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Posts Tagged ‘elder care Toronto’

Signs of Stroke

Monday, January 11th, 2010

Signs of Stroke


Not all strokes are catastrophic and immediately obvious. Many minor strokes hit without seniors or their caretakers immediately noticing. The longer it takes to recognize that a stroke has occurred, the more damage will be done to the brain, making recovery time longer and certain stroke side-effects potentially permanent.

Here are six signs to look for that indicate a stroke has occurred: (more…)

Being Prepared for Long Term Care in Toronto, Ontario and Surrounding Areas

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Being Prepared for Long Term Care in Toronto, Ontario and Surrounding Areas

One of the best things that baby boomers in their late fifties and early sixties can do is plan for their own long term care while they still can. Anyone who has cared for their own seventy-something, eight-something, or ninety-something parents can testify to the fact that as Canadians live longer, their long term care needs also increase.

Some of the questions baby boomers planning for their twilight years should ask themselves include: (more…)

I Live in the Sandwich Generation; HELP!

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

Caregiver Support   Toronto, Ontario

Ontario’s life expectancy at the moment is 75 – but it’s on the rise. According to most estimates, the number of Ontario citizens who will be 85 or older will more than double by 2020. While on the one hand it is wonderful that so many Ontario residents are living longer, the rising number of older Canadians also represents a toll on families and health care systems. After all, who is it who will be caring for all these elderly Ontario residents? In many cases, it’s the Sandwich Generation.

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Caregiver Support Toronto, Ontario

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009

Caregiver Support in Toronto

Those who are caring for an elderly relative know the kind of emotional and physical toll it can take. That’s why support groups for caregivers have sprouted up all over the Toronto area.

Support groups in Toronto fall into two basic categories. The first are moderated support groups, which feature various experts who come in to share information with members of the group. The second group are self-moderated groups, which are more traditional support groups that focus on caregivers supporting one another by sharing problems they have and solutions they have found.

Alzheimer Society of Toronto Support Groups

Here’s a list of a few of the support groups for caregivers in Toronto, offered by the Alzheimer Society of Toronto:

Early Onset Alzheimer’s – Family Support Group: Contact Xochil Amaya, Counsellor, at 416-322-6560. Pre-registration is required for this group.

Frontotemporal Dementia Family Support Group: Contact Nora McKellin, Counsellor, at 416-322-6560. Pre-registration is required for this group.

Lewy Body Family Support Group: Contact Desiree Jones, Counsellor, at 416-322-6560.

Vascular Dementia Family Support Group: Contact Caitlin Agla, Counsellor, at 416-322-6560.

Workshops for Caregivers at Family Service Toronto

In addition to support groups, such as those listed above, Family Service Toronto offers ongoing workshops to help caregivers learn how to help their elderly relatives or friends. These workshops are all free, but pre-registration is required. You can register by calling 416-595-9618. Here is a list of their upcoming workshops:

“Long Distance Caregiving”: Monday, October 19, 6pm – 8pm.
“Advocating for Your Relative”: Wednesday, November 18, 12pm – 2pm.
“Finding the Joy in Caregiving”: Thursday, December 3, 12pm – 2pm.

In addition to these workshops, Family Services also offers a Caregiver Discussion Group. The group meets on Monday per month from 6pm – 8pm. Again, the Discussion Group is free, but pre-registration is required.

Caregiver stress can interfere with your ability to offer care to your elderly loved one. Support groups and workshops like those listed above are great ways to reduce that stress, learn new coping strategies, and make connections with others in the same situation as yourself.

Elder Care In Toronto

Monday, September 21st, 2009

Canada’s population is aging. By 2056, a full quarter of the Canadian population will be over the age of 65. And already, between 2002 and 2007, the number of family and friends providing personal care to elders increased 670,000.

But caregivers pay an emotional and physical toll for providing care for elder relatives and friends. Increasingly, Canadians are looking for alternative ideas for long term senior and elder care.

In Toronto, new services such as Elder Care By Design are springing up to help families care for their elders. Elder Care By Design helps seniors do what they want to do most: live in their own home even as they age. Unlike other programs that help care for seniors at home, Elder Care By Design (and similar companies) is not a home health care company. Rather, it helps families coordinate and organize the many complex issues seniors have to navigate – health matters, legal matters, financial matters, etc. Staff members help seniors fix things up around their house, care for pets as seniors become unable to care for them, and educate seniors and their families about long term care issues.

Another company in the Toronto area providing similar services is called Caring Matters. Sherri Auger, a certified Elder Planning Counselor, founded Caring Matters after losing her mother and having to place her father into a long term care facility.

Caring Matters and Elder Care By Design are just two examples of Canadian companies seeking to provide an alternative to notoriously depressing long term care facilities.

Personal support workers (PSWs) are another option for long term care for seniors and elders in Toronto and elsewhere in Canada who want to stay at home. PSW care is also increasingly popular because it prevents elders from having to go to a nursing home or move in with their younger relatives.

But buyer beware: not all companies who provide personal support workers are credible. In Toronto, Health Minister David Caplan has come under attack for giving contracts to unscrupulous PSW companies for political reasons. Ironically, the criticism came from the PSW labor union itself, called the Service Employees International Union, which represents nearly 50,000 PSWs in the Toronto area.

The union is also concerned that not all PSWs are being properly trained to care for elders. According to the union, there is “no common definition of PSW work or what competencies a PSW should possess.”

Toronto residents who are aging or who have aging relatives should start planning now for how to provide long term care for their elders. Due to medical advancements, seniors are living longer than ever, so long term care is just that: long. It is possible that an elder could require at least some care from their relatives for 10, 15, or even 20 years. Given this, the earlier a family can plan for long term care, the better.

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