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LETTER: Family grateful for care received in Saan Pen extended care unit

Our family wishes to express our gratitude for the high level of care our dad/grandpa/brother, Ron Cruickshanks, was given from members of the extended care unit of Saanich Peninsula Hospital. As an individual with highly complex needs, Ron was a resident of this Island Health facility for over four years, until his passing a short time ago.

Ron was given the utmost of medical care and was treated with genuine love by those entrusted to his welfare. In this amazing facility, he was provided with a diversity of daily activities, community outings, visiting musicians, pottery classes, hot baths, pedicures, haircuts, ice-cream sundaes, and access to the many on-site gardens that are kept as beautiful and well maintained (by volunteers) as Butchart Gardens.

Throughout his residency, the facility maintained ongoing communication with our family. We received personal calls regarding any concerns or changes in Ron’s health or routines and were invited to participate in updates with his specialized team (dietician, doctor, nurse, social coordinator, occupational and physical therapists, etc.).

This facility offered everything we could have wished for and more. Perhaps most importantly, Ron knew and felt that he was loved and cared for – which was not a given with his history of paranoia, abuse, and difficulties with trust. We sincerely believe that the constant laughter, eye contact, conversations, singing, and soothing touches that these champions of care provided Ron on a daily basis, made possible this high level of trust that he felt. Hopefully, the licorice and chocolate bars that he purchased at the hospital’s volunteer-run auxiliary store, which he passed out to his caregivers (when he was able), let them know how much he appreciated their love and kindness.

We have mountains of gratitude for this public care facility and all volunteers and staff members who worked tirelessly with compassion in their hearts to ensure that our dad/grandpa/brother felt safe, cared for, and, yes, loved. There are too many names to credit for this; we only hope that they know who they are and how grateful we are to them.

Nadine Cruickshanks

On behalf of Ron’s family