Happy holidays from Living Assistance Services

As the year comes to an end, we are able to look back with warmth, gratitude and hope for the future. While there have been many challenges throughout 2021, we’ve also experienced many wonderful moments with our team, our clients and of course, in our own homes and families. We are grateful for all of this and more, and want to express our genuine appreciation to both our staff and the families we work with. You are truly the best!

Wishing you health and happiness in 2022

The holidays are often a time of reflection and as the New Year approaches, we hope you share our sense of hope and optimism for what lies ahead. With every challenge, our caregivers and clients have risen to the occasion. We’ve shared laughter, performed and received acts of kindness, and been there for each other in hard times. This is something to be proud of, and a spirit that’s worth carrying into 2022 and beyond.

No matter how you’re connected to Living Assistance Services in Toronto, we’d like to wish you a very happy holiday. Here’s to good health, quality time spent with loved ones, making time for rest, and finding moments of joyful peace and quiet. What a gift that is at any age!

We’re here for seniors and their families

The holidays are wonderful, but they can also present challenges for families caring for aging loved ones (or, those living at a distance from these family members). Oftentimes, younger family members will spend time with older relatives they haven’t seen in a while and become aware of decreased independence or a reduced quality of life. This can be upsetting, but there are solutions that allow seniors to maintain their independence and thrive at home. Living Assistance Services is here to help through a comprehensive offering of homecare services delivered with respect and compassion.

If your family could use support caring for an aging loved one in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area, please contact us. We’d be pleased to answer your questions and offer personalized recommendations along with a quote. Thanks for reading—we wish you a safe and happy holiday season and all the best in the New Year!

3 dementia care tips for families

When a loved one has dementia, their needs and abilities change significantly over time. In addition to facing cognitive challenges, dementia can involve physical and emotional issues and even impact a person’s personality to some extent. This can be hard on family members and is often overwhelming for those in a caregiving role.

In an effort to provide support to families dealing with dementia, here are three dementia care tips. If you’d like to learn about personalized in-home support, please contact us.

Focus on clarity and routine

When communicating with a person who has dementia, speak slowly and clearly. If possible, make eye contact and eliminate distractions such as the noise from a television or radio. Use their name as much as possible and identify yourself as needed. An example of this would be saying, “Aunt Margaret, I’m here to take you grocery shopping.” If your loved one asks who you are, remain calm and positive. Do not question their ability to remember your name or insist that they know you. Instead, respond factually by saying something like, “I’m your niece, Mary, and I’m here to take you grocery shopping.”

Having consistent routines will help establish comfort and trust, so try to develop a simple schedule for things like meal time, bathing and hygiene, rest times and more. 

Go step by step

Individuals with dementia often struggle with complicated questions or too much information, so try communicating one step at a time. If you’re taking your loved one to a doctor’s appointment and want them to use the washroom and put on outerwear before leaving the house, for example, focus on a single task and then move on to the next one. First, encourage them to use the washroom. Once they’re done, ask them to put on their shoes (or help them as needed). Next, hand them their jacket and ask them to put it on (again, helping as needed). This approach is often more effective than listing multiple steps at once, and will help maintain a state of calm.

The same sentiment applies to communication at home, particularly when questions are involved. For example, ask your loved one, “Would you like a sandwich?” and then, “Would you like a cup of coffee?” instead of asking both questions at the same time. It may also help to avoid asking too many open-ended questions (“what would you like for lunch?”) as clear, specific questions can be easier to understand and respond to.

Be positive and empathetic

It’s very important to maintain a calm, friendly tone when speaking to individuals with dementia. Be aware of your body language, make frequent eye contact and smile often. You may want to hold their hand or give it an affectionate squeeze when speaking with them. If they repeat themselves, answer again rather than pointing out the repetition. Share a friendly joke and invite laughter into the conversation, and if they become frustrated, try to redirect them. 

You don’t want to “baby” a dementia patient as they are adults who deserve respect. However, it often makes sense to use an approach that would work with a child (simple instructions, praise and redirection, for example) but in language and tone that reflect their age. Empathy and kindness go a long way, and patience is key when dementia is involved.

Download our FREE eBook to learn more

Living Assistance Services in Toronto is pleased to offer free resources that may help families dealing with dementia. Additionally, we provide one-on-one, in-home caregiver services that support individuals with conditions including Alzheimer’s Disease. Our team of dedicated Personal Support Workers (PSWs) services the greater Toronto area with partnerships in Halton and Hamilton. For a personalized consultation and quote, please contact us—we’d be pleased to hear from you.

Why you should hire a caregiver from Living Assistance Services

The decision to hire a caregiver to help support aging loved ones is a big step, but it is also one of the best choices you can make for your family. A Personal Support Worker (PSW) can assist seniors with Activities of Daily Life (ADLs) while providing light housekeeping, meal preparation and joyful companionship. They can accompany seniors to medical appointments and help them run errands, or simply join them outdoors for a pleasant walk and some fresh air. This relationship allows families to focus on quality time instead of acts of service, maintaining their bond and avoiding caregiver burnout.

Having a PSW available to support your family is a wonderful thing. That said, it can be difficult to distinguish between various service providers if you have never worked with them directly. Today, we’d like to share a few reasons why so many families in Toronto and across the GTA trust Living Assistance Services with their loved one’s care.

Client service matters to us

At Living Assistance Services, we value our clients as people—they are never just a number. We believe in delivering care with compassion and respect and will always put the best interests of our clients first. We are available by phone or email whenever you need us, and we ensure that all communication is clear and courteous. If you are interested in learning more, we would be pleased to offer a consultation or share testimonials from current clients. This can offer reassurance, particularly if you’re new to in-home caregiving services.

We’re consistent and reliable

 Living Assistance Services in Toronto recognises that getting a different caregiver every day or even every week isn’t ideal. Our team strives to match clients with a caregiver who is a great fit for them and schedule that same caregiver regularly. If your loved one needs 24/7 care, there may be several caregivers on a rotating schedule. This allows a sense of genuine trust and comfort to develop and helps build reliable routines. 

Of course, life inevitably happens and sometimes, another trusted PSW will step in to cover a shift. We would rather send another excellent caregiver to your home rather than cancel when you depend on us. Reliability is key to our service, and we always have a wonderful team of caregivers on call. Consistency is of prime importance as we feel this works best for our clients.

We handle things personally

At our core, Living Assistance Services is a small business. Each of our locations is independently operated by a local team that knows the community and cares deeply about supporting seniors. Instead of dealing with a huge corporation that hires hundreds of PSWs, our clients interact with a small team that knows them by name. We handle things personally and with great care, and we believe this makes all the difference.

We are available when you need us

When it comes to your loved ones, you should not have to wait for support or an answer to a question. As we mentioned above, a representative from Living Assistance Services is available by phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This includes weekends and holidays (often a busy time for us, as clients may require respite care as their family members travel). If you need us, just call—we would be happy to help. To learn more, please visit our services page or contact us.