A Season To Share Your Heart

etobThis season, many Etobicoke seniors who are alone or impoverished will receive some holiday cheer thanks to the Be a Santa to a Senior® program. Sponsored by the local Home Instead Senior Care® office, the program brings together area nonprofits, retailers, numerous volunteers and members of the community to provide gifts and companionship for lonely and isolated seniors.

“It is heartbreaking to think of the senior members of our community spending the holidays all by themselves, without any gifts or any way to celebrate the season,” says Brenda Enright, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Etobicoke. “But all too often, that’s what happens when seniors live alone. It can be a really tough time of year for them.”

Home Instead Senior Care has partnered with Etobicoke Services For Seniors and Trillium Health Partners to help with the gift collection and distribution. Program officials hope to collect 186 gifts in order to help more than 150 Etobicoke area seniors this holiday season.

Participating retail locations will display Be a Santa to a Senior Christmas trees from November 17th to December 8th that feature ornaments with seniors’ first names and their gift requests. Holiday shoppers can pick ornaments from the trees, buy the items listed and return them unwrapped (and with the ornament attached) to the store.

Be a Santa to a Senior trees will be located at Shoppers Home Health Care at Six Points Plaza 5230 Dundas St. W and Tapestry Village Gate West at 15 Summerland Terrace.

Program partners and volunteers will wrap and distribute the gifts to local seniors who might otherwise spend the holiday alone.

“During this season of giving, we encourage shoppers to buy a little extra for a local senior,” said Enright. “Your gift – and more importantly the visit that comes with the delivery – could make their holiday season.”

For more information about the program, visit BeaSantatoaSenior.ca or call 416-239-2200.

 Home Care Etobicoke ON for seniors and elderly choosing to stay home instead.

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I’m Giving Green Tea for a Coffee Break

aspMy day just hasn’t started until I have a cup (or a few) of green tea, but this month I’m taking a break – a Coffee Break that is, in support of Alzheimer’s research.

Over 747 000 Canadians across Canada are living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. That number is expected to grow to 1.4 million within a generation. Coffee Break is an annual nationwide fundraiser sponsored by the Alzheimer Society and this year’s official launch is on September 18th. Some organizations, like Bulk Barn, have a jump started the program as early as September 5; the program runs throughout the month and into October.

You can show your support by making a donation, at one of the many participating organizations. In exchange for your donation you will be provided with a coffee cup cut out, to write out your name in recognition of your support. In 2013, thanks to sponsorship and donations, the Alzheimer Society was able to raise $1, 100, 000. If you’re interested in sponsoring Coffee Break or are interested in making a personal donation, please contact your provincial Alzheimer Society.

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Alpha N, Serving Excellence in Etobicoke

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 Alpha is very caring and takes great care of my mum.  We are very happy with her.

 -Susan J, client’s daughter

 

 

Alpha N is a very accomplished CAREGiver! She has completed almost all of our advanced trainings (CARES, Gentle Persuasive Approach, First Aid/CRP, etc), but the true essence of her excellence is how she engages the Guiding Principles.

 Because Alpha is reliable, responsible and professional she is able to build trust that achieves long term gains. For example, when her client moved from the retirement side of a residence to a LTC side, where service is not as necessary (due to increased facility involvement), the family insisted no compromise to their services or schedule because they knew that care would be seamless with Alpha.

She recognizes that the her role goes beyond the literal expectations of any Care Plan and she reacts out of a sense of empowerment, advocating for he client’s needs in times when family cannot be present. When her client’s bed and wheel chair were no longer comfortable she took the lead and communicated to the appropriate people to have them replaced and when transfers became a safety risk, she recommended bed baths replace showers.

 Always smiling, laughing and joking with her client Alpha shares her heart in the unique way that every CAREGiver can – by being herself.   She is a role model, demonstrating that the CAREGiver role is as much about creating positive memories as anything else. She has made a profound impact of the lives of many seniors and it is obvious that to Alpha it’s personal.

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Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 416-239-2200

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Yegana, One of the Best & Brightest at Home Instead Etobicoke

Yegana quickly masters her duties. She is dependable and diligent, with an inquiring mind and the ability to identify and troubleshoot problems as they occur. Invariably, she is pleasant, a quick study, intelligent and keen.

 –Barry H, Mount Sinai

Yegana, a third year nursing student, has only been with Home Instead since the new year and in a short period of time has become one of our most notable and acclaimed CAREGivers.

Building trust, the first step in establishing a successful client/CAREGiver relationship, can be challenging, undeniably so when the care is required for two clients who both have Schizophrenia. Characterized by a disconnect for reality, distrust and reclusiveness, Yegana has overcome obstacles to return their lives to a heightened normalcy. She employed creative measures (posed as a cleaner) to ensure that her role is not “in doing” but in teaching them to do for themselves. She is their advocate, discretely monitoring medications and conscious not to violate their privacy; she works to ensure proper nutrition and engages them in activities of daily living. And when Yegana discovered that one of these clients loved art and music she took the lead to play them some music using her phone, as their own television and radio did not work.   Her “soft skills” are awesome; she was even a shoulder to cry on when their mother passed a way, sharing her heart and providing comfort and solace. There are no limits to her caregiving ability.

