Family struggles to get former Penticton restaurateur out of care home hit by COVID-19 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Family struggles to get former Penticton restaurateur out of care home hit by COVID-19

Allan Dell with daughter Korina, who still resides in Penticton.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Kasey Dell
December 13, 2020 - 6:00 PM

The family of a well-known former Penticton restaurateur hopes to bring him home from a Saskatoon care home battling an outbreak of COVID-19.

Allan Dell, 63, is a former businessman who managed several restaurants in and around the city from the early 1990s to 2009.

He was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder known as Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) in 2013, says his daughter Kasey Dell, of Surrey.

The disease is a complex condition that affects the brain, causing worsening symptoms. PSP affects the ability to walk normally by impairing balance. It also affects the muscles controlling the eyes, making it difficult to focus and see things clearly.

It’s a rare condition that is often mistaken for Parkinson's disease, and although not fatal, the symptoms can be debilitating and can’t be cured.

Kasey says her father was back in his hometown of North Bay, Ont., in 2015, when he fell while walking outdoors one day. Although he wasn’t hurt in the fall, he couldn’t get up and was stuck in the snow for hours before being rescued, suffering frostbite to his hands.

“He just kept deteriorating and deteriorating. My older sister, Julie, had the means and ability to take him in, so she brought him to Saskatoon, where she and (his) first wife, Lynn Conlon, looked after him,” Kasey says.

His health has continued to deteriorate, however, and he's reached the point where he needs 24 hour care. He was placed in Saskatoon’s Luther Special Care Home in July, but recently the care home was hit by the pandemic.

As of last week, Luther Care had recorded an outbreak of COVID-19 infections affecting 24 staff and 23 residents. Seven people have died so far.

Kasey says her family is now in the process of getting her father out of the home before he contracts the disease.

His health has declined even more rapidly since the outbreak, as he has been confined to his room with no access to professional care.

“He struggles to speak and swallow, due to weakening muscles, and he can’t walk on his own anymore. In Saskatoon, you can take loved ones from a care home if you have the infrastructure set up to look after them at home,” Kasey says.

The family has the necessary nursing staff and equipment lined up, but need a stairlift in order to complete renovations. They are hopeful they’ll be able to find a used one to purchase and have also set up a Gofundme page to help raise the $12,000 needed to buy one.

Kasey says once her father moves home, physiotherapists and other health professionals will be allowed to visit.

Kasey says she wants to build awareness of the disease by telling her dad’s story.

Dell moved to Penticton from North Bay, Ontario, with his family in 1992 and managed The Boatworks Restaurant at Tiki Shores in Penticton before taking over management of the 1912 Restaurant in Kaleden, which he ran from 1994 to 2001.

Dell also managed the Duncan Woods Restaurant at Apex from 1999 to 2001, as well as other restaurants from 2004 to 2009. He was an active member of the community, while in Penticton. He belonged to the Kinsmen, the Penticton Jazz Society and Travel Penticton, and provided volunteer catering to Ironman events.

A third daughter, Korina, still resides in Penticton.

Allan Dell during his years in Penticton, in 1998.
Allan Dell during his years in Penticton, in 1998.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Kasey Dell

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