Issue 23 – Cockadoodle

Hazel couldn’t get the nagging thought out of her head that maybe Catherine was right. Although they had done all their research into housing options, Catherine had really pushed for an appointment with the doctor for an assessment. And so Hazel had given in. It was funny…for years Hazel had been the “expert” in her family, but now she couldn’t help but wonder when that shift took place and she was made to doubt herself.

The old adage says that as you get older, you get wiser, but Hazel certainly didn’t feel that way. Nowadays, getting older was viewed as becoming more “out of touch” with things. Cashiers used placating tones when Hazel fumbled with her wallet. Restaurant servers spoke to her with that fake cheery voice they reserved for “the elderly.” Even the receptionist treated her like a child when she called to book the doctor’s appointment Catherine had insisted on. It was hard to feel confident when everyone around you spoke to you as though you were four years old. Maybe Catherine was right. Maybe this assessment was necessary.


“What can I help you two with today?” Dr. Ollie sat down on his castered stool and spun over to where they were sitting. “We came here for an assessment,” Hazel said very matter-of-factly. Dr. Ollie cocked his head to one side and raised an eyebrow. “What kind of assessment are you referring to?” “The kind that gets your daughter off your back,” Charlie huffed. Hazel put her hand on Charlie’s arm and gave it a pat in a futile attempt to calm him down. “Our daughter believes we need an assessment before we move into a seniors community.” Dr. Ollie closed his eyes for a second and sighed. “I get this a lot. There is a misconception out there that doctors can recommend housing, or even that we have an ‘in’ at places. We don’t actually. The best thing I can recommend to you, if you feel you need an assessment, is to get in touch with your local Homecare Office through Alberta Health Services. That’s your primary access point for homecare services and continuing care.”

Charlie rolled his eyes, “We don’t need homecare. We are selling the house and moving into a retirement place. We don’t need nurses and hospital beds. The problem with all you ‘health experts’ is that you don’t listen to us!”

Dr. Ollie smiled gently. He knew Charlie far too well. “Charlie, that’s excellent that you are looking into supportive living. Your Homecare Office will be able to provide more information, and homecare isn’t just for people living in their current home. Sometimes retirement communities contract in support services. Having some supports in place, regardless of where you are living, might be a good idea. It can range from having some housekeeping and meals to personal care. Some places offer this right on site, but you can always arrange for these supports regardless.”

“This all sounds like cockadoodle,” Charlie barked. “We toured a place, researched different places and we got information, and if we want to move in, we can. We don’t need a doctor or Homecare Office to approve it!” Dr. Ollie nodded, “That’s absolutely correct Charlie. I’m just saying that if you need the type of assessment you originally asked for…the type that gets your daughter off your back…the best route for you both is to book an appointment with your Homecare Office to satisfy your daughter’s reservations.”

Charlie smiled. “Now we’re speaking the same language Dr. Ollie.”


Doctors can provide some good health advice, but they do not place individuals in seniors housing or care settings. This was good information for Charlie & Hazel. That being said, what do you think their next step should be? Should they obtain an assessment from their Homecare Office, or should they continue looking for housing?


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