Denise Dupuis Choffe, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, has benefited from Douglas care and a range of Douglas services since September 2004. She also stayed at the Moe Levin Centre until a place became available for her in a Residential and Long-Term Care Centre (CHSLD) last April. Her husband, Lou Choffe, tells us how she is adapting to her new environment, and relates his experience with Douglas staff in the following letter:

"Where would Denise and I be without all of you? Dolly, this is the question I ask myself today. I am not sure I want to know the answer. What I do know is that you were there for us during a very difficult time in our lives.

So many wonderful things happened along the way: When Denise began showing signs of memory loss, I took her to the a medical clinic to see the doctor on duty. By chance, it was Dr. Virmani. In addition to referring us to a neurologist, Dr. Virmani told us about the Memantine clinical trial and we jumped at the opportunity to participate. You will recall I am sure that this is how you and I met.

During one of the trial visits, you introduced me to Lisa O'Reilly and the wonderful Day Centre. I know that Denise was a challenge for Lisa and her staff, but it was one that she accepted with open arms and genuine affection. I appreciated everything she did which by the way included worrying about me as much as Denise. It was a sad day for both Lisa and me when Denise's disease advanced to the point where it precluded further participation.

Following the clinical trial, Dr. Nair and Celine Brunelle graciously took us under their protective wings. I can't describe how reassuring it was to me to know they were there to treat Denise and to help me deal with the challenges faced by an Alzheimer's caregiver.

Later, Celine told me about the caregiver workshops and I jumped at that opportunity too. I had been doing independent research, but your workshops introduced me to a wealth of information that I would otherwise not have found. It was worth attending just for the insight provided on the legal aspects of dealing with the incapacity of a family member. Katherine was great!

I continued to provide care to Denise at home and Dr. Nair continued to monitor her behaviour and reaction to various medications. As the difficulty of caring for her increased, Dr. Nair confronted me with a reality I was not ready to face. It was no longer prudent nor safe for me to continue caring for Denise at home. I don't remember a time in my life where I felt so hopeless and afraid because I had no idea what to do next. To my great relief, Celine called to say that a room was available for Denise in your amazing Treatment Centre.

Dolly, I could write a book about the wonderful people with whom we crossed paths in the almost 8 months we spent with you. I don't know if there are other centres like yours - I suspect it is unique. It almost became - correction, it was - our second home and you our extended family. I miss all of you like crazy. I don't know if Denise misses you, but if she could, I know she would. Please be sure to tell everyone how much we appreciate everything you did for us. I will never be able to repay you. I am willing to help with the workshops if you think I can add value (even if it means crossing the Champlain Bridge!).

Denise is doing fine and has adjusted well to her new surroundings. I still get to see her every day and I value our time together.

God bless. The world needs more people like the folks at the Moe Levin Centre.

Lou Choffe"