Posts Tagged "home"

Avoiding Danger @ Home

Posted by on May 15, 2012 in Safety Concerns | 0 comments

Safety, including safety in and around our homes, becomes more top-of-mind as we age. Why be concerned? As we grow older, we gradually lose some of our physical strength and mobility. Reflexes may slow, affecting the speed with which we can react to dangerous situations. While some of our cognitive functions actually improve as we get older, others start to slow or decline. This may start happening as early as in our mid-50’s – even for otherwise healthy people! Our home is a good place to start when evaluating our overall safety. Performing a home “safety audit” is a first step to identifying potential hazards and reducing risks for the elderly, including injuries, as well as fraud and other crimes.  Home modifications may allow seniors to stay at home longer, but also reduce the risk of falls and other injuries. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) offers a wealth of information on home renovations, as well as grants available to qualified seniors: http://www.cmhc-schl.gc.ca/en/co/maho/adse/masein/index.cfm Outdoor home improvements can do double duty, increasing your safety at the same time as providing improved security against break-ins and robberies. Consult the CMHC link above and/or your local police service for information for all homeowners, whether at home or while travelling. Uninvited visitors are in a position to prey on a homeowner’s loneliness, politeness and/or desire to help someone. Basic protection includes installing a peephole and chain on doors. Utilities service personnel typically do not need access to your home, especially without advance notice. Don’t let any one in unless you have initiated a service call. Even then, ask for identification. Never allow uninvited visitors in. If they need to make a phone call offer to make it for them. If they have an emergency, offer to call police or an ambulance for them. Door-to-door marketing can involve a homeowner in a high pressure situation. Do not give out personal information; you can request the visitor leave information in your mailbox for you to review. You are NOT obligated to open your door to any uninvited visitor. For more information on fraud prevention, go to http://www.competitionbureau.gc.ca/eic/site/cb-bc.nsf/eng/h_00122.html A safe place to call home includes feeling safe in our neighborhood. For safety outside the home, basic guidelines apply, whatever our age. Be aware of your surroundings and know that a frail-looking older person can appear an easier target for purse-snatching or mugging. Choose well-travelled, well-lit areas and shopping or take outings with companions to reduce safety risks. Keep money and ID cards well protected (e.g., in an inside jacket pocket rather than in a dangling purse). Change your banking and shopping routines from time to time.  When out and about, know when vanity may be affecting your safety. In addition to “sensible shoe” choices, you can use mobility aids such as a well-fitted cane or walker to help you avoid serious injury. For additional reading, consult these recent ElderWise articles: Tips for Staying At Home…Safely Beware of “Helping’ Strangers – Especially Visitors in Pairs: A true story from an ElderWise subscriber Choosing – and using – Walking Canes and Walkers (2 separate articles)   © ElderWise Inc. 2012 You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO article, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise Inc. We provide clear, concise and practical direction to Canadians with aging parents. Visit us at http://elderwise.memwebs.com/ and subscribe to our FREE e-newsletter.  ...

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Experts Help Elderly Stay Home – Or Move

Posted by on Sep 8, 2010 in Living Arrangements | 0 comments

Many elderly parents want to avoid moving to a care home, and prefer to stay in their own homes as long as possible. The unfortunate reality is that health, mobility and safety issues can make this impossible. Other seniors feel the burden of “too much house”, but may find the thought of moving on overwhelming, both physically and emotionally. Help is at hand in all of these situations. For older persons who need more support to stay at home, a growing number of private service providers can help with personal care, errands, and home maintenance. Senior move specialists can help with the many tasks of downsizing and changing your address. Many professionals and businesses are adding “senior” or “mature client” training and industry accreditation to their capabilities. The real estate industry is one of these, offering realtors the opportunity to earn designation as a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES)®. Realtors with this designation receive formal training focused on the 55-plus population, their needs and priorities, and the housing options available to them. “There’s more to it than just pricing your home,” says Marilyn Moldowan, a Calgary realtor and former home care nurse with more than 20 years real estate experience. “Whether you’re being proactive and planning ahead, or you’re in a time crunch, your realtor needs to understand what a move means to a senior and their family. My experience is that, yes, moves can be completed within a couple of months, but some transitions can also take several years – depending on the family and the elder.”  As with any professional advisor, it’s important that you feel at ease, and that your concerns are heard and understood. You should feel comfortable with the realtor’s relevant experience, market knowledge, references and reputation. After that, you can starting talking about numbers. “Once we decide to work together, one of the first things we assess is your home’s current market price. Many people don’t realize that their tax assessment may not reflect what their home’s sale price might be,” says Moldowan. Your home’s value, especially there is no mortgage, may be a major determinant of the future lifestyle you can afford. This applies whether you rent in a retirement residence or simply want to move to a condominium property where maintenance is looked after by someone else. Once you know what you can afford and have assessed your physical, social and other needs, you can begin exploring the wide array of options for independent living. Health issues may mean that independent or assisted living is no longer suitable. If so, it’s important to become familiar, as soon as possible, with publicly-supported care home options…even if it’s “just-in-case”. For a senior, moving before you are ready can be as disastrous as waiting too long. But the same doesn’t apply to planning a future move from your home. With adequate planning and fact-finding time, you can discover the many options open to you. That lets you adjust and adapt gradually as your needs and capabilities change. Vol. 6, No. 6, © ElderWise Inc., 2010 You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO article, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise, Canada’s go-to place for “age-smart” planning. Visit us at http://elderwise.memwebs.com/ and subscribe to our FREE...

