Our Vaccinated Caregivers: Ready to help mom or dad get back out there

Vaccines are here and normal activities are opening up. You need a caregiver. We can provide. And they are vaccinated.

It’s been a long and difficult journey, but thanks to Canada’s impressive vaccine rollout, vaccines are getting into arms and things are opening up again.

Opening up means medical appointments and procedures that were postponed because of the pandemic are finally being scheduled again. It also means a return to the workplace for many, along with other pre-pandemic activities and responsibilities. While this is certainly a welcomed change of pace, it makes for a bit of a juggling act if you care for an ageing parent. That’s where we come in.

A vaccinated caregiver can help get mom or dad get back out there, safely

After months of helping seniors stay safe at home during the pandemic, our caregivers—who are fully vaccinated—are ready to help seniors stay safe as they begin to venture outside the home again.

Our caregivers can safely accompany your ageing loved one to:

  • Doctor/dentist appointments
  • In-store shopping
  • Social and spiritual activities
  • Walks and other outdoor activities and exercise
  • Meeting friends

Our caregivers can help if your parent is having surgery, too. This can include pickup from the hospital after surgery and/or in-home care services to help during recovery, such as meal preparation, light housekeeping, and personal care. If your parent requires more advanced home health care after surgery, we can also provide RN supervised in-home care, such as administering medications and injections, wound care, pain management, and more.

If your loved one is ready to finally get back out there, give us a call and let one of our vaccinated caregivers help them do it safely.

We’re available 24/7 by phone or email:

  • 1-855-483-CARE (2273)
  • info@LAServices.ca

Taking a Vacation When You Have an Elderly Parent

Hire a caregiver for just 4 hours a day. No commitment but all the peace of mind.

Borders are opening back up and we could all use a vacation after this long lockdown. For people with elderly parents, getting away can seem like an impossible feat. With all the worries and responsibilities, many family caregivers find it easier to just forgo a much-needed vacation than try to deal with all the details, and let’s face it, the guilt. But what if you had some help?

You can hire a caregiver for just 4 hours per day with no commitment so you can enjoy your time away knowing your parent is being cared for.

The importance of vacation for caregivers

Family caregivers are already overstressed and over worked. Research shows that people who look after a loved one, even if just for a few hours a day, often suffer from anxiety and depression and have an increased risk of burnout and illness. The pandemic has made this even worse.

Getting away gives you the opportunity to rest and recharge so you can be at your best for your loved ones.

How a professional caregiver can help

You don’t need to commit to a full-time, live-in caregiver if that’s not what your parent needs. You can hire our friendly caregivers to help out just 4 hours per day, no commitment.

Our friendly and fully vaccinated caregivers are available to help your parent with the same tasks that many adult children often take on. Things like laundry and tidying up, cooking, and shopping. You may be surprised to learn that our caregivers can also help with pet care by taking your parent’s pet for a walk. And, let’s not forget that our caregivers can also provide companionship in the way of a chat over a cup of tea, playing cards and games, or going for walks together.

If you’re ready to travel, give us a call to learn more about how one of our caregivers can be here for your parent while you’re away.

How to ~Lovingly~ Persuade Your Elderly Parent to Exercise for Better Health

Exercising is one of the most important things older adults can do for their physical and mental health, but getting motivated to do it isn’t always easy. Health limitations, fear of injury, and simply falling into a sedentary routine—especially during the pandemic—can prevent elderly people from getting the exercise they need.

Staying active can help prevent many age-related health conditions and make it easier for seniors to live independently longer—something we all want for our parents.

If you’re worried about your ageing parent’s activity level, the following strategies can help you persuade your parent to get moving.

Share the benefits of activity

Highlighting the benefits to staying active can be all the motivation your parent needs to get moving.

Touch on the actual health benefits, like a reduced risk of heart disease and Alzheimer’s, as well as tangible benefits and goals, like having an easier time enjoying activities they love and keeping up with the grandchildren.

Let them take the lead

Let’s face it; no one likes to be nagged. Putting the pressure on will put a damper on their motivation. It’s also likely to be met with resistance if your parent is worried about losing their independence and the right to make their own decisions.

Support and encourage them, but give them the space to take the lead.

Identify and address obstacles

Find out what’s stopping your parent from being active. If they’re not forthcoming, ask if they’d be more comfortable talking with a doctor about it. If they still don’t want to share, look for clues that could give you some answers.

