Tag Archives: Home Instead Senior Care

6 Summer Safety Tips for the Elderly


Summer 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Use Sunscreen, with an SPF of at least 30, on all exposed body parts including the face and ears
  5. 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.
  6. 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 Hamilton, helping older adults and the elderly live independently and safely at home.

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


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Happy Mother’s Day

mother's day

Get mom a gift to remember!

Only 2 shopping days left!   Mother’s Day is right around the corner and for most adult children finding the perfect gift for your senior loved one can be a daunting task.  After all, what do you buy for the person whose interests differ from your own and who has repeated for the last 40 to 50 years that she has everything she needs?  Moreover, if your mom is anything like mine, the token bathrobe and slippers will either be returned, or exchanged for 10 items of lesser value, because they are not dissimilar from the ones you bought a dozen other times before and she knows the value of the dollar.

Research shows that money, title or good health has less effect on life satisfaction than strong personal relationships can. So this Mother’s Day, make a commitment to do what you can to improve your relationship and give your mom and yourself positive memories. It is an especially important occasion to honor all that your mother has done, and the years that have passed.

Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Simply plan to rent an old movie, bring the popcorn and watch it together.
  • Set her up and show her how to use Facebook so she can keep connected with yourself and the entire family, those that are near and far.
  • Take her for a scenic drive, or a tour of old neighbourhoods. This prompts discussions of what life was like back then.
  • Create a memorable scrapbook. Take old photographs of mom as a young girl, as well as pictures of her as she started her family. It is a beautiful keepsake.
  • Ask her to help you out. Your mother wants to feel like she is still needed. Depending on her physical abilities, you can work on planting flowers in outdoor pots, or bake bread together.
  • Present an I-O-U card promising to go somewhere or do something special with her.

All of these gifts have one thing in common, your involvement. Any time you can show your mother attention and spend time together is beneficial. Elderly people are very afraid of being forgotten, or being a burden. You can show love by helping to dispel these fears. The golden years should not be tarnished as a result of poor care and feelings of helplessness and un-worth. Take your mother by the hand and walk beside her during this period. That is the greatest way to show your love, on Mother’s Day, and every other day of the year.

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

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


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Elaine, CAREGiver of the Month

HAMILTONNEWElaine connects with her clients out of a genuine compassion and concern for their health and welfare.  She shares her heart by making the needs of these seniors her top priority.  Elaine takes the lead by consistently informing the office of any changes with her clients, physically or emotionally, and if there are any necessary changes to their Care Plan that will benefit them and their families. Elaine is a real team player and there is never been a time that she turned down a shift or the opportunity to help someone in need. We have come to rely on Elaine and are  proud to have her as one of our CAREGivers and I know all of her clients and their families would agree.

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

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


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FACEBOOK: Keeping Seniors Connected

FACEBOOK: Keeping Seniors Connected

I took a call from “Douglas” today, who was looking to arrange home care services for himself.  What caught me off-guard was that  he mentioned that he found our listing on Facebook.  Did I mention that “Douglas” was 88 years old?  At a time, when I (in my 40’s) have barely grown comfortable using both thumbs to text, more and more seniors are becoming tech savvy.  In fact, senior citizens are the fastest growing demographic on Facebook.

Surveys reflect that older Canadians are increasingly following their younger counterparts into the world of social media, with Facebook by far the most popular way to network, a new poll suggests. They are also jumping on board Facebook,TwitterYou Tube and more, as they realize it is fun and provides real benefits.  I can think of several reasons for them doing so, for those living on their own or in facilities, but one reason predominates.

Social Media keeps families connected and closer together.  It’s not unfamiliar to hear a senior say, “I wish I heard more often from my children/grandchildren”. In a day and age where it is unlikely to find someone without a cell phone you’d think that calls to senior loved ones would be more common than ever.  However, a new generation of data plan users have replaced the need to use this technology to make phone calls and replaced it with the benefits of social media.

Accordingly, seniors are realizing that by using Facebook, it is easier to keep up with what is going on in the lives of loved ones.  It also makes for more frequent and comfortable conversations between generations than most would otherwise experience if the phones were used simply for calls.  Let’s not forget that the overwhelming majority of photographs are now digital and sharing of memories are now easier than ever through social media.   Grandparents can now go online and see pictures taken just moments before by their grandchildren, creating a feeling of closeness that was never possible with mailed photos. Most importantly, with most families living apart and with the worry of missed appointments or medications, potential falls, or other potential vulnerabilities of aging Facebook enables families to check in on their loved one as well.