These few words don’t do Yegana justice because the stories of her successes are endless.  She is a true professional and in the years to come will be a great asset to the nursing profession.

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Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 416-239-2200

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Costs of Senior Care in Canada

health careThere is a trend, according to a survey conducted by Home Instead Senior Care, that very few seniors and their families are aware of the real costs that are relevant to senior care in Mississauga. What this means, is that few families are prepared to take on the costs of senior care, because they don’t understand where coverage comes from and exactly how much money they will need.

 The survey indicated that only about 20% to 30% of Canadians admit with being familiar with the various senior care options, including long-term care seniors’ centers and in-home care. But even those who know that these options are available don’t necessarily have an in-depth understanding as to what it costs to sustain a senior with one of these care styles. Many families believe that the funding provided by the Canadian Pension Plan or Old Age Security will cover the costs of senior care, but in reality, both benefits combined will not even cover the costs of long-term care in Ontario which are around $1,600 for a basic room. Insurance and other benefit programs typically only cover about one hour of in-home care per day, which means that seniors need to come up with additional finances to meet their care needs.

 Families need to make sure that they inform themselves about available care options in Canada and their associated costs. Without this knowledge, decisions will be made based on what seniors cannot have; not on what they should, and that is not something that should be sacrificed.

Home Care Etobicoke ON for seniors and elderly choosing to stay home instead.

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Finding a Family Physician in Canada

geriatricIf you’ve recently relocated to a new area, you might find yourself in a bit of a bind when it comes to finding a family doctor. There is no secret that in Ontario, and other areas across Canada, there is a shortage of General Practitioners accepting new patients. A family doctor can make a huge difference when it comes to managing common illnesses that many seniors face; while going to a walk-in clinic or an emergency room is fine for treating a common cold or other ailment, it’s not enough for ongoing care. Seniors who are diagnosed with heart conditions, diabetes, or even something that seems as minor as high blood pressure that is controlled should receive regular care from one doctor who’s aware of their history. Finding a family doctor is easier said than done, but here are some guidelines for how to find one and what to expect from the process:

  • Go to the College of Physicians and Ontario website (or similar resources if you are in another Province) to find a list of doctor’s offices listing as accepting new patients
  • Check lists provided by local hospitals, either online or through newsletters
  • When calling doctor’s offices, if they aren’t accepting patients, ask if they know anyone locally who is
  • Expect that just because a doctor says that they’re accepting patients doesn’t mean that they will take you
  • Doctors might request you to take a survey that will help them assess if they have time to treat a patient with your health background – often they will select patients that don’t seem to have any pre-existing health conditions because they anticipate treatment and care will take less time

Home Care Etobicoke ON for seniors and elderly choosing to stay home instead.

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Pets Helping Seniors Live Longer

Unlike a stuffed animal or the second husband that Mary parodies, your pet is always happy to see you. They may express their enjoyment by wagging their tail, barking/purring or rubbing up against you, but one thing is for sure and it is that pet ownership can have an extremely positive impact on the life of an elderly person, especially ones that lives alone.

As people begin to age, their children leave the house, friends and loved ones may pass, and the companionship of an animal can be therapeutic.  As a matter of fact, Assisted Living Communities have begun to integrate pet therapy programs, and more residences are allowing seniors to bring their companion animals with them.

Although all pet owners experience some emotional benefit, pets have a large impact on enriching the lives of the older population. Research has shown that seniors who own pets experience the following benefits:

  • Reduces depression, anxiety and stress: Many owners open up to pets easier than humans because animals are always there to listen and are loyal; they (the senior) become less worried about little things that would normally bother them. Accordingly, pet ownership has been proven to reduce stress related conditions like high blood pressure.
  • Encourages regular exercise: Dog walking engages seniors in a gentle activity as many as two to three times a day; mentally, exercise eases anxiety, sharpens memory and inspires creativity.
  • Provides protection: For your senior loved one that lives alone, in their residence, a dog can alert their owner to potential intruders or possibly get help in the event of a critical situation such as heart attack.
  • Gives a sense of purpose: Having a pet to feed and care for gives seniors a renewed sense of responsibility when they no longer have family to care for.
  • Provide therapy: One of the major difficulties of Alzheimer’s disease is that seniors sometimes express anger in the form of yelling, swearing and other anxiety. During the initial stages of Alzheimer’s pets allow senior to keep their regular routines and live a normal life.

If there is one thing that is certain a furry-friend will love your senior loved one unconditionally and the benefits of pet ownership are immeasurable. Keep one thing in mind though, if your senior loved one is considering getting a pet, have a plan for someone to take care of your pet if they travel or become sick, that way you can be assured that your pet will always be taken care of and loved. Take that Mary! :)

Home Care Etobicoke ON for seniors and elderly choosing to stay home instead.

