VIDEO: Christine Canavan Founds ‘A Granddaughter’s Promise’ For Protection, Dignity of Elderly
By Gina Liberto, Associate Editor // June 5, 2017
WOMEN IN BUSINESS
SPACE COAST DAILY TV: Gina Liberto sits down with Christine Canavan, founder of A Granddaughter’s Promise. Gina and Christine discuss what A Granddaughter’s Promise is all about – and how it impacts lives.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Fourteen years ago, Christine Canavan, a mother of three, homemaker and volunteer, found herself a full time caregiver to her precious grandmother, Sally Werra. When Sally was diagnosed with dementia and began to decline, she required a higher level of care.
Canavan searched for assistance, guidance and direction to no avail. Left on her own, she looked for the best living option. With no experience, this was a daunting task. After searching, Canavan spent several hours making sure the chosen, stunningly beautiful assisted living facility, was the best choice.
She was told to allow Sally to acclimate for at least 30 days without a visit. Ignoring her instinct, Canavan, as most do, trusted the advice of the “marketing department,” and with closed eyes choking back tears, kissed Sally and walked away.
Daily calls reassured Canavan her grandmother was wonderful, but a small voice told her otherwise. Following her heart to make an unannounced visit to the assisted living facility, Canavan walked into a completely different environment from where she left her grandmother.
After searching for Sally, she shockingly realized that she had walked right past her several times. Canavan sat next to her grandmother trying to deal with the shock and guilt.
Sally, who walked in the facility taking baby aspirin and Aricept, was slumped over in a wheel chair barely able to communicate. Grabbing her, Canavan held her close, stroking her head and finding seven staples and bruises covering her body.
After locating a caregiver and facing the administrator, Canavan was told in a matter of fact manner that Sally had fallen. She was informed they had left a message. After requesting and reviewing Sally’s charts, Canavan discovered her grandmother was terribly over medicated. She was informed, “it was a patient’s right to fall.”
When Canavan returned Sally to her room to clean her she discovered there were clear teeth impressions melted deeply in the pretty pink soap. Seeing the burns around Sally’s mouth, Canavan called the police.
REMOVING BURDEN, FEAR
Sally was taken to the hospital and lost her life shortly after to seven counts of abuse and neglect.
Sitting in her kitchen among her “Grams” photos and Windsong perfume, something in Canavan’s spirit ignited. Although she had no clue how, she was going to be Sally’s voice and the voice of the only minority we all become – the elderly.
Since that day, A Granddaughter’s Promise has served more than 3,000 families across the country. Focusing on Brevard County, Canavan and her team help protect the elderly against neglect, abuse and opportunists.
A pioneer in the industry, Canavan is Brevard’s most experienced and respected elder placement advisor and family support specialist. Her goal is to hold the hands of families going through the entire transition of having to place a loved one.
Canavan not only introduces them to the best living options she has handpicked to be a part of her network, but she becomes an invaluable knowledge base for families, introducing them to resources they would otherwise not be aware.
Funding, support groups and the best senior specialists, who share the same heart as Granddaughter’s Promise are committed to removing the burden and fear of the unknown so families can focus on the precious time they have left with their loved one.
EVERY CLIENT IS A VIP
A cozy welcoming office is where “Chrissy” and her staff have the honor of learning all about the family’s loved one.
Canavan feels that no one could take the liberty of making a recommendation of where someone would spend their golden years without taking the time to get to know what she calls the “dash.”
Canavan defines the dash as, “the tiny line in between the day they were born and the day they return to heaven. It appears so small but it’s a life story that becomes a love story.”
Canavan feels Sally’s sacrifice was an inheritance of the heart and was recently asked the value of A Granddaughter’s Promise. Leaning back and looking at her favorite picture of her and her grandmother, Canavan realizes you can’t put a price on a legacy.
“I get to serve the greatest generation of all time,” Canavan said, “while I inspire and ignite others through my testimony.”
She feels we can all make a difference in our community by looking through generational eyes, and this is the handprint she wants to leave behind.
BABY BOOMERS NOW IN NEED OF SENIOR SERVICES
In 2012, the number of Baby Boomers in need of senior services doubled in the U.S. – and more than tripled in the state of Florida. One out of four families are a caregiver to a spouse or parent. This is an epidemic in America, and a topic that needs to be discussed in detail.
Granddaughter’s Promise is a free service to families helping guide them to other credible free programs such as the department of Veteran’s Affairs.
“Working closely with the veterans in our community it is important for them to know that there is funding available for senior care services to help them age in place,” said Canavan.
Canavan cares and offers to take the hand of those who need her while they walk the journey together. She will tell you about Sally, her inheritance of the heart.
Canavan is the proud mother of Dr. Andrew Canavan, Taylor, Emily and Ryan.
A Granddaughter’s Promise is available to help families and seniors in need of guidance and/or placement assistance, as well as senior care information.
Granddaughter’s Promise is located at 130 Sarno Road in Melbourne, and for information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 321-608-0600 or visit agranddaughterspromise.com