Monthly Archives: June 2013

HISC Etobicoke Has a New Client Care Coordinator – Welcome Lesley

HISC Etobicoke Has a New Client Care Coordinator - Welcome Lesley

The new Client Care Coordinator, has a passion for helping seniors live as they choose that developed from a very personal experience involving her   family’s search for care for her    Grandmother after the sudden death of her Grandfather.

Lesley has a B.A. in Psychology and a Masters in Education in Counselling   Psychology from McGill University.  She has worked in social services related to senior care for several years and has over 15 years of client service,  Quality Assurance experience, as well as, case management experience.

Lesley is excited to be part of the Home Instead Team because she recognizes that the company truly lives ‘to us it’s personal’.

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home.

Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500”  Don’t forget to like us on facebook! th

Ask Brenda

brenda“Ask Brenda” is written by Brenda Enright, owner of Home Instead Senior Care Etobicoke.  Home Instead is the leading home care provider for seniors, with over 1000 offices internationally.  Their services allow seniors to remain in their homes, maintain their independence, and preserve their quality of life.

Each month, Brenda will draw from her experiences to provide answers to questions regarding care and available resources in the community.  If you have a question for Brenda, please forward it to: askbrenda@homeinstead.com.

Dear Brenda I am moved back home to take care of my mom who is 86 years old.  Unfortunately, she has lots of mood swings, and I often find myself the target of insults.   She tries to make me feel as if she doesn’t need my help, when it is obvious that she does. What do you think?

ANSWER:    I’m sorry to hear that this, it can be emotionally distressing to be insulted by a loved one.  Sometimes mood swings can be a sign of early dementia or a mental health issue. Has your mom always been like this?  If this is a new behavior, it’s a good idea to have your mother assessed by a medical doctor.

If this is not the result of dementia or some other medical condition, it might be time to have a conversation with her about what’s going on.  Remind yourself, that although it is challenging to be a family caregiver, that there may be a great deal of sadness and anxiety associated with losing her independence. This in turn can show up as irritability or crankiness.

You might open the conversation by saying that it must be hard not being able to do things for herself. Listen sympathetically. Let her know that your goal is to do everything you can to help her live independently for as long as possible. You might also remind her that she took care of you when you were younger and that you are grateful now to have the opportunity to repay her for everything she has given you.

Discuss how and when your mom would like you to offer help and when she would prefer to do things for herself. Talk about how you would like to speak to each other. Tell her how you would like to remember this period of your life. Share your feelings about how it feels to be treated with respect. Try to avoid saying anything that could make your mom feel defensive. By the end of the conversation, the goal is for the two of you to feel that you are a team.

Helping your mother to get in touch with the emotions that lie beneath the rudeness that’s on the surface may bring you both closer.   It’s possible that one conversation may bring about a noticeable change. It is also possible that there might be some backsliding. Be prepared for this. Gently remind your mom about the talk you had, and try not to react emotionally.  Good luck.

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home.

Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500”  Don’t forget to like us on facebook! th

 

Safety Tips For Caregivers of Seniors With Alzheimer’s or Other Dementias

Safety Tips For Caregivers of Seniors With Alzheimer’s or Other Dementias

Caregivers of seniors afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease face great challenges every day. Significant time and attention is focused on activities to keep your senior loved one healthy and happy, with their safety a continuous concern.

We have some tips that can help you make your senior’s home, or home away from home if they are visiting, a safer place to let them keep both a degree of independence and as much freedom from injury as you can provide – not to mention providing some peace of mind for their loved ones.