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Summer Safety for Your Senior Loved One

seniors1Summer is my favorite time of year. I look forward to long scenic bike rides, pool parties and weekends at the cottage. While it’s great to get outside for long stretches of time and enjoy the warm air and bright sunshine, seniors must be careful of season’s heat and humidity.

Part of the reason why older people can’t handle the heat as well as those that are younger is because they don’t sweat as effectively and have poorer circulation. Older adults are also more likely to have medical conditions or are on medications that limit their ability to respond to changes or affect their cooling system, perspiration. Obesity, heart disease, dementia, diabetes and other chronic medical conditions are examples of conditions that compound this risk.

In order to safeguard your senior loved one from heat-related illnesses, as extreme as stroke, there are steps we can take to minimize the risk and ensure that they are able to take advantage of the benefits of this wonderful season.

  • Review weather forecasts and make sure they ride out the extreme heat in a place that is air conditioned. If not in their home, plan for activities in a community centers, museums, shopping malls, etc. where the temperature will be controlled. Perhaps, there is a neighbor of family member whose home they can spend some time at.
  • While margaritas at a beach front patio restaurant may seem attractive for most, these types of beverages will dehydrate your senior loved one and make them prone to the elements. Encourage them to drink plenty of non-alcoholic and non-caffeinated beverages, especially water.
  • Dress in loose-fitting, light-colored clothing made of light fabrics such as linen and cotton. Hats are purposeful and can be very fashionable, but make sure that they are loosely woven or ventilated so they don’t trap heat. The best are those that are broad-brimmed so they shade the entire face.
  • Use Sunscreen, with an SPF of at least 30, on all exposed body parts including the face and ears
  • Avoid overexerting with strenuous activity; have family members or caregivers assist with these types of activities or if really necessary do these tasks really early in the morning. Periodic naps might also be a good idea.
  • If you must be outdoors, stay in shaded areas near trees and/or water.

In spite of the potential hazard to seniors, summer is a great season! Knowing about the potential implications of extreme heat and taking preventative measures will ensure that they enjoy summer as much today as they did years ago. It may be that a day at the beach is swapped for some time at a public pool and a fancy “mock-tail” substituted for that margarita but the memory of this summer will markedly be remembered by the quality of time you spend with your senior loved one.

 Home Care Etobicoke ON for seniors and elderly choosing to stay home instead.

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$10 000 Grant to Support Alzheimer Society Peel

Home Instead Senior Care owner Greg Bechard presents a $10 000 cheque, on behalf of the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation to Christoper Rawn-Kane, Chief Executive Officer of the Alzheimer Society Peel.

Home Instead Senior Care owner Greg Bechard presents a $10 000 cheque, on behalf of the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation to Christoper Rawn-Kane, Chief Executive Officer of the Alzheimer Society Peel.

The Alzheimer Society Peel faces the growing challenges of serving clients, caregiver and their families with the rising incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and other related dementias.  To ensure the community has access to help when they need it, the Foundation has joined Alzheimer Society Peel to implement an online education program that will be available anywhere, anytime.  Thus, erasing the barriers of time, distance and mobility.  An e-learning option will help Alzheimer Society Peel continue to promote education awareness throughout the community and reach those individuals who otherwise cannot attend live trainings.

The Alzheimer Society of Peel has provided support for families and individuals dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias since 1983. “It is difficult for many people suffering with Alzheimer’s and their families to travel to attend live training and education workshops. The funding from Home Instead will help erase the barriers of time, distance, and mobility for those who need these services.

The online education program is made possible by a grant from the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation. “Our mission is very similar to the Alzheimer Society of Peel, as we both help enhance the lives of aging adults and those who care for them,” said Roger H. Baumgart, Executive Director of the Foundation. “We are pleased to provide grant funding to the Alzheimer Society of Peel for making a positive difference in the safety, well-being and independence of seniors,” Baumgart said.

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Nancy is Etobicoke’s CAREGiver of the Month

 

nancy

Nancy’s like my family.  We have a lot of fun and she knows me better than anyone. Audrey W, client

Nancy has been recognized in the past as a member of a ‘Care Team’ caring for one of our 24 hour clients.   This time we would like to single-out the tremendous way in which she is able to build strong relationships, exceed expectations and elevate the quality of life of this client.

Since day one, Nancy has anchored a team, enabling her to build trust with this special senior. In spite of her busy life and personal obligations, you can always count on Nancy to attend Home Instead sponsored events, meeting and specialized trainings. She is always reliable, responsible and professional.

She takes the lead by being her client’s strong advocate, arranging and accompanying her to appointments, organizing her medications and contacting the office to clarify schedules, lessening any anxiety for her client.  Nancy is empowered and involved.

Her relationship with this particular client has been compared to that of a granddaughter. She is quick to smile and is often found sharing her heart with her client through trading stories.  She is compassionate, thoughtful and herself because to Nancy, ‘it’s personal’!

 Home Care Etobicoke ON for seniors and elderly choosing to stay home instead.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 416-239-2200”  

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