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Watch Out for Well-Attired Caregivers

21 Jul

Sadly, elder abuse is far more common than most of us realize. It’s certainly not an unfamiliar concept to me. Both my mother and my late uncle were victimized by paid caregivers.

A few years ago,  my brother and I were given three hours notice that my mother was to be released from hospital but would require around-the-clock care for several months. We didn’t have a clue how to hire a care giver. All we knew was my mother really wanted to go home and the hospital wanted its bed back.  Lorna was the only applicant I spoke with and I hired her immediately. She seemed trustworthy and competent. And she was immediately available.

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Tribute to an Excellent Caregiver: Yes They Really Do Exist

18 Jul

Having written about Lorna, one of two caregivers I had to fire for cause, I think it’s only fair I devote time to Lea, the best PSW I hired. In case you’re curious, between my uncle and my mother, there were nine.

Lea was my Uncle Benny’s caregiver during the last years of his life. She was hired after I let four others go when he moved into Cummer Lodge, a long-term care home.  I didn’t think he would need private caregivers in a nursing home, but I was very wrong.  After two weeks of daily calls about frequent falls and aggressive behavior, it was  becoming clear my uncle wasn’t getting as much care as he needed. But by then the people I let go had all found new jobs.

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Do New Increases to Long-Term Care Home Fees Set Up Two-Tier System?

8 Jul

As they do every year on the same date, fees for subsidized long term care (nursing) homes in Ontario went up on July 1st. Also of note is that lower-income Ontarians, or those who did not save adequate amounts for their advanced senior years, may find themselves having to settle for older, possibly second-rate accommodations than their better-heeled counterparts.

The co-payment residents pay for accommodation in long term care (LTC) homes was increased just slightly to meet the rising costs of meals and accommodation.  The maximum charges also increased for residents admitted to “newer preferred accommodation beds”  on or after July 1st. “Preferred accommodation bed” is government speak for “nicer newer nursing homes”.  The premium charged for semi-private accommodation will increase by $1.00 from $9.00 to $10.00 a day. And the premium for private rooms will go up by $1.75 from $19.75 to $21.50 per day. If you want to know if higher rates apply to a specific home, click here for more information.

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How Long is Too Long to Have to Wait for Subsidized Long Term Care?

20 Jun

According to Central Toronto CCAC, the nursing home my mother most wants to go to is still filling applications from 2003-04. Yes, that’s right. The wait time for Baycrest’s Apotex Centre Jewish Home for the Aged is TEN YEARS! Sad to say, but with all my mother’s ailments, she has a better chance of landing a spot in a cemetery than she does a bed in the place most-likely to meet her cultural and spiritual needs.

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Does the CCAC Really Work for You?

22 Apr

If you live in Ontario and are responsible for overseeing the personal affairs of an aging relative, chances are you’re already familiar with the CCAC.

The CCAC received $2 billion from the province in 2012 which amounts to slightly less than 4.6 per cent of Ontario’s total health care spending. It is a centralized body created to connect individuals with health care services, some of which are subsidized and some of which are not.  The acronym stands for Community Care Access Centre.  Although CCAC exists to coordinate health-related services for all Ontarians, almost half of its clients are over 65.

If you were to read the CCAC website, you might think it is a wonderful organization staffed by highly qualified individuals who are committed to making the life of every Ontario citizen that much better.  I’m sure there are some excellent professionals employed by CCAC . I am just not convinced there are enough of them, or enough services, to properly meet the needs of an already increasingly aging population. Additionally, I find it alarming that postings for CCAC case managers ask for only one year of work experience.

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Video

The End of the Line?

28 Jun

This video may just make you rethink aging, or at the very least the meaning of “the end of the line”. It was shot at the Terrace Lodge LTC in Alymer, Ontario. Please let me know your thoughts.

Progress

15 May

So we showed my mother the nursing home for which after 21 months she had finally come to the top of the waiting list. And she said NO! Eventually she agreed. But her change of heart came only after many harsh words were hurled in all directions and cooler heads were called in for support.  There is no doubt change is especially difficult for the elderly. However, anyone who knows my mother can confirm she has been difficult to deal with long before tangles and plaques started making a home in her brain. The dementia has only added another element of diffculty.

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