  • Store dangerous tools, such as grills, lawn mowers, any power tools, knives and firearms, in a secure place.
  • Remove any toxic plants or decorative fruits that a client might mistakenly try to eat.
  • Remove any medications or other substances from open areas such as the kitchen table and counters.  This might include vitamins, prescription drugs, or even sugar, sugar substitutes or seasonings.  Keep medications in a locked area or out of reach.
  • Check the temperature of water and food, as your client may have difficulty telling the difference.  This applies to water temperature in a bath and for example the temperature of hot food.
  • Use contrasting colours to make steps and transitions easier to see.  Avoid dark rugs as they may appear to be a hole.
  • Lock any hazard areas or cover the doors or locks so that they are disguised.  Suggest placing locks either high or low on doors to make them less obvious.
  • Remove locks in bathrooms or bedrooms so that client cannot get locked inside.

Whether or not you can leave your senior loved one home alone after you have improved the safety of his or her home environment is an issue you should discuss with your Alzheimer’s expert or other health care professional.  Allow them to guide you and follow their advice for maximum safety.

The changes that you make now may not be all the changes you will need.  Alzheimer’s disease is progressive, therefore behavior changes in your senior may mean that you will have to review his or her environment on a regular basis to be sure there are no further modifications that are required for safety.

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home.

Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500”  Don’t forget to like us on facebook! th

 

Keeping A Senior Tech Savvy

Keeping A Senior Tech Savvy

Technology has come a long way over the course of older adults’ lifetimes.  From the music we listen to on our MP3 players to the recipes and pictures we share on Facebook, technology has become a huge part of our daily lives.  While the online world is typically considered the domain of the young, that stereotype is swiftly changing as older generations become more aware of the benefits that modern technology can provide.

Technology has the potential to play a key role in helping seniors stay independent and socially active. It gives them the tools to remain connected with family and friends, keep in touch with the larger world through news and even take part in enjoyable physical activity through the use of gaming systems.

Your loved one may be skeptical about the use of technology or may need some guidance. It’s important to remember to be patient with them. Don’t be afraid to show your loved one how to use these tools in ways that are valuable to them and that can benefit them in their everyday lives.

1.  Ask them if they’d like to learn about technology

Seniors may be interested in learning to use technology but reluctant to ask for help because they don’t want to be a burden. Encourage them to ask questions often and to learn by your example.

2. Integrate technology into their everyday routine

Seniors may develop more of an interest in technology if it relates to their lives.  Introduce your loved one to different apps and programs that can connect them to family and friends, like e-mail, access to on-line recipes, and sites that relate to areas of special interest.

3. Show, don’t tell

Visual learning is perhaps the easiest way to pick up a new skill. Help seniors get comfortable with technology by taking the time to sit down with them and show them how it all works.

4. Balance online and offline activities

Technology is a great tool, but it shouldn’t be a replacement for the hobbies and activities people love to do offline. Encourage the seniors in your life to split their time healthily between online activities, outdoor recreation and face-to-face socializing.

5. Choose wisely when purchasing tech gadgets

Just as you wouldn’t wear heels on a hiking expedition, don’t buy technology that doesn’t fit a loved one’s needs. Do your research and choose your tools carefully. Consider factors such as user-friendliness and technical support availability rather than basing your purchase solely on price or your personal preference.

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home.

Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500”  Don’t forget to like us on facebook! th

 

Managing a Senior’s Meds

Managing a Senior's Meds

Medications play an expanding role in health care as we grow older. People are more likely to develop one or more chronic illnesses with advancing age, and appropriate medication can help seniors live longer and more active lives.  And, although many seniors take regular medications, a recent hospital stay could result in new and unfamiliar prescriptions.  Taking the right medication at the proper time and in the correct dosage is important to keeping an older adult on the road to recovery.

Accordingly, medication use in older adults is also likely to be associated with safety concerns. Medication mismanagement is a one of the leading problems that can prohibit a senior’s successful recovery.  As more people take additional medications, the risk of adverse events may increase.

The following are key tasks that older adults returning home often need assistance with to ensure they remain safe and on track:

  • Picking up medications from the pharmacy.
  • Ensuring that the proper dosage is taken at the prescribed times.
  • Refilling prescriptions – It’s best to go to a senior’s regular pharmacy to avoid adverse reactions from a combination of drugs prescribed by different sources.
  • Organizing pills to ensure that confusion doesn’t lead to a medication mishap.  Blister packs http://www.manageyourmedications.com/#!blister-packs/c1pna are often a good solution.
  • Tracking medications to help older adults more easily manage their health.

