability Tax Credit

Ostomy Canada Society will be announcing a new tri-fold pamphlet in the next few months, (2017), in the meantime a good source for information, check out the following, designed by the Halifax Ostomy Association – http://www.ostomyhalifax.ca/disability-tax-credit—help-yourself.html

For further information, visit the Canada Revenue Agency Government Website by going to: http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/disability/ – you can also go to:

http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/sgmnts/dsblts/dtc/menu-eng.html  This informative page covers:

  • What is the disability tax credit?
  • Find out how you can benefit. The Form T2201, must be filled out and certified by your medical practitioner such as your General Practitioner (GP), or Surgeon. (Who is eligible for the DTC? You are eligible for the DTC only if Form T2201 is approved. A medical practitioner has to fill out and certify that you have a severe and prolonged impairment and must describe its effects. There is a “Few Questions” section that will help you and your  medical practitioner find out if you have a disability that may be eligible. As mentioned earlier in this response, there are many people with an ostomy who are eligible and receiving the DTC. See “Eligibility criteria for the disability tax credit”  –  http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/tx/ndvdls/sgmnts/dsblts/mdcl-prcttnr/lgbl-eng.html to learn more about the requirements to be eligible for the DTC.)
  • Who is eligible for the DTC?
  • How to fill out Form T2201?
  • What happens when Form T2201 is received at CRA?
  • How to claim the disability amount once the DTC application is approved?
  • Forms and publications. (Such as Guide RC4064, Disability-Related Information, Form T2201, Disability Tax Credit Certificate)

Purchasing Ostomy Equipment

I highly recommend your friend contact and visit with an E.T. Nurse, these professionals are excellent resources for locations as to where and what ostomy equipment to purchase. In addition, the E.T. Nurse, is the professionals who will assist her in finding the ostomy equipment that will best suit her situation, unique stoma anatomy, etc.

Living life to the fullest is an real option for your friend and there are many ostomates, professionals and programs to support all ostomates and their caregivers.