Rick M: University of Saskatchewan Alumnus
Rick M was born and raised in Saskatoon. He graduated from Evan Hardy Collegiate and studied Public Administration at the University of Saskatchewan, then got into sales. “My first job out of university was with the greeting card company Carlton Cards,” says Rick, “I worked for them for a couple of years out of Saskatoon, my territory was Northern Saskatchewan. And then I got a good recommendation from them and had an opportunity to move to Vancouver and I took it.”
Rick lived in Vancouver for 15 years and had a great time, “I loved it, absolutely loved it. The only drawback is the rain can weigh you down some. But I got over it by saying at least it’s not -30 degrees in the winter.”
Unfortunately, in 2002 Rick started to lose his eyesight. He went to see an optometrist in Vancouver who failed to diagnose the glaucoma that was affecting his right eye and send him to a specialist. Two months later Rick was blind. “We sued and we got a little money,” he recalled, “The judge ruled incompetence and my case was settled very quickly. My right eye wasn’t very good with to begin with. The left eye I’m 20/60. So I can still read, it’s not easy and I need good lighting, but I can still read.”
Rick moved back to Saskatoon twelve years ago to be closer to his family. He started off in a care home and had a very positive experience. The woman who ran the home “was just a tremendous lady,” says Rick, “they had great food and she was very generous. If you did chores she paid you for chores, and the other guys were terrific. But then she retired and went out of business and I moved into The Lighthouse.”
Rick has been living at The Lighthouse for the last eight years in the Supported Living tower, “I’m sort of independent. I have a case worker and his name is Remy and he helps me out, say if I need furniture for my room he’ll find something for me.” He enjoys doing his own laundry and his medication is kept safe by staff at the front desk, “I go to the front desk in the morning and at supper time to pick up my medications and they’re good at having them ready for me and giving them to me promptly, so there’s no problem there.”
As for meal times, Rick has a fridge in his room where he can keep snacks or make a sandwich for himself if he doesn’t like what the cooks serve for dinner, but he still enjoys coming down to the dining hall to socialize. “They had barbeque chicken last week and it was tremendous. I had three pieces and I gave them praise,” he admits.
Last year, Rick moved into a newly renovated room in the Supported Living tower. With help from many generous donors The Lighthouse has been renovating numerous aspects of their facility over the last few years. This has had a major impact on the lives of the people who make The Lighthouse their home.
“My old room that I was in for almost seven years was probably the worst room in the Lighthouse. I couldn’t open the window and it was just terrible,” says Rick, “My room now has a beautiful window and sunshine. Once I get a rolling chair I can roll around, stare out the window and talk to my friends. Remy is helping with that, so it’s good to have a case manager who looks out for you. My guy is alright, he’s pretty good.”
The Lighthouse is still raising donations to continue the renovation of rooms in the Supported Living Tower. If you’d like to make a difference in someone’s life please visit www.lighthousesaskatoon.org and make a donation today!