Archive | March, 2013

Tales from the Fresh Side of the Sandwich: A Very Good Friday

29 Mar

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Yesterday was devoted to death and taxes. Today was about fun with the son. We went to the park, rode bikes, and I even helped him build a 3D dinosaur.

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Need to Hire a Private Caregiver But Don’t Know Where to Start?

28 Mar

Does your loved one need a private caregiver? Are you at a loss about how to hire a caregiver or what questions to ask of a potential candidate?

If you need to hire a caregiver for someone with dementia ,you can hire through a reputable agency that will screen candidates for you. Or you can get a referral from someone you know well. Regardless, interview the caregiver and make sure he or she is a correct fit for your loved one’s needs and personality.  Also, check references carefully. And get more than one reference. Do not rely on written references. And take the time to run a police check on anyone you are seriously thinking about hiring.

FREE WEBINAR ON HIRING CAREGIVERS

American Society on Aging

The American Society on Aging (ASA) also offers webinars that are extremely helpful for anyone dealing with issues relating to aging. Many of them are free. On Thursday, April 4,  they have afree one-hour webinar devoted specifically to hiring caregivers. The speaker will be Sherwin Sheik, founder of CareLinx. According the the ASA web site, participants in this web seminar will be able to:

  • Describe the four most important points families need to consider when hiring a private duty caregiver
  • List the four most important topics to cover in the interview and screening process.
  • Identify eight points of compatibility for a caregiver in order to ensure a safe and happy environment

You can learn more about this or other ASA webinars  here and register here.

 

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Balancing Work, Childcare, & Eldercare, A New Study on Canada’s Current Sandwich Generation

27 Mar

I am a boomer. Albeit a late-end boomer, but a boomer still.  Advances in birth control gave us the ability to delay marriage and children. And we established greater than ever participation (62% as per the 2006 Canada Census) of women in the workforce.  We’re living longer than ever and so are our parents. The result is an increasing number of Canadians simultaneously caring for young children and elderly relatives while holding down full-time jobs.

We are the sandwich generation. Ours is a world of trying to balance paid work, parenting, and caring for chronically ill parents. We’re almost always tired. We’re prone to being cranky. If able to hold down a job too, we’re prone to making mistakes and more likely than our colleagues to turn down promotions. Those who can swing it financially are leaving their jobs, draining the workforce of highly educated, experienced professionals. But we are stretched already.  And when we start hitting our 80s, someone is going to have to take care of us. Continue reading

Open the Windows & Pass the Gefilte Fish

25 Mar

Why is this day different than all other days? Because on this day, I am playing the role of the dutiful daughter.

A Seder table setting

A Seder table setting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When I think of Passovers past, I have many wonderful memories of Passover seders spent sitting around the dining room table with much loved family members who aren’t here anymore. I was the youngest child in the family and to this day I can sing the four questions in Hebrew by memory. And I can still belt out a mean Dayenu! Continue reading

Insights Into Aging 101

22 Mar

Insights into Aging 101. Register now!

Residents of Toronto are fortunate to have Baycrest, a world leader in aging and brain health. Its “Insights Into Aging 101” is a one of a kind program for anyone who wants to learn more about the aging process.  Held annually,it will run on Thursday evenings between May 2 and June 6. These classes are very popular and fill up quickly.  Baycrest – Education at Baycrest – Insights Into Aging 101.

If you don’t live in Toronto, but you do live near a major city, it’s possible your local Alzheimer Society or health center offers classes or support groups for people who want to learn more about the aging process.

Pre-Schoolers and Old People

20 Mar

I have spent the better part of the last five years dealing with the world of dementia and elder care. And when I started down this path, it was with a pre-school-age child in tow. Before my uncle and my mother became ill, I would have thought there could not be any two more disparate groups of individuals than young children and seniors with dementia. I was so wrong. Little kids and people with dementia actually have a lot in common. Neither are burdened by inhibition or complex thought processes. And while both are prone to tantrums and frustration, it can take very little to get a smile out of either.
Continue reading

The New Sandwich Generation

18 Mar

I know of a woman who lived in a nursing home here in Toronto. This woman was 106 and had dementia. Her adult daughter come to feed her mother lunch and dinner every day for almost 20 years. One day, the visits stopped and the daughter was never seen at the home again. She was simply too tired to continue her daily routine.  The daughter was 88.

The label “sandwich generation” may be relatively new, but the concept of families caring for young children and aging parents at the same time has been around for centuries. What sets this sandwich generation apart is it is  the first generation in which a large majority of women work full-time outside the home. This is significant because women are far more likely than men to assume care giving responsibilities. Also noteworthy is our parents have a much higher life expectancy than their parents. And with advanced age comes the likelihood of more complicated health issues.

Continue reading

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