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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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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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Every Day Should Be World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

15 Jun

Saturday, June 15th is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.  Here in Ontario, the Seniors Secretariat is asking everyone to wear something purple today to raise awareness. I’m not convinced anyone is going to connect wearing purple with this important issue. So wear whatever color you want. Instead, check up on the seniors in your life.  And if a situation gives you reason for concern about potential elder abuse, do something about it before the situation gets out of hand and take action.

Elder Abuse is far too real. Of the 1.5 million seniors living in Ontario, research from the  Ontario Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse,  indicates four to ten percent (60,000-150,000) have experienced or are experiencing abuse of some kind. Hardly surprising, financial fraud is the most common form of elder abuse.

Seniors Crisis Lines exist in most metropolitan areas. If you live in Toronto and have concerns about a senior, the number is 416-619-5001. In Ontario the Seniors Safety Line can be reached by calling 2-1-1 or 1-866-299-1011. The line is manned 24/7 and the staff is able to provide service in 150 languages.

ADLs & IADLs

1 Jun

If you have an elderly person in your life, you’re going to hear a lot about ADLs and IADLs.

Basically they are all the things we do for ourselves every day that we take for granted.

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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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More on Montessori for Seniors

20 Mar

In my earlier post today about the similarities between people with dementia and very young children, I briefly mentioned Montessori methods as being good for both age groups. The following video shows how one retirement home in Toronto uses Montessori techniques as part of its dementia care programming.

When my son was two, he was given the same clothes pin exercise while attending a Montessori. It helped with his fine motor skills

The L’Chaim Retirement Home is on Sheppard Ave. west of Bathurst St. I’m not familiar with it, but might have to check it out for my mother.

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