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Russ' Story

When your expectations are not only met, but exceeded in every possible way.

Russ was getting ready to join his family at Balsam Lake Resort but little did he know that when we went to bed feeling poorly, and wasn’t interested in eating the following day, he was in the throes of a serious medical emergency. Thankfully those living around him knew he needed help, and fast.

He was well enough to ask the paramedics to take him to Headwaters Health Care Centre, where he had been treated before.

Russ was assessed, admitted to Headwaters and after numerous tests his treatment plan for pneumonia and kidney function issues began. His stay at Headwaters was a little over a week.

“I came here knowing it was a good hospital based on previous experiences but I had the feeling they were giving me a lot of attention,” he said. “I felt a little uneasy about that because I didn’t want attention to be taken away from others, who are younger.”

Russ is 100 and lives at Abbeyfield -Caledon, a non-profit, retirement home for independent seniors.
When asked, what makes Headwaters special, he said the nurses, rehabilitation staff, physician and all contacts you have, made him feel at home and were to be commended for their extraordinary care and interest in his wellbeing. “They treated me like any other sick person who needed help. Their treatment never stopped. I am forever grateful.”

His daughter, Linda was quick to agree, “My 100-year old father was treated like a 30-year old, I can’t say enough good things about Headwaters and his care.”

During his hospital stay, on D-Wing, the infection was eliminated and he was transferred to E-Wing to regain his strength. He said he sensed that everything was being done that modern medicine is capable of doing. “From the nurses, to the cleaning staff and the doctor in charge, I felt as though everyone was helpful and cheerful and friendly.”

Russ and his daughters walked every inch of the Friendship Gardens. He was thrilled to be able to see one of the gardens and a water feature from his hospital bed. Russ made sure he could do one final work-out in the E-wing rehabilitation gym on the day of his discharge.

“Living this long has a lot to do with biology and a bit of luck,” he said. Russ is active in the community and enjoys learning. He had a hip replacement when he was 92, still drives and helps other residents at Abbeyfield. In the hospital he learned about deep breathing under the tutelage of Dr. Nadarajah on D-Wing and about the close relationship of song and dance to physical health on E- Wing. This has spurred him on to take extra exercise classes, in addition to the yoga he is already doing.

Russ has written a number of articles on a wide range of subjects, he published a book aimed at reducing traffic deaths in the USA and Canada, two poems and an article on equality of the sexes in Canada. Russ enjoys working with his hands and is a qualified ceramicist. A long time wood worker, he recently took up carving at the Senior’s Centre in Bolton.

Although he doesn’t want to visit Headwaters anytime soon as a patient, he didn’t hesitate to offer up that Headwaters would be his hospital of choice if he needed medical care again. “I am convinced that all patients, irrespective of age, would experience the same high level of care here. I’m grateful, not only to be alive, but to be feeling much better than I had felt for many months.”