Bill Laidlaw

Knowing his mom is safe and comfortable in her BRODA Chair, gives Bill Laidlaw peace of mind

There is no more difficult decision for a child to make. Bill’s mother, Isobel, had been a very active volunteer with the Toronto Junior League, the inner wheel with the Toronto Rotary Club and at Humber Valley United Church. But after 84 years of independence and productivity,the signs and symptoms of dementia were there. Bill and his family made the decision to move their Mom, first to a retirement home in 2004, and then in 2008, to West Park long term care facility. As the Executive Director of the Canadian Assistive Devices Association (CADA), Bill Laidlaw is no stranger to the Canadian healthcare system. The experiences over the past 8 years with his Mom have further strengthened and personalized Bill’s position as an advocate for access to technology for the disabled. Isobel now lives in a cheerful room, filled with photographs, plants and stuffed toys at the West Park Long Term Care Facility in Toronto. Her dementia has progressed, and Isobel is completely dependent on others for her care. “As my Mom’s condition progressed, she needed a wheelchair. After a few years, she was prescribed a rehab-style tilt wheelchair, but she was so uncomfortable – she would fidget and slide out of the chair,” said Bill. After several falls, Bill worked with the Occupational Therapists at West Park to find an alternative wheelchair for his Mom that would be comfortable and safe.

A Broda 785 Elite chair was selected to enable Isobel to sit comfortably. With infinitely adjustable tilt and recline and Comfort Tension technology, Isobel is happy to be in her Broda chair all day long. Isobel is comfortable and safe during meals, which ensures she receives appropriate nutrition and hydration. “Isobel is so comfortable and so content when she is in her Broda chair,” says Marion, her Personal Support Worker. “She enjoys going outside and around the facility in her chair. Most of all, she loves to hear me laugh.”

Bill visits his Mom several times a week. When Isobel is a bit unsure of her surroundings, Bill will chant the team cheer “Oske Wee Wee” from her beloved Hamilton Tiger Cats football team, or use her nickname (Timmy) to reconnect mother and son. Staying comfortable in mind and body is the top priority and Bill says, “What a difference now that Mom is safe and comfortable. It gives me peace of mind to know that she is sitting in a Broda chair. My only regret is that I did not get this chair sooner for her.”

Bill LaidlawExecutive DirectorCanadian Assistive Devices AssociationToronto, ON