Going solo – you don’t have to

Your spouse has died, your children live far away, and most of your close friends are already in assisted living facilities. This is the reality for many seniors who want to continue to live at home but find themselves alone and wondering how they will manage.

Many people who get to this stage think that moving out of their home and into an assisted living community or with family is the only option, but that doesn’t have to be the case. We can help!

Hiring a Caregiver is Not a Sign of Inability

Hiring in-home care can actually enhance your life and help you live independently longer. It’s not in any way a sign of defeat or a person’s inability to do things, but rather a conscious choice to continue to live life on your terms.

An in-home caregiver can provide home health care services, if needed, but they can also be hired to help you simplify chores. Hiring a caregiver just 4 hours per day, twice per week can help keep your home organized and easier to manage. It’s a way to stay on top of chores and errands so that you can focus on other things.

It’s a common misconception that in-home care services are for people with extensive health or mobility issues. The truth is that in-home care services encompass a broad range of services and tasks designed to give you as much or as little help as you need.

Some of the things that an in-home caregiver can help you with include:

  • Housekeeping
  • Shopping
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Errands
  • Transportation to and from appointments

Hiring a professional to help you with these things doesn’t make you a failure—it makes you a better planner and keeps you in control of your life and independence. Speaking of planning, these services can be modified to help you navigate any bumps in the road, such as an injury or illness. This gives the added peace of mind of having extra help should you need it.

In-home care is help on your terms, based on your needs so that you can live life your way.

David Porter, CPCA
Director

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care

Stroke – Effects, Limitations, and After-Care

More than 62,000 strokes occur in Canada each year and approximately 405,000 people in the country are living with the effects of stroke, according to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada.

A stroke happens when blood flow to any part of the brain is stopped. Strokes can range in size and the effects depend on the extent of the damage and the part of the brain affected.

The risk of stroke increases significantly after the age of 55. Other risk factors include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • Atrial fibrillation (Afib)
  • Smoking
  • Obesity

Limitations Immediately After a Stroke

A stroke can affect various parts of your body and cause a number of limitations, some temporary and others permanent. It often affects your physical, emotional, and cognitive functioning and limits your ability to do many things, including daily tasks that were once easy.

Some of the limitations that are common right after a stroke include:

  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Trouble communicating
  • Trouble walking due to foot drop, muscle weakness in the leg and foot, or paralysis
  • Trouble using an arm or hand because of paralysis or muscle weakness
  • Difficulty controlling your bladder and bowels
  • Inability to drive

Fortunately, many of these things improve with time rehabilitation. In the meantime, the effects of a stroke can affect your ability to live independently.

Type of care required

The limitations placed on a person following a stroke can be difficult to accept and cause frustration, anger, and even depression. It’s important to remember that things will improve. Getting the right type of care after a stroke can make these challenges easier to manage so that the patient can focus on their recovery.

Rehabilitation is the first step and its goal is to get a person back to living as independently as possible. This may take some time, but rehabilitation can help a person learn new skills or relearn old ones, and also includes learning to adapt to any new limitations caused by stroke.

Getting back to your community and living as normally as possible is a key component of stroke after-care, so getting in-home help, whether through the help of family, a professional home care agency, or a combination of both is important.

Some of the care required after stroke may include:

  • Personal care, such as bathing, dressing, and other grooming and hygiene
  • Meal planning and preparation
  • Medication administration and management
  • Help making and keeping the environment safe and free of obstacles
  • Housekeeping
  • Escorting to and from physical therapy and other medical appointments
  • Help walking and getting around the home

How the caregiver makes life better

Having a professional caregiver can make life after a stroke better in many ways and take a lot of the stress and frustration off of the patient and family members. Stroke can have a big impact on your relationships. Family members who take on a caregiver role often face significant emotional, financial, and even physical costs when trying to juggle their lives and your care. Enlisting the help of a home care agency can help a person get the best care while providing loved ones with much-needed support.

Professional in-home caregivers can provide all the home care services a person needs after a stroke to help them on their road to recovery in the familiar surroundings of home—which is especially important for those whose memory has been affected.

An in-home care provider doesn’t just perform daily living tasks, but can also provide companionship, which can help reduce the risk of isolation, loneliness, and depression. A warm smile and friendly conversation can do a world of good following something as traumatic as a stroke.

David Porter, CPCA
Director

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care

 

Article Resources
2018 Stroke Report. https://www.heartandstroke.ca/-/media/pdf-files/canada/stroke-report/strokereport2018.ashx
Stroke in Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/diseases-conditions/stroke-in-canada.html
Recovery and support. https://www.heartandstroke.ca/stroke/recovery-and-support

Caregivers do no harm – Debunking Common Myths

It’s understandable to have some reservations about hiring an in home care provider given that you are inviting a virtual stranger into your home or a loved one’s home. If you or your aging loved one are ill and in an especially vulnerable place, the idea of entrusting a stranger with your/their care can be even harder. Add to this some of the myths about caregivers and the idea of hiring a home care agency can feel like a big risk that you’re not sure is worth taking.

While the odd case of mistreatment in long-term care facilities has made the headlines, the myths about in-home care providers are simply that: myths.

Let’s clarify some of these myths about professional caregivers.

Myth: They’re strangers who cannot be trusted.

Reality: We introduce you and your loved ones to a couple of caregivers so that you can be sure that your caregiver’s experience and personality are a great fit.  Also, because we are a relatively small organization, we are able to take the time to and care to select and screen all potential caregivers. Our hiring process involves thorough interviews and a meticulous references check. Our extensive background check also includes a police clearance certificate, which is a background check completed by the police. Choosing only kind, trustworthy, and experienced caregivers is something we take great pride in.

Myth: They’ll snoop through my things and spy on me or my loved one.

Reality: In-home care providers are extensively trained and part of this training includes discretion. They are trained to be discreet in every way and don’t look at or go where they are not asked to. They provide services with the utmost respect for the care recipient and their family.

Myth: They participate in family quarrels and take sides.

Reality: Caregivers focus on the best outcomes for the client and do not get involved in family quarrels. Caregiving is much more than just a job to our personal support workers (PSWs). They genuinely care about the client and their focus is always on their care.

We understand that making the decision to bring in outside help is not always easy and that many people have misgivings about inviting a caregiver into the home. If you are contemplating in-home care, feel free to get in touch with any questions or concerns. We’re happy to answer your questions candidly so that you can make an informed decision to ensure that you and your loved ones are completely comfortable with.

David Porter, CPCA
Director

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care