Grandparent Caregiving: Mortgage Broker Natasha Bridgmohan Shares on Home Care

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Trish: Hey their listeners welcome to access talk with Trish this is a 30-minute weekly online radio segment dedicated to examining the good the bad and the reality of accessibility in our communities and I'm a host for the show Trish Robichaux, disability awareness coach author facilitator motivational speaker. I'm a woman with disability but I'm definitely not a disabled woman. The access talk with radio shows can be heard live on Wednesdays at 11:30 Eastern at or you can listen to past show recordings on-demand at any time at the same address or on iTunes if that's how you roll. This show is brought to you by changing paces and accessibility consulting firm that simplifies disability legislation for organizations to think they don't have the time or money for compliance. Visit a nurture culture of inclusion where everyone matters. On that note I want to introduce my guest for this week. Natasha Bridge Mahon is a mortgage broker with mortgage intelligence and primary caregiver for her 92 year old grandfather. With a vision to transform the financial services sector she and her team of expert mortgage brokers are making a significant impact one client one mortgage at a time making mortgages accessible to people of all abilities. Natasha strongly believes that this can be achieved through customer education, tailor-made mortgage solutions and superior customer service. She inspires her team to consistently meet and exceed each client's mortgage goals and realize their home and property ownership dreams. That's the level of customer service that she'd like to see in the home healthcare industry as well. Looking after her grandfather and grandmother who passed away at 80 has inspired her to stand up and speak out and speak out she does. Natasha regularly delivers all educations talks on caregiving and her experience of the grandparents, the accessibility of financial assistance and home safety awareness. Welcome Natasha great to have you with us today.

Natasha: Awesome thanks Trish I'm very excited to be here too today to share my experience and my thoughts so thank you for having me.

Trish: Wonderful! So tell us what spurred your interest in accessibility in our communities?

Natasha: So what sparked my interest is the experience that I've had through the taking care of my grandfather for the last I would say 20 years of my life and a most immediate his experience being admitted into the hospital and then transitioning from the hospital to as a disabled person home and the lack of services and support and communication that there was in the transition period between the hospital and community care access centers. So that sparked my that sparked my interest to be more proactive and find other means of alternative measures to help my grandfather even though he's disabled not necessarily go through the hurdles that we went through.

Trish: right and the the story that that is yours and your grandfather's about him coming home disabled and you know bed sores and the works and the care not being there unfortunately it's not an uncommon story but there are better ways to manage exit from hospital you know. I know that depending on the hospital and depending on the team there really should have been some post hospitalization planning you know. Discharge planning I should say and you should have been involved in that. They didn't give you that opportunity.

Natasha: Long story short can make it very simplified there is a lack of communication and accountability between both organization the hospital and the Community Care Access Center. It was a the only involvement they gave us was just a checklist and the onus was left on us as as caregivers who are not educated not aware of their resources and tools available in the healthcare system and we kind of basically had to navigate our way and try to bring everybody together which is very frustrating instead of us spending our energy and time and transitioning our grandfather into his home and making it more of a you know comfort place for him we were more kind of trying to get everybody together. It was a real disappointment and unfortunately I think as a person who is proactive in senior care not only with my grandfather but with my family and friends who were who also have elders and seniors with disability functions to help them be aware of what their rights are what is really available. I really think that the government really need to step up and educate the right type of people to help seniors or anyone of any age that are disabled to transition into their home without any interruptions or delays in equipment and so forth because that was the real hardest thing like we had to fight to get him his oxygen tank believe it or not. So it was really was very disturbing it was a real eye-opener for me and my family. I could not believe that this is what seniors have to deal with on a day-to-day basis especially and what makes me feel more for disability seniors or anyone again of that nature people who don't even have family who has a voice. You know and that's even even more unfortunate for people who don't have a voice you know and he my grandfather is very lucky he has many voices many caregivers and you know I'm a proactive advocate for him but a lot of people don't have that voice for them you know and that's what makes it even more difficult unfortunately.

