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Nurse has Bone to Pick with Classic LifeCare Clients – Osteoporosis Knowledge

By March 18, 2013June 30th, 2016Moments

Chloe Kilkenny, a Classic LifeCare Nursing Supervisor, is an LPN, Osteoporosis educator, speaker, mother, wife and camping enthusiast.

“I became a nurse because I was looking for more. I was in marketing and worked in newspapers and radio for six years but it didn’t feel like the best fit for me. My mom had always managed clinics so I took my unit clerk training. When I then decided to start training as a nurse, my grandmother, who I was really close to and who lived in Nova Scotia, started to fail. She was having heart trouble.

“My plan in 2002 was to finish school in July and then go to Nova Scotia in August to take care of my grandmother because she was so special to me. Well, unfortunately she passed away in June and I never got to do that. But that is where my love for working with seniors came from. It’s my passion.”

Kilkenny, who lives just east of Calgary with her daughter, Nixon, and husband, Jared, also works as an educator with the Alberta chapter of Osteoporosis Canada.

As an educator, Kilkenny gives presentations, attends trade shows, and is dedicated to educating Albertans about Osteoporosis prevention and treatment.

“There is a wonderful crossover for me in my job with Classic and my Osteoporosis role. I conduct a monthly educational session about Osteoporosis for members and families of people with Osteoporosis. It’s fantastic for me to be able to inform some of those people that you don’t necessarily have to be hospitalized post-fracture. I have the opportunity to promote the idea of home care as an option to keep them comfortable and healing in their own setting.”

On the flip side, Kilkenny can educate Classic clients about Osteoporosis support, education and prevention.

“Osteoporosis is rampant among seniors. Even if they don’t have osteoporosis, they’ve probably been prescribed calcium and vitamin D for bone health. It’s something everyone should know more about and I’m thrilled to be able to provide some insight.”

Prior to Classic LifeCare, Kilkenny worked in Red Deer as a manager in geriatrics and filled a one-year contract in pediatrics for Ronald MacDonald House.

She says she doesn’t have a stand-out moment at Classic LifeCare yet, but more of a moment that’s developing over time. It involves an incredible relationship between a two-year old pediatric client and the family’s dog.

“This little girl is the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. She has blond hair and and the doctors don’t really know what’s wrong with her. She also has this terrible cough.

“The family has a big Pitbull dog, which has been an issue for some health care staff because they are afraid of it. But I absolutely love this dog. It’s the most incredible thing to watch because every time the little girl coughs, the dog paces around and tries to get my attention so I can help her.  And when the dog comes around the little girl, her eyes light up and it’s the only time I’ve seen her smile.”

Kilkenny is speaking at the CLPNA (College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Alberta) conference April 18 and 19 in Banff this year. This will be her third-annual speaking role at the conference, which is attended by approximately 600 people.

Three years ago, she was awarded the Pat Fredrickson Excellence in Leadership Award for Alberta at the conference, something she describes as the most wonderful moment of her professional life.

“That award meant so much to me because I was nominated by my general manager at the time, one of the senior nurses, the family of one of the people I cared for, and the leasing agent associated with the facility I worked at. I felt very honored.”

Kilkenny, who got married in Cuba on Feb. 1, is passionate about camping and is counting down the days until summer. She had always dreamed of owning a Volkswagen van and in November, her husband surprised her with a VW van for her birthday.

“The van could use some TLC but Jared is the guy to do it. I can’t wait to spend my summer like a gypsy and camp my heart out with my little family.”

About osteoporosis (sourced from www.osteoporosis.ca)

  • Osteoporosis is a condition that causes bones to become thin and porous, decreasing bone strength and leading to increased risk of breaking a bone.
  • The most common sites of osteoporotic fracture are the wrist, spine, shoulder and hip.
  • No single cause for osteoporosis has been identified.
  • Osteoporosis can strike at any age.
  • Osteoporosis affects both men and women.
  • Osteoporosis is often called the ‘silent thief’ because bone loss occurs without symptoms unless one has fractured.
  • Osteoporosis can result in disfigurement, lowered self-esteem, reduction or loss of mobility, and decreased independence.
  • Osteoporosis has been called a pediatric disease with geriatric consequences.
  • Building strong bones during childhood and adolescence can be the best defence against developing osteoporosis later.
  • Peak bone mass is achieved at an early age, age 16-20 in girls and age 20-25 in young men.
  • Women and men alike begin to lose bone in their mid-30s; as they approach menopause, women lose bone at a greater rate, from 2-3 per cent per year.
  • It is important to make sure you are getting the recommended amount of calcium every day – from food sources, if possible. Because Vitamin D is crucial to calcium absorption, it is also important to get the required amounts of Vitamin D.