“She was born in Saskatoon 100 years ago,” says Don McLeod of his mother Phyllis.

Mother and son are sitting in Phyllis’s kitchen, in a home the centenarian has lived for over 50 years. It’s where she raised her family of three boys, including Don and his twin brother.

Phyllis McLeod and her son, Don, in the home where Phyllis lives.

Phyllis McLeod and her son, Don, in the home where Phyllis lives.

Phyllis has been able to continue living in the comfort of her own home because of the Direct Client Funding program. The program provides monthly funding to assist with the care needs of clients like Phyllis, so they can live at home rather than in a long-term care facility.

Phyllis lived at home until the age of 94, when she was briefly placed into long-term care for six months because she needed one-on-one care.

“Mom didn’t care for the home much. At night, she would holler and wake the other people living there,” says Don. “She kept saying, ‘Take me home. Take me home.’”

The solution to Phyllis’s discomfort at being in an unfamiliar environment came when she was accepted into the Direct Client Funding program.

“It gave us the opportunity to hire two caregivers full-time, and with the family pitching in, we can make it 24 hours,” says Don, who learned of the program when his mother was at St. Paul’s Hospital, prior to her short-term move into a long-term care home.

“This is a much better atmosphere for her than a home,” adds Helen, Don’s wife. “She’s much happier here.”

During the day, Phyllis likes to play cards, watch TV (her favourite channel is the Food Network), and read newspapers and magazines like Reader’s Digest. Her family also helps her walk around the house at least twice a day to get her on her feet and takes her to the mall about three times a week.

Sometimes, she visits with her neighbours.

“There’s still some neighbours across the road who come over every once in a while. They’re in their nineties,” says Don.

When Phyllis celebrated her 100th birthday in May of this year, she did so at a barbecue in her backyard, surrounded by neighbours and family.

Being part of the Direct Client Funding program is not only good for Phyllis but also her family, who wouldn’t be able to care for her at home without the support of the program.

“The Direct Client Funding program is incredible. I would recommend it to anybody who wants to stay in their own home,” says Don. “I’m really happy that we have a program like this in Saskatchewan. It’s a wonderful province that we live in.”

Dennis Anderson, a 56-year-old man living with multiple sclerosis, is another participant in the Direct Client Funding program. Read his story here.

For more information about the program, you can contact the Direct Client Funding (DCF) Coordinator at 306-655-4355, contact Client Patient Access Services (CPAS) at 306-655-4346 or ask the staff at your facility to contact CPAS with your request. More information on CPAS can be found here.