Health Emergencies

How to be ready when quick action makes all the difference.

Caring for Aging Parents: Are You Prepared?

Posted by on Apr 9, 2013 in Health Emergencies, Planning, Powers of Attorney | 0 comments

Originally published on June 24, 2011 at www.brighterlife.ca   When Iola Pryma was told she needed to have a lung biopsy to investigate the tumours a CT scan revealed, one of the first things she did was make her daughter, Kandis Pryma, her power of attorney for her finances. A 71-year-old widow, Pryma knew that in the event of a long recovery — or worse — she would feel much better checking into the hospital knowing that her finances were in order. This family was lucky. In their case, the parent was able to make this decision on her own and to guide her daughter through her financial...

Read More

Emergency Response…Or Crisis Mode?

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Health Emergencies | 0 comments

As family members age, it’s more and more likely that we’ll be faced with an “eldercare event” – a sudden, dramatic change in the status quo, usually related to health. Here are some common examples of what can happen: A frail older person, living alone, suffers a fall, a stroke, or a heart attack and is hospitalized. She must now leave the hospital but cannot safely live alone any more. A healthy spouse who cares for a frail senior dies suddenly. Family members are scattered throughout the country or live overseas. Your parent lives alone, several provinces away. Your last few phone...

Read More

Fall Prevention for Seniors

Posted by on Mar 1, 2011 in Health Emergencies | 0 comments

During the winter “slippery season”, it’s good to be aware of the leading cause of fatal injury among Canadian seniors – falls. Nearly two-thirds of injuries for which those over age 65 are hospitalized, and 40 percent of admissions to nursing homes originate with falls. While slippery conditions outside do pose risks, most falls occur in the home – particularly on stairways and in bathrooms. Fall prevention tips are available from your local health authority. Many communities also offer fall prevention education as part of their seniors’ programs. Vol.1, No.1; © ElderWise...

Read More

A Surprise Call From The Hospital

Posted by on Feb 23, 2011 in Health Care Team and System, Health Emergencies, Powers of Attorney | 0 comments

John’s aging parent,  Mary, 90, lives in another province. One day, he gets the call he has long dreaded: his mother has fallen, broken her wrist, and has been taken by ambulance to the hospital.  She has had surgery and her arm is in a cast. Is she ready to go home? Not so fast.  John is told that his mother is showing signs of mild cognitive impairment and that the discharge planner wants an assessment. John must call the doctor for more information. John manages to talk to the doctor later that day. He learns that Mary is doing very well physically, but the doctor is concerned about the...

Read More

Heat Stroke

Posted by on Sep 16, 2010 in Health Emergencies | 0 comments

Summertime brings the benefits of fresh air and sunshine, but hot, sunny days pose a risk of heat stroke, particularly for seniors.  What is heat stroke? Heat stroke occurs when the body can not regulate its temperature. It can develop quickly; internal body temperature can rise as high as 106 degrees in as little as 10 to fifteen minutes. Heat stroke can lead to brain damage and even death. Why are seniors at greater risk of developing heat stroke? As the body ages, sweat glands which help cool the body become less efficient.  Blood vessels carry less blood to the skin. The skin itself goes...

Read More

Seniors in the Emergency Room

Posted by on Sep 9, 2010 in Health Emergencies | 0 comments

  Each year in Canada, thousands of seniors arrive at a hospital emergency department (ER) – either by ambulance or accompanied by adult children. Many will make more than one visit within the year. About 50% of patients coming to the ER are over 65 years of age. The major reasons that older adults are taken to the ER include: falls; stroke; heart attack; infections; and delirium (acute confusion). For your parent, it may be more a matter of “when” rather than “if” this happens, so being prepared – with the right information and expectations – is...

Read More