Resilient Families are Inspiring Change

by Tiffany Fearon, Client Services Manager

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to make its impact across the globe where quarantine and physical distancing has become the norm, it’s comforting to hear about moments of hope, strength, and resilience. As families cope with directives to keep their loved ones in long-term care safe with implemented visitation restrictions, the never-ending support family caregivers have for residents even from a distance is apparent.

From window visits, to video calls, to decorated signs with tender messages; families are trying their best to creatively comfort those in homes across the province. With updated news reports on the status of COVID-19 in long-term care and the lack of necessary protective equipment, it’s hard to remain optimistic during this time of uncertainty. Although many are feeling immense stress thinking about the safety of their loved ones and the dedicated staff caring for them, one Ottawa family has redirected those feelings into action. The inspiring work done by Julian Morelli to acquire a generous donation for Ottawa’s long-term care community, provides a beacon of hope for many to be inspired by.

Julian and his wife Heather are no strangers to taking care of an older adult. Heather’s 92 year old mother currently resides at Villa Marconi, a long-term care home in Ottawa. COVID-19 has deeply altered Heather’s daily routine of frequent visits with her mother, and the ability to bond like they used to. Both Julian and Heather have been active advocates for the care and safety of those in long-term care. Well before the escalation of the pandemic, they both have appeared on a number of news programs and radio shows to discuss several topics related to the sector. Who would have thought that given the adverse times, Julian would have come upon the great opportunity to provide a large quantity of equipment currently sought by so many worldwide?

It was by chance that Julian’s visit to a local restaurant would lead to an important conversation with Chris Pereira, Senior Director of Public Affairs from Huawei Canada, Ottawa division. It was that chance meeting that would lead to the donation of 100,000 protective surgical masks for staff in long-term care homes and hospitals in the Ottawa area. Julian went on to utilize all possible connections he had to arrange with the Ontario government to ensure the equipment would be distributed to Long Term Care homes and hospitals in need.

The takeaway, a reminder that family caregivers can do anything they put their minds and hearts to. Families across the province who dedicate their time to caring for their loved ones in long-term care can certainly use this period of time to inform change, programming, and system planning. Julian, who has been modest about this amazing contribution ultimately hopes families will be inspired by his story to mobilize their voices and take action in speaking up for the provinces’ most vulnerable. Julian would like to emphasize that without Chris Pereira from Huawei Canada, none of this would have been possible.

Julian will be partaking in a special virtual family forum event hosted by Family Councils Ontario to share insight on how he’s remained determined and active in supporting residents and staff in long-term care amidst COVID-19. Join us for an inspirational session which will include a one- on-one conversation with Julian and the opportunity to openly discuss family engagement strategies with registrants on the call. Register now!

Beacons of Hope: Inspiring Families amidst COVID-19
(Special Virtual Family Forum Event)
Featuring Julian Morelli and Tiffany Fearon (FCO)

Friday, May 1, 2020. 11:00 -12:00 pm


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