Trish: yeah and some people just don't understand how to advocate for themselves and they don't know how to speak up or instead of speaking up in advocacy they're just complaining and they're not bringing solutions they are not you know they're not being cooperative and collaborative and working together and unfortunately that's part of what you know that the CCAC and the hospital has to deal with but there always should be an effort made for there to have been like a group conversation. I have a friend who has advanced MS but I was her primary caregiver for years and when she was released from the hospital I went to multiple meetings at the hospital where they had the doctor the nurse the discharge personnel 7:12 inaudible in attendance at the meeting and I don't know if it was just because you know I was already connected with the system that I had that kind of service or whether just that was my voice that got me that service for her but I know how it can work when it's when it works well. I've seen it work well but unfortunately that is most time not how it happens.

Natasha: yeah and that is the other problem right now with with the Ontario government system. I'm not too familiar with the other provinces but with the health care system there is just a lack of accountability, there's too many chiefs and not enough Indians. Like I mean like there's they need to have a consistent form of expectations accountability their mission statement across the board needs to be the same and I find that different hospitals have different mandates have different goals and to me the goal and mandate should be the same which is you know patient care, quick turnaround, accountability, respect, dignity and you don't get that and unfortunately especially with seniors most of these health care professionals they're treating the age of the patient not the patient and you know we live in a socialized medicine country and you know it is more public medicine and there is an underlying of you know seniors are not to be taken care of untreated aggressively unfortunately and I've seen that firsthand with my grandfather and I think that professionals especially in Health Care's and nurses and doctors before they even obtained their license I think they should also take a psychological test. They should pass certain barriers because if you're taking care of someone's life and their and their physical needs and their disability challenges you need to have that mindset of positivity. You have to need to have that mindset of open - you need to be a little bit of a risk-taker to take initiative to help these patients not be fearful or afraid of speaking up and that's another thing that I see with people with disabilities are they're fearful of speaking up and that's an unfortunate circumstance I feel Tricsh and there needs to be a lot more accountability there's just not enough .

Trish: agreed. let's switch gears here a little bit. How does being a mortgage broker how does that give you an opportunity to provide accessible services to your clients?

Natasha: That is such a great question. I actually tailor to a lot of seniors and people with disability especially with ones that don't want to route and move from where they are for whatever reason. So we have different programs. For seniors we have the the mortgage pension plan where of course their income is limited but they have a house that's free and clear with or with a small mortgage and there's a lot of equity in there. We'll be able to get them a pension plan loan against their home they don't have to pay any payments until they pass away then the house is sold and the debt is paid out but with that money we can get them adequate equipment for disability whether it may be a ramp whether there may be elevator well it whether it may be converting the entire home into a one-level whether it may be buying specific and quipment like a hospital bed and so for things that are cost the cost money that's not covered through healthcare insurance. So that's one thing that we do to as well and then also if we have working family said to have a disability child or our senior or even a spouse we're able to get other types of loans that are qualified for working families to help them build a home in a safe or safe environment for the disabled loved one and also help them with medical bills and so forth and even sometimes in unfortunate cases where they need to get obtain a lawyer. So for guidance and for protection of their loved ones. So there's many many aspects of being a mortgage worker or how I'm able to help the community with that are engaged with disability, family members or their caregivers of disability individuals. So absolutely there's many many areas where a mortgage broker or my team can assist individuals of that nature.

Trish: Are you talking like a reverse mortgage that you hear about on TV?

Natasha: Yea similar, similar. Reverse mortgages they have a myths to it but there are great great great great products and if you have a person who lives in a home they do not want to move away from it based on the location or based on the the community of accessibility with their local medical care providers or whether it be their children or grandchildren and but they cannot simply afford it because they're only getting paid public pension. They don't even have private pension. So absolutely there's different alternative I would guess reverse mortgages are definitely one of them.

Trish: Fabulous well that's really good to know because when push comes to shove those and all of the funding has that's available has been exhausted some of those expenses can be just absorb in it.

