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Why Elder Care Should Matter to You Too

24 Aug

I’m committed to finding ways to advocate for aging populations. And while I’ve been lax with original content for this space, I have been dutifully keeping up with the latest in issues relating to seniors, aging, dementia and elder care. I do so by reading as much as I can on these subjects whenever I can steal a moment.

With a rapidly aging global population and the likelihood of more individuals than ever before being afflicted with dementia,there seems to be a new study or report released every day. Many of these studies are from  highly reputable institutions. Others are from businesses looking to profit off the coming “grey tsunami” .
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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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My Little Black Book

17 Jul

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If someone you love is living in a long term care home, chances are you have a version of my little black book. I have another one for my mother, but I kept this one next to my bedside phone so I could scribble down notes for the many calls I took relating to my uncle.

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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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A Unique Sandwich Generation Conflict: Nursing Home or Private School Tour

10 Apr

Is this the Ultimate Midlife-Parenthood, Sandwich Generation Dilemma?

The  all-too-frequent question of whether to send the children to public school or private school  is often a major issue in many households.  But midlife-first-time parents are just as likely to be debating whether they have time for a private school tour or a nursing home tour.  That’s the dilemma I’m currently facing.  I just learned  that tours of a long term care home which might be suitable for my mother are only held on the same day and time this week as a tour I am supposed to take of a potential school for my son.

So which would you choose — nursing home tour for elderly parent or private school tour for a young child with learning differences?

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