Although Rodney has lived with HIV for more than 35 years and has multiple health challenges, it wasn’t until he had a stroke a year and a half ago that he needed Casey House. Rodney’s health was in decline, CCAC services were not available and he was isolated and very lonely. Originally from Vancouver, Rodney has no family or friends in Toronto, and trying to rehabilitate from a stroke on his own has been rough,“I’d always had people around me.”
At 65, Rodney has several health challenges in addition to living with HIV; he is diabetic, is a cancer survivor, a stroke survivor and is being assessed for suspected amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). When his health deteriorated people assumed it was HIV related. Since having his stroke people stare, and colleagues stopped referring clients. Rodney is surprised how prejudiced his professional colleagues were before he gave up his psychotherapy practice.
At Casey House, Rodney receives medical care and monitoring from a community nurse, and also participates in recreational activities such as healthy cooking and the cognitive memory group. Regular massage offers added mobility for a few days at a time. Of Casey House staff, Rodney says “They’re an exceptional group; they work as a team here.” Rodney is a proud and resilient member of that team. He values the connection, because it’s all he has. Sometimes Rodney comes to Casey House, sits down in the library and reads a book, “it’s a nice little oasis to come to,” he says.
Rodney, 65, is a Casey House client who has been living with HIV for over 35 years.