On Friday, Phyllis Robson celebrated her 101st birthday. However, she wasn’t looking for presents beyond the gift of dignity.
Robson’s health is “very fragile” and, worse, she is running out of money needed to allow her to continue living at Paradise Shores, a retirement and assisted living facility in Orillia.
Her sister, Gwen Rawlinson, worries a move from the Matchedash Street facility could be fatal.
But Robson “will run out of her money and have to leave her private assisted living home at the end of December,” Rawlinson says.
“Quite frankly, I’m worried the stress of the move will kill her.”
That’s why she recently created a GoFundMe account to raise money that would allow Robson to live out her days in the facility that has become her home.
Robson and Rawlinson are the only two remaining of the family’s 10 siblings.
“I am 82 years old and the youngest of our family,” said Rawlinson, who notes the family was raised on a farm in Oro-Medonte Township.
“Phyllis was the second oldest sibling and she helped raise the younger siblings, including myself and my twin sister,” said Rawlinson, adding Phyllis’ husband, daughter and grandson have predeceased her.
Rawlinson says her sister has done well over the years but never expected to live this long.
“That’s why I’m reaching out to see if anyone has the means to donate money (big or small) toward her home and/or to help spread the word so she has the means to pass peacefully in the place where she feels safe and at home,” she said as part of the fundraising campaign.
Rawlinson says her sister loves Paradise Shores, the facility that has become her home.
“The personalized care and individual attention she receives makes her feel loved and cared for. It is my greatest wish for her to be able to maintain this sense of security until she passes," said Rawlinson, noting the staff at Paradise Shores “is extraordinary and genuinely love Phyllis, and are heartbroken at the thoughts of her having to make the move as well.”
Rawlinson says her sister’s income is about $2,000 short, per month, needed to stay at the Orillia facility.
“She is a wonderful, kind spirit who rarely complains and I think this spirit is what keeps her going despite her health,” said Rawlinson, who describes her sister as “very frail”, weighs about 80 pounds, is deaf, cannot walk independently and has a myriad of age-related conditions.
“It breaks my heart to think of her having to go through the major upheaval of a move and likely passing away due to the stress instead of peacefully at her current home,” said Rawlinson.
Click here for more information or to donate to the campaign.