If this isn’t enough, Facebook is also an opportunity for seniors to engage in recreational activity (games), discounts and giveaways and make new friends.   Our own site provides relevant community events, educational resources, and local news.   Let’s not forget, had it not been for Facebook I might not have had the opportunity to connect with “Douglas”.

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

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


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Franchise Excellence


Home Instead Senior Care®, the world’s leading provider of companionship, Alzheimer’s and home care for seniors, is the Gold winner of the 2014 Canadian Franchise Association (CFA) Awards of Excellence in Franchising in the Category of Non-Traditional – Mature/Established. The award was presented to Home Instead Senior Care on April 7, 2014 during a Gala Awards Presentation at the 23rd annual CFA National Convention in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Considered the pinnacle of franchise achievement in Canada, CFA Awards of Excellence in Franchising are given annually to franchise systems that have demonstrated the strongest, most mutually-rewarding relationships with their franchisees, based on the results of a comprehensive survey of franchisors and their franchisees administered by third-party firm Association Resource Centre.

“Our franchise owners and their CAREGiversSM  provide an extraordinary level of care to Canadian seniors with a true commitment to enhancing the lives of aging adults and their families across Canada,” said Jeff Huber, President of Home Instead, Inc., the franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care network. “To all of us, it’s personal, and we are proud to see this reflected in this prestigious award.”

“The CFA Awards of Excellence in Franchising truly set a benchmark for franchises throughout Canada and we are pleased to recognize Home Instead Senior Care for their commitment to excellence in franchising,” says Lorraine McLachlan, CFA President and CEO. “A solid relationship between franchisor and franchisee is vital to the system’s success and Home Instead Senior Care’s results show that they offer outstanding support to their franchisees.”

Open exclusively to CFA franchise system members who have been franchising for three years or more, the CFA Awards of Excellence in Franchising competition includes four categories to enable franchise systems to be rated against their peers. Participating franchise systems were assessed on their performance in key areas, including franchisee relations, leadership, business planning, marketing, training and support, ongoing operations and communications.

Franchisees’ Choice Designation

In addition to the Franchise Excellence award, Home Instead Senior Care was also honoured by CFA as a recipient of the Franchisees’ Choice designation. The Franchisees’ Choice designees are CFA member franchise systems who voluntarily took part in an independently-administered survey. Franchisees were asked to assess their franchisor in key areas of the franchise business model, including the franchisee selection process; franchisee Information package; leadership; business planning and marketing; training and support; ongoing operations; and the relationship between the franchisor and franchisee. In order to qualify for this designation, a minimum of 10% of a brand’s franchisees must participate. In many cases, franchisee responses were significantly higher. This is the fourth year for the annual Franchisees’ Choice designation program.

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

CAREGivers are the Heart of our Organization

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SUSAN, CAREGiver of the Month

Susan is a natural born CAREGiver and she pays close attention to meeting the needs of her clients and following all aspects of the care plan. She takes the lead by ensuring the family and Home Instead is aware of any  relevant concerns with her clients or about any suggestions to the care plan that would benefit them. Susan is a very caring and compassionate caregiver who devotes her time by sharing her heart. She takes her job very seriously and is always wanting to learn new things. Susan recently completed our extensive Cares Program, where she learned more skills to help support our clients and their families who are dealing with Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia. Congratulations Susan on your great success and keep up the good work!

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



Social Work Week 2014

Social Work Week 2014

The word “champion” as defined by the Concise Oxford Dictionary has a number of meanings, but is best captured as referring to a “person who fights, argues, etc. for another person or cause”.  March 3rd to the 9th celebrates Social Work Week and this year’s theme is appropriately “Social Workers: Champions of Positive Change”.

Their focus is in positive change, rooted in practical problem-solving expertise. Recognizing that people are experts about their own lives, and that the changes they are seeking may take many forms, social workers help people find solutions that are tailored to meet their unique needs and concerns.

Social Work Week provides an opportunity each year for social workers to promote and celebrate their profession and the life-changing work that they champion in every community.

As social workers in Ontario prepare for Social Work Week 2014, OASW encourages you to reflect on the ways you and/or your agency/organization champion positive change and make a difference in the lives of the client populations you serve identify ways to tell this story, and let others know that when client groups need help, social work interventions can provide a catalyst for positive change.