Natasha: Absolutely I mean they're unplannedare unforeseen and it's it could be very very very very expensive especially for a disability person who does not have means of other income.

Trish: I hear you and there are lots of us in that category.

Natasha: There's more than there should be yeah.

Trish: No kidding. I understand that you volunteer your time for a couple of nonprofits. How about sharing your involvement and the work that impacts your practice in your life.

Natasha: uh yeah. Well since I was a little girl I've always been engaged and surrounding myself with seniors. I lived with my grandparents all my life they took care of me and my grandparents their brothers and sisters also became my grandparents. So I've always circled myself around with seniors and I was able to firsthand appreciate their hardship and their old age challenges and so forth and whether maybe a disability challenge whether it be mentally physically and so forth and that propelled me to surround myself with organizations that support senior living and disability living. And one of those organizations is Ontario Society of senior citizens organization. They have over 30,000 senior members and what I do is from time to time on a yearly basis I go out I speak and I engage with them I communicate with them I provide them tools and resources they need to make educated financial decisions and also if they're in financial trouble too as well how we can help them a salvage and save their credit by rebuilding other tools and opportunities that they may have. I'm also a member of volunteers the Brampton senior youth and Recreation Center and what I do there is I proactively engage seniors and youth to come together where they can either learn from the seniors and the seniors as well can learn from the youth in a very proactive culture community environment I do that too as well. We also provide assistance and donations through the Yvonne food bank to those that are in need or in difficulty in terms of facing hunger ship and so forth. So there's a lot of things that we do that we do to help the disabled community and senior community.

Trish: Wonderful and how does that impact your ability to manifest balance in your life and your pracrice?

Natasha: That's a great question I ask myself that every day. I continue to proactively look for other ways to manage my time and one of the things that I've learned as a young leader is I'm learning to delegate. I'm blessed to have a team of over ten employees and basically I learned to delegate with them and by providing them the resources and tools they need to succeed so I can focus on the bigger things which is connecting and building strong relationships as a community leader. Now whether it be mortgages investments and credit. Second of all very simple I keep a diary in terms of its in terms of a log of what I do. I use a calendar and a checklists balance. There is 168 hours of the week and my primary goal is yeah well my primary goal is to make sure that those hours are balanced and yes it can be challenging especially when there surprises. So when there are surprises you know learn to take a deep breath, step back and reflect is what you can do to resolve it and and one of my biggest challenges is moving forward and treating every day as a gift because it is the present and forgiving yourself for the past and I'm not dwelling on things that you can never control because it brings too much tears right. So those are the things that I practice and I always practice to do one good deed a day. That's one good deed a day and try to be the best person that I can be in a good leader and a hero for my children.

Trish: Excellent. Okay we're going to go to a break right now and then we're going to come back and we're going to talk a lot more about be you being primary caregiver for your grandparents.

Trish: We are back. So Natasha given that you're the primary caregiver for your grandfather I imagine you have one or two stories about accessibility in that realm of your life.

Natasha: Oh yes ah gosh I have many stories and one of the biggest story for accessibility for me for my grandfather was his doctor didn't have a ramp to get up to the building and also there were no elevators. It was just stairs to his building and it was very difficult for my grandfather because this was this was his primary doctor since he came into this country 40-plus years ago.

Trish: oh my goodness.

Natasha: Yeah and for him to have to give up his doctor and find someone with more accessibility, the building was old apparently there was no room to build an elevator which I thought there was plenty of room but that's just me and it was a small building with only four floors it didn't really need an elevator according to the building code but that was then right and that was now unfortunately the doctor was not in a position to uproot his business and I get it I totally get it I feel for the doctor too as well but I also felt for my grandfather. So we had to add 90 plus years old he had to rebuild a relationship with another primary doctor as his physician and and again you know they see him to treat the aged they don't treat the patient you know what I mean. So that was one one difficulty that I have to get through with him. Also going to places where there is not enough handicapped parking. I mean they have 5,000 parking spots and two handicap parking space. I don't understand that too as well I don't understand the logistics with that. So those are some of the experiences that I experienced with my grandfather. I can tell you so much more but those are some of them.

