North York, Ontario

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Interview with Sagecare 147 Elder Street family member, Robert Harris

Robert’s been duly impressed by Sagecare. This was reflected in the depth of initial questions, the ratio of staff-to-residents, and in the care he’s witnessed.

In this perspective:

Highlights from the interview

  • 147 Elder has a very unique philosophy of care…The ratio of staff members to residents is extremely low, one to four, which is pretty unusual… Basically, you're paying for that level of care… People are getting an enormous amount of personal attention. It's a small place [with] only 50 residents on purpose. … It's like a house. … Everyone has their bedrooms upstairs. But when you come downstairs, there are living rooms, there's a kitchen. 

  • Residents are [truly] treated like people first that happen to have a medical condition—not patients who happen to be people. When I went to [other places], there would be somebody who was an intake person and they would say, ‘Well, tell me a little bit about your wife.’ And we would talk for 15 minutes and then we would go on a tour... At 147 Elder Street, we sat down but an hour later, we were still talking. They were still asking questions. And they were asking because they needed to know the answers, to provide the level of care that they needed to provide… That sense of personal involvement [is] the clear focus for them. 

  • The focus is on who [the person] is now… There's obviously a link between who they used to be and who they are now [but] this is a place that really cares about who these people are nowThat's major. 

  • The food is good. The facilities are lovely. It's only a 20 year old place, but that's not what's important. It's that personal attention.

  • They have a lot of external people coming in, people singing, people with exotic pets, people with drumming… On a daily basis, there's two or three different outside people who come in, as well as the recreation therapists who work there. 

  • She's being fed better and her hygiene is better [than when] she was at home alone with me and the caregiver. Now she's in a social setting… Every time I'm there, I realize that this was the right thing to do. 

  • People with dementia, especially, are extremely sensitive to moods around them. They pick up stress fast.. I realized [later] how stressed I was without recognizing it... Now, when I see my wife in a less stressed environment, [I know] how much she was actually picking up from me [and how that] was in fact causing her distress, completely unintentionally… Even when you have care, it's difficult to do these things on your own. For all of those reasons, I'd say her quality of life has much improved. 

  • The notion of treating dementia-only [means] they can really focus on certain things… It starts with the notion that these are people that have different needs than you and I, because of the disease they have… When you walk in the door, you can tell right away. This is a place where they know who everybody is and they care about them as people. 

  • So much of my routine for the past few years has been around my wife's care and her schedule, when she would get up, and when she would go to bed, etc. Now I can go to bed whenever I want, get up when I want… I’m certainly less stressed.

  • The people there have 20 years experience dealing with dementia. It's still a remarkably unknown disease. Certainly, nobody has any idea, to be quite honest, what causes it. Every single person who suffers from it suffers from it differently [and] there's no real pattern to what happens. So it really helps that these people have that knowledge. 

  • A lot of places, there's a basic price for the facility, and then there're extras depending on extra care and things that are done… At 147 Elder Street, there's one price for everybody, and they look after people there forever. In other words, my wife is going to need more care as the years progress but the price I'm paying will not change. It [just] goes up a little bit. 

MORE ABOUT Sagecare 147 Elder Street

Our Perspective

Sagecare 147 Elder Street brings to bear all the latest innovations and approaches in memory care building design and compassionate care, in a setting focused solely on dementia care. It’s a beautiful building both inside and out, and there’s also delicacy in the care given to residents here, administered by devoted staff, specially prepared and trained to help them. Over 20 years of experience is brought to bear in every nuance of living here. Read more

More video reviews

Julia shares the relief she and her mom feel with her dad at Sagecare, where he benefits from the low caregiver-to-resident ratio, music therapy, and more.

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