Jarrett Roe received a much-needed early Christmas present thanks to the Cerebral Palsy Association of BC’s Jason & Rand Fund. Jarrett’s new hospital bed supports his overall health and independence, and was funded in part by the CPABC’s Jason & Rand equipment subsidy program for individuals living with cerebral palsy in BC. Jarrett’s gift was a sliver lining to a sad story: in September 2017, he lost his mother, his full-time primary caregiver, to cancer.
After his mother passed away, Jarrett moved to Mount Nelson Place, a residential home that provides 24-hour care in Invermere, BC. Jarrett says Mount Nelson Place has gone to great lengths to make him feel at home. One step to ensuring Jarrett felt at home was securing funding for a new, adjustable hospital bed. The hospital bed is essential to Jarret’s well-being because without it, he is at risk of falling out of bed due to extreme muscle spasms. When Jarrett lived with his mother, he slept on a mattress which was padded and positioned against the wall to prevent injury. The new hospital bed promotes not only his own health and safety, but also that of his care aids, who are able to protect their backs by raising and lowering the bed.
Although so essential to health and wellbeing, the bed was not a certainty when Jarrett first arrived at Mount Nelson Place. The British Columbia government allots money to people with disabilities to purchase equipment such as hospital beds or devices that “ease the strain of daily activities “. Because of budgetary restrictions, the government is often unable to provide the full amount needed. Unfortunately, this is what happened to Jarrett. The bed he needed was close to $4,000, and the government only approved $3,400. Like a lot of people with disabilities, Jarrett is on a limited budget that leaves little room to buy needed equipment. Without funding from the CPABC to cover the remaining $600, he would struggle to get a good night’s sleep and his mental and physical wellness would be compromised.
Regardless of his cerebral palsy, the 37-year-old is a very active participant in his community. Jarrett’s biggest accomplishment is the ability to maintain an active social life with his friends and family despite being non-verbal. Using a communication device, Jarrett enjoys going into town to socialize, watch his nephew’s hockey games, watch funny movies, listen to music and enjoy good food. He is looking forward to sit-skiing with the Special Olympics this year. His next wish-list equipment item is a more effective communication device.
Jarrett’s story highlights how subsidy programs like the Jason and Rand Fund are crucial to improving the quality of life for individuals with cerebral palsy.