Trish: I hear you. The parking one is not uncommon either. There are actually are new standards that were developed because of the AODA as part of the AODA development standards development it were passed on to the interior building code that went in I think today's 2017 I think they were effective as a 2015 but the thing is might have been 2016 anyway but the thing is they're only on buildings that are brand new or are facing major renovations. So even still you know the building's like the doctor's office your your grandfather's doctor and that's so sad that he had to change doctors at 92 years old but even in that situation there's the legislation is not doing anything about that. Old buildings are old buildings right. My feeling is that because true, a hundred percent accessibility in some situations is never going to be possible. I think what's more important is an attitude of accommodation.

Natasha: You hit it on the nail you hit it on the nail.

Trish: Yeah if I have an attitude of accommodation and I don't have an elevator in my building and I want to see a patient and I want to honor I will find a way to find space on the ground level to take the time to come down and see that patient on the ground level you know.

Natasha: And you hit it on the nail. My office is a long step of stairs. It's a two-unit building and I'm the top unit so there's no elevator doesn't make any sense business-wise or building wise I get it but I have a lot of senior clients and what I do is I had to go to their home or I asked the the unit downstairs if I can borrow their office space for just a half an hour just just so I can see them. I mean again it's the mindset it's the lack of education it's a lack of compassion its a lack of care like we've lost our sense of human care and until it you experience having a disabled person in your life or being disabled yourself only then you understand the true realm of this issue. Like it's really a big issue.

Trish: Honestly I have one last question for you Natasha. What do you think what do you think that we as a society can keep in mind on a daily basis to minimize barriers? So focusing on solutions what can we do to keep in mind on a regular basis to minimize barriers wherever we go?

Natasha: I think leaders I think employees I think volunteerers should always have a mindset of proactive this and and to have a world of inclusion not exclusion and to be mindful that everybody comes from different shades of color different walks of life and everybody comes with some type of disability it does not have to be a physical impairment. It could be a mental impairment it can be all kinds of disabilities and to work in an environment where everyone is accepted equally regardless of everything and I think once we all if we proactively have that mindset every day then the next person that walks into your office with the wheelchair or as someone with a with a blind dog assistance or with whatever it may be then you have that mindset you're already one step ahead of the rest of our community which is compassion and care and solution I think though.

Trish: Yeah you're already there. Yes thank you so much. So if any of our listeners want to get a hold of you how can they do that ?

Natasha: Google Natasha Brij Mohan or or they can reach me toll-free at 18665537467.

Natasha: email address is Natasha@the

Trish: That's wonderful Natasha thank you so much for joining me today it's been a pleasure. having you thank you so much then thank you for allowing me to speak and I wish you all the best and hopefully we can connect soon thank you and thank you to our listeners thanks so much for joining us for today's episode of access talk with Trish a 30-minute weekly online radio segment dedicated to examining the good the bad and the reality of accessibility in our communities join me again next Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. at access talk with this show is brought to you by changing paces an accessibility consulting firm that simplifies disability legislation for organizations that think they don't have the time or money for compliance visit changing paces calm and nurture a culture of inclusion where everyone matters till next time take self-care seriously and god bless.

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Natasha Bridgmohan is a Mortgage Broker with Mortgage Intelligence and primary caregiver for her 93-year old grandfather.

With a vision to transform the financial services sector, she and her team of expert mortgage brokers are making a significant impact – one client, one mortgage, at a time – making mortgages accessible to people of all abilities.

Natasha strongly believes that this can be achieved through customer education, tailor-made mortgage solutions and superior customer service. She inspires her team to consistently meet and exceed each client’s mortgage goals and realize their home and property ownership dreams.

That’s the level of customer service that she’d like to see in the home health care industry. Looking after her grandfather and grandmother, who passed away at 80, has inspired her to stand up and speak out.

And speak out she does. Natasha regularly delivers educational talks on caregiving and her experience with her grandparents, the accessibility of financial assistance, and home safety awareness.

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