That’s it, back to Winnipeg: Toronto woman comes home after 30 years to support aging parents during pandemic

A Toronto woman has decided to come home to Winnipeg, after over three decades away, to care for her aging parents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gayle Charach, currently quarantining in Thunder Bay, told 680 CJOB her parents are in assisted living and she hasn’t even been able to see them for most of the year because of restrictions. So she’s decided it’s time to pack up and head back to Manitoba.

“I’ve been gone for over 30 years. We moved when my daughter was two, and now she’s 33,” Charach said.

“My parents are aging — they’re in assisted living — and of course, that’s precluded me from being even able to see them since February.

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“My mom had another hospital stay this summer that really agitated the urge inside of me to be with her. With both parents aging, my brother — bless his heart — has been doing all the work and carrying the heavy load until now, and I just felt it was time to come home.”

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Charach said she’s fortunate her employer is letting her continue working remotely from Winnipeg, and that she’ll be able to be with family during such a stressful time.

“When my mom went into hospital for six weeks this summer, my dad was alone. It really highlighted the issues that he’s facing, and I just felt there’s too much with two of them,” she said.

“There’s no question that they both need the additional care.”

Read more: 3 new outbreaks at personal care homes as Manitoba registers 110 new coronavirus cases

Seniors have been among the most vulnerable in Manitoba during the pandemic, with some care homes facing coronavirus outbreaks, and the majority of deaths — including two more reported Monday — occurring in people aged 70 and up.

Pandemic restrictions were recently increased in the Winnipeg area, and the province’s chief public health officer, Dr. Brent Roussin, said it’s all dependent on the number of cases that arise over the next few weeks.

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“It’s, of course, going to entirely depend on the numbers we see — if we see improvement, if we see the transmission of  the virus decreasing, if we don’t see strains on our healthcare system — then it’s quite possible we can roll back some of these restrictions,” he said.

For her part, Charach said she’s happy to be returning home — despite it not being the best of circumstances — and introducing her Florida-born husband to a Winnipeg winter.

“He’s a native Floridian, so this is the most cold that he will have felt since moving to (Canada).”

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