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Home Care for Canada’s Elderly

Posted by on Sep 8, 2010 in Caregiving, Health Care Team and System | 0 comments

What is Home Care? Home care helps elderly people remain in their own homes, helps reduce hospital admissions, and may allow earlier discharge from hospitals. Home care is appropriate if you need help from registered nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and social workers, or if you need personal care provided by home health aides.   Who provides Home Care? Both public and private sectors offer home and community care services.  Public services are funded and managed by the local health authority. Eligibility depends on a professional’s assessment of your specific needs, your existing supports, and local community resources. Many people are surprised when they learn that public funding for home care is available for limited hours and only for very specific types of support.  That’s where private home care providers can help, with a variety of services, from personal care to visiting and companionship, from housekeeping to help with transportation.  Some are non-profit organizations; others are businesses. Expect variety in types of services offered, staff qualifications, and costs.  Seniors who want to stay in their home often mix different types of services, both public and private. When home care is no longer a viable option, you need to understand higher levels of care available for the elderly. Care homes, including assisted living and long term care, exist to serve different levels of care. Further reading: Long Term Care Planning Long Term Care Terminology  Understanding “Assisted Living” Vol.3, No.11 © ElderWise Inc. 2007-2011. You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO article, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise Publishing, a division of ElderWise Inc. We provide clear, concise and practical direction to Canadians with aging parents. Visit us at http://elderwise.memwebs.com/ and subscribe to our FREE e-newsletter.      ...

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Action for Common Aging Concerns

Posted by on Sep 7, 2010 in Caregiving, Health Signals, Planning | 0 comments

In previous newsletters, we showed how you can approach sensitive topics during holiday visits with aging parents. During the visit you may have noticed new areas of concern, or old problems that are calling for action. Now, you may feel anxiety or uncertainty about what to do next. Taking that first step, no matter how small, creates momentum towards positive change. Here are some first steps for common concerns: 1. Health Changes in physical or mental health are usually at the root of all other challenges facing your aging parents.  Many factors combine to keep seniors healthy. Among the most important are good medical care, proper exercise and nutrition, and a sense of purpose and belonging. A good first step is to become more informed about your parent’s health. Educate yourself about normal aging, and learn more about their chronic health conditions. With your parents’ permission, talk with their family doctor about your concerns. 2. Hygiene Personal care may slip when a senior’s eyesight, physical energy, or state of mind are affected. First, gently point out some physical evidence (e.g., stained clothing) and share your concern. Encourage your parent to get a physical check-up and/or an eye exam.  3. Housekeeping Loss of strength or mobility can make household chores more difficult. Start a conversation about getting more help – either from other family members, or by hiring someone. Some seniors are reluctant to ask for help or to invite “strangers” into their homes. Suggest that help with household duties may mean that your parents stay in their own home a little longer. 4. Hazards Safety hazards at home increase when health and strength start to fail. Here are some simple adaptations that make life safer: rearrange cupboards to easily reach things, install grab bars in the bathroom, remove loose scatter rugs, and add brighter lighting, especially over stairways. You can also look into personal emergency response systems. Worn on the wrist or as a pendant, they enable your parent to call for emergency help when they cannot reach a telephone. Initiating some of these changes may require a “community” effort. That can mean recruiting help from other family members, friends, neighbours and/or getting outside help – private or public. In larger towns and cities, families can call on their local seniors’ resource centre for more information on support programs. In rural areas, churches and other members of the community traditionally step up to help neighbours. Concerned families can also ask for an assessment of the senior by their local health authority, to see whether their family member (who must consent to the assessment) qualifies for public assistance. Vol. 5, No. 1 © ElderWise Publishing 2009. You have permission to reprint this or any other ElderWise INFO article, provided you reproduce it in its entirety, acknowledge our copyright, and include the following statement: Originally published by ElderWise, Canada’s go-to place for “age-smart” planning. Visit us at http://elderwise.memwebs.com/ and subscribe to our FREE...

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