Geriatric Care: When Should You Consider it for Your Loved One

If your parents are aging, you may already be familiar with many aspects of geriatric care. Like many other adult children with elderly parents, you’ll want to optimize their ability to function independently, and that may involve accessing many support services. One of the most important of these services can be Home Care.

Does Your Parent Need Home Care?

Seniors are notoriously resistant to the suggestion that they may need help. In addition, some of them are very clever at hiding the fact that they aren’t managing well. Here are some signs that an elderly person may need the help of a personal support worker (PSW):

  • Hygiene. If the senior’s personal hygiene is sub-par, it’s possible that he or she needs help with bathing, grooming, or dressing.
  • Untidy home. Sometimes household tasks like washing the floor or doing the laundry become unmanageable for seniors.
  • Recent hospital stay. If your senior has recently come home from the hospital and is not yet fully recovered, it’s probable he/she needs someone to help out.
  • Deficits. Loss of short-term memory, or impairments of sight or hearing can be devastating, and can affect a senior’s ability to function properly.
  • Complex medication. If your senior takes multiple medications, he/she may need someone to help organize and administer them, or to monitor blood sugar/blood pressure or provide wound care.
  • Poor nutrition. Many seniors are unable or unwilling to cook balanced meals, and this can lead to serious health problems.
  • Family stress. If a parent is demanding too much from family members, it can impact relationships and careers.

A trained and experienced PSW providing home care can make a huge difference to the life of a struggling senior. With regular support, many seniors can continue to live independent lives.

Home Care Agencies

Some home care agencies offer a limited number of hours, or a limited list of services. Many send a rotating roster of personnel, which can be confusing or frustrating for seniors. Some organizations don’t require employees to have any formal training, or hire inexperienced workers. Before selecting a PSW for your parent, research agencies that offer experience in elderly care and make sure you choose well. Finding a capable, experienced caregiver who will support your parent over the course of several years can improve your family’s quality of life immeasurably.

Some of the hallmarks of a good agency are:

  • Qualifications. Personnel are skilled, certified, and experienced. They have insurance, have been carefully screened, and are paid fairly.
  • Flexibility. Schedules can be adjusted; workers can go to homes, hospitals, or nursing homes, and help is available 24/7.
  • Services. Workers will help with medication and can provide personal care such as bathing and grooming, will perform housekeeping tasks like vacuuming, doing dishes, preparing meals when requested, and will provide companionship.
  • Choice. Home care agencies will often have PSWs available who speak various languages and understand various cultures.

Finding the right PSW gives your elderly loved one the gift of continued independence, and brings you peace of mind. If you’re interested in finding home care for your elderly loved one, contact Living Assistance Services today at 1-855-483-2273. Our qualified staff is available 24/7 to answer your questions.

 

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care

 

Home Care In Toronto: Why You Should Consider a Caregiver

Access to home care varies across Canada, but fortunately for the Greater Toronto Area there are a wide variety of options available for residents looking for elderly care in Toronto. There are many reasons why you or a family member might want to consider hiring a caregiver or personal support worker (PSW), including:

  • Recent hospital stay. An operation, an accident, or an illness can leave you feeling under the weather. If a family member needs assistance to manage household tasks or to care for him/herself after a hospital stay, a PSW can be a huge help.
  • Progressive illness. Conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s can have unpredictable progressions. You many need home care for a family member before he/she takes up residence in a retirement home.
  • Respite. If a member of the family has to be closely supervised due to a condition such as autism, you may need respite. A PSW can provide regular relief for family caregivers.
  • Palliative care. If a family member is facing a terminal illness, he/she may want to stay at home as long as possible. A PSW can help to keep the client comfortable and provide companionship during this most difficult time.
Accessing Information About Home Healthcare

General information about home care can be found on the CCAC website, or on the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Health website.

Basically, home healthcare can be divided into four areas:

  1. Personal Care: Includes such services as bathing, eating, dressing, and toileting.
  2. Household Care: Includes cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, and other housekeeping tasks.
  3. Health Care: Includes medication management, taking the client to physician’s appointments, physical therapy, monitoring blood sugar/blood pressure, wound care, etc. Usually an RN will supervise this activity.
  4. Emotional Care: Includes companionship, engaging the client in meaningful activities, and conversation.

Some agencies provide home care and PSWs who can perform a variety of tasks while others are limited in terms of how many hours can be provided and what tasks can be performed.

Hallmarks of a Premium Home Healthcare Agency

Excellent home care agencies share certain characteristics. Flexibility is a key attribute; good agencies understand that your family’s needs evolve over time, and that making adjustments to the schedule may be necessary on a weekly basis. Better agencies offer 24/7 service and will provide support at home, in the hospital, or even in nursing homes.

Another hallmark is choice. Rather than assigning whichever home care worker has time, premium agencies place value on finding a PSW who matches your family’s needs. You may have the opportunity to interview several candidates and choose the one you feel is the best fit. Considerations such as shared values, culture, language, or interests may be part of this selection process.

Choose an agency that screens its employees very carefully. Your PSW should have a certificate from a college training program and at least a year of experience in the field. He or she should have undergone a rigorous screening process and be insured. As well, workers should earn a fair wage.

Research your home care options today. A good caregiver can provide independence, companionship, and support which can immeasurably enrich your family’s quality of life.

 

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care