Making the trip to Providence Manor long-term care home is a part of 76-year-old Paul Frost’s daily routine. Once there, Paul dons his designated care partner badge and reunites with his wife of 46 years and love of his life, 80-year-old Isabel Frost.
“The benefit of being a designated care partner is that I get to know people, coordinate with staff, and I’m really treated as an important part of Isabel’s care-team,” says Paul. “I also have more access throughout the Manor.”
Isabel became a Providence Manor resident in October 2019 after an emergency trip to the hospital prompted a 15-day assessment. It was in the hospital where the doctors determined that Isabel’s Alzheimer’s disease had progressed to a point where she needed around-the-clock care.
“In June 2019, she was put on an emergency list and by the grace of God in 100 days exactly, she got into Providence Manor,” explains Paul.
In 2021, Providence Care introduced the Designated Care Partner Program as part of the pandemic response and since then, has oriented more than 1,200 caregivers. Designated care partners are individuals deemed necessary to their care plan by patients, clients or residents and their clinical staff. They receive in-person training and education in infection control, fire safety and confidentiality. Designated care partners have 24-hour access and play an integral role in providing emotional and physical support to their loved-one every day.
“To me, becoming Isabel’s designated care partner was a God-given opportunity to reciprocate for all she has done for me. She did so much as a mother and wife. She would stay up all night sewing a dress for our daughter or a ballet costume; she would drive herself to do more even when she was exhausted, working so hard to be a good mother, a good wife. So at this stage of life I have a chance to reciprocate and show my love for her.”
Paul says he’s been stopped in the halls more than once by staff members commenting on the love in Isabel’s eyes for Paul.
The couple met in Toronto in a church library and have lived in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and for the last 26 years, in Kingston. They have three grown children and ten grandchildren. Paul is a retired minister and throughout their lives together, Isabel was active in the church community and worked as an interpreter with agencies like Canadian Border Services and Corrections Canada.
“Isabel is a very clever woman. She is multilingual, speaking four languages, and was a court interpreter with Portuguese and English. She was a tremendous help with the church and had such determination to help disadvantaged people. She is an extraordinary person.”
Every day you can find Paul right by Isabel’s side, usually speaking in Portuguese. Whether he is feeding her lunch, brushing her teeth, reading passages from the bible, or enjoying the activity of the day at the Manor, Paul says being a designated care partner allows him to be the kind of partner Isabel not only requires but so very much deserves.
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