Make sure that your senior has the support he or she needs to manage the tasks above.

 

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home.

Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500”  Don’t forget to like us on facebook! th

Father’s Day Gift Ideas for the Senior Dad

Father's Day Gift Ideas for the Senior Dad

With Father’s Day just around the corner, plans for spoiling dad should be under way.  Chances are, your dad is a baby boomer or even older. With people living longer these days and more and more boomers hitting retirement age, the infamous Father’s Day blue striped tie probably isn’t the right gift for your still quite active father.

Intangibles. That’s the ticket. Father’s Day gifts should be consumables, which can be eaten, used, spent, sipped or enjoyed. No dust catchers for later generations to sort, no hideous “Necktie of the Month Club” ties.

  1. Do a dad check. This means simply standing in dad’s shoes for a few minutes and seeing what items he might need upgraded that would make a great Father’s Day present. For example, if he has trouble reaching into his back pocket for his wallet, consider getting him a wallet designed especially for the front pocket of his pants. If it is difficult for him to turn lights on and off, maybe a clapper light would be a great gift idea.  The idea here is to get him a gift that will make something difficult for him become very easy, but to do so in a way that comes across as a considerate gift and not one that focuses on how he is aging. You are shopping for dad’s day and the object is to make him feel appreciated and loved.
  2. If your dad plays golf, what better gift than tee-times? Many public clubs offer gift certificates. Even if you are a duffer, why not line up a tee-time or two with dear old dad? If he belongs to a private club, consider purchasing cart rentals or other extras that don’t come with membership.
  3. Digitize family pictures and put them on Dad’s computer. Help him set up email and social networking with family members. If Dad is a collector of family treasures, sort through and label items with an archival-quality pen.
  4. For fathers over 80, there’s a chance they may live in assisted living or a retirement home. Such facilities often have onsite barbers with gift certificates. Many offer occasional bus trips for an extra fee. If Dad isn’t driving anymore, pay for taxis or a car service to take him where he wants to go. If Dad can’t travel, bring family members to him.

All these gifts have one thing in common, your involvement. Dad doesn’t want more socks, he wants time with you! Make sure your Dad knows that “He’s the Greatest!” this Father’s Day.

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home.

Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500

Senior’s Month 2013

Senior's Month 2013

This June we commemorate the twenty-seventh year of Seniors’ Month in Ontario.  It’s a month to celebrate, honor and recognize the distinctiveness and magnificence of our oldest generation.

Sophia  Aggelonitis, the Minister Responsible for Seniors in Ontario, acknowledges Seniors’ Month, on the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat website (www.seniors.gov.on.ca/en/seniorsmonth/index.php), “as a time to celebrate and honor seniors – their knowledge, experience and the contributions they make every day in communities across the province.“

Ontario’s 2013 theme – The Art of Living- celebrates how seniors in Ontario have created their own unique approach to living.  The Art of Living- celebrates how seniors in Ontario have created their own unique approach to living. Older Ontarians practice The Art of Living every day. They’ve worked hard and continue to contribute much to the prosperity we all enjoy today. Celebrating Seniors’ Month has become a way of giving something back to them.  To learn about Seniors’ Month activities in your community, visit the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat online at www.ontario.ca/seniors, or check with seniors’ organizations and community groups in your area.

The next time you need to remember something of importance that happened many years ago, ask a trusted senior. They would likely give you a good answer and a fascinating anecdote to go along with it. Spend some quality time with a senior near and dear to your heart – you may laugh, you may cry but it’s certain you will make their day … and it also might make yours!

Home Care Hamilton helping older adults and elderly live independently and safely at home.

Please call 905-521-5500.

Call for a free personalized Care Consultation 905-521-5500