This week, celebrate with Home Instead Senior Care the positive changes that Social Workers make in our communities!

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

Valuable New Year’s Resolutions for Caregivers

Valuable New Year's Resolutions for Caregivers

Every year, we all make well-intended, but short-lived New Year’s resolutions. It’s not uncommon to hear of people “committing to” regular exercise, quitting smoking, or getting more organized.

Caregivers, however, can get so wrapped up in their demanding role, that they neglect their own well-being.  As much as many resolutions appear “lip-service” the New Year may be a good time for caregivers to take a step back, gain some perspective and determine changes to their routine that can help them stay strong and energized in the New Year.

While most resolutions usually only last through perhaps the first week in January, print out this list and post it on your refrigerator door as a daily reminder that your role as caregiver can only be done by taking care of yourself first.

  • Take time out of every day to care yourself so you can go on caring for your senior.
  • Enjoy and embrace the quality moments with your senior.
  • Try to find a way to laugh or find humor in the day amidst any sadness or discouragement you may feel.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for — or even demand — help.  Reach out to family and friends to help with your loved one so that the weight of my responsibility can be lifted and shared.
  • Know that you’re not alone, even though at times you feel lonely.
  • Maintain a proper balance between your family, work and caregiving lives.
  • Remember that your loved one’s condition may become worse,  but it’s not your fault.
  • Stay positive – you are making a difference!

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

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

Keeping Seniors Safe from Winter’s Elements

Keeping Seniors Safe from Winter's Elements

As the holidays closely approach it may be “Winter Wonderland” outdoors, but the season’s elements pose unique challenges to people of all ages; especially true for older adults. Everything from cold weather to slippery walkways can be dangerous, and sometimes it’s up to caregivers to take steps to help older adults stay safe.

The most significant danger facing seniors in the winter is hypothermia, as slower circulation and metabolism, make them are more susceptible. Caregivers should make a point to always have the thermostat set 65 degrees or above.   When outdoors, prevent heat loss by having them dressed in a warm hat, scarf, and mittens or gloves. Choose a good pair of winter boots for warmth and stability.  Caregivers that help senior clients with personal care should pay special to the skin, as cold outdoor conditions and dry indoor air can cause chapping and irritation.

Once the snow and ice arrive, make sure your walking surfaces are safe.  Keep entranceways and sidewalks clear of ice and snow.  If necessary, contact your local home support agency or other community services for help with snow removal, transportation and grocery bus services.  A caregiver can also bring in the mail and newspaper, and perform any other outdoor tasks that might be unsafe in slippery conditions.

A cane can help with balance; have it fitted to the right height.  When a cane is held upside down, the end should be at wrist level.  It may also be good idea to attach an ice pick at the end.  Another good idea is the use of a hip protector (a lightweight belt or pant with shields to guard the hips). It can help protect the hips against fractures and give added confidence.

Seasonal depression strikes many people during the winter, and that includes seniors.  When family members can’t be there to help elderly relatives, it’s important to have a backup. For many families, in-home care provides the extra measure of security to keep loved ones safe and comfortable, no matter what weather conditions exist.  Companionship care is crucial during most times of the year, but when the weather turns cold and the days become shorter, helping keep homebound seniors active is of the utmost importance.

With winter safety, as with most other concerns for healthy aging in place, there’s no substitute for preparation.  With just a little bit of extra attention, you can help ensure a worry-free winter for both of you.  The Canada Safety Council can offer seniors further suggestions to help stay active yet safe in winter.

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

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

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MPP Charles Sousa Announces Improved Access to Home and Community Care

MPP Charles Sousa Announces Improved Access to Home and Community Care

“I’m pleased that this funding will help more seniors in Mississauga Halton get the care they need at the right time and in the right place. This means better access to quality and timely care for our patients closer to home.”
– MPP Charles Sousa, Mississauga South

NEWS:  Seniors and residents in Mississauga are receiving better access to home care and community supports to help them live independently and stay at home longer, Charles Sousa, MPP Mississauga South announced today.

The Ontario Liberal government is providing nearly $16 million to support home care for more seniors and for expanded community health care services, including mental health supports, in the Mississauga Halton Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).

This investment will support programs that reduce unnecessary emergency room and hospital readmissions.  Improving access to home care and community supports is a key priority of Ontario’s Action Plan for Health Care and helps to provide the right care, at the right time, in the right place. This is part of the Ontario Liberal government’s economic plan to invest in people, invest in infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

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