For instance, wincing and groaning with movement are signs of pain. Getting easily winded after moving just a little could be a sign of an underlying heart problem. These are just a few things that could make the idea of exercise unappealing and even scary.

Pinpoint their preferences

Contrary to popular belief, lawn bowling and aqua fit isn’t every elderly person’s cup of tea—not that there’s anything wrong with these activities, of course.

Regardless of age, we’re more likely to exercise if we find it enjoyable, so pinpoint activities they love and choose workouts accordingly.

If your parent is a social butterfly, help connect them with group fitness classes or a walking club, or hire a caregiver for companionship.  If they love to dance, try dance-based workout classes or videos geared to their fitness level. If they have a green thumb, a caregiver can help with runs to the garden center or mobility store to pick up assistive gardening tools.

Remember, there are many ways to stay active

Physical activity doesn’t have to look the same for everyone. An elderly person who resists the idea of exercise should be encouraged to get moving in any way they can.

This can mean pushing a lawnmower, playing golf, or going for a leisurely stroll with a friend or a caregiver.

Give them the tools they need

Exercise is a bigger priority in our generation than it was in your parents’. As such, they may not be aware of all the tools and resources available to help them get fit.

Find local groups or introduce them to people in their age group to enjoy activities with. Get them a pedometer or fitness tracker to help motivate them and track their progress.

If they require assistance, a professional caregiver can accompany them on walks or two and from fitness classes and other activities.

Start slow

It’s recommended that adults over 65 engage in 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise weekly. While this is something to strive for, experts agree that some exercise is better than none, and starting slow is important.

Don’t try to rush the process. Instead, encourage your parent to work within their fitness level and set small, achievable fitness goals to work towards. For instance, increasing exercise duration by 10 minutes. Every minute counts and is a step closer to better health!

Be sure to consult their doctor before starting a new activity and for advice on exercising with a medical condition.

 

 

 

Article Resources
Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines For Older Adults – 65 Years & Older. https://www.csep.ca/CMFiles/Guidelines/CSEP_PAGuidelines_older-adults_en.pdf
Physical activity tips for older adults (65 years and older). Government of Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/publications/healthy-living/physical-activity-tips-older-adults-65-years-older.html

Divorce Over 60: Things you may not consider and how to handle them

The number of seniors getting divorced is on the rise across much of the world, including Canada. Though there’s a lack in official statistics from the Government of Canada on divorces by age, law firms across the country are keeping tabs and, according to news reports, divorce among the 60+ age group has nearly doubled in the past decade.

“Silver splitters” or “diamond divorcees” as they’re affectionately referred to, are finding themselves starting over later in life and the transition is easier for some than others. This is particularly the case for couples who took on traditional spousal roles, with the wife handling all of the domestic duties, such as the cooking, cleaning, and shopping, while the husband handled all the finances and home repairs and maintenance.

Things often not considered when divorcing later in life

Charged emotions and the stress of splitting assets often take over while a couple is going through the divorce process. This leaves little time to consider the significant change to day-to-day life that you’ll be left with once the divorce dust settles.

Here are five things that many seniors are caught off guard by and not prepared for after divorce.

Loneliness

Even couples who say they’re happier and healthier after divorce admit to being caught off guard by loneliness and how much they miss the togetherness of having a spouse.

Along with missing having a partner, you may also grapple with changes to your social circle—something experts say accompanies every life transition.

Loneliness and isolation is an all too common issue for older adults and a life change such as divorce after 60 can contribute to that.

Redesigning your social circle takes time, but it is possible and worth it for your wellbeing as you move to this new season in your life. Staying in touch with friends and family, attending church and community events, and volunteering can help. In-home caregivers can also help fill the gap by providing companionship and assisting with tasks related to hosting friends in your home or transportation to and from social outings if you don’t drive or have mobility challenges.

Maintaining a home on your own

Whether you stay in the home you shared with your spouse or downsize to a new home, being responsible for running a household on your own can be daunting.

Often, older men who find themselves on their own struggle with cooking, cleaning, and other domestic duties that were mostly handled by their former spouse. In-home caregivers can fill the role of cook, house cleaner, and even pet care provider to make the transition after divorce easier. For older adults still busy with work or activities outside the home, home care services can be a godsend for keeping the household in order so you can focus on your other responsibilities and hobbies.

Getting around

Transportation can be an issue after divorce if you’re coming from a one-car household or you don’t drive either by choice or for health reasons.

Finding yourself on your own without an easy or convenient way to get around can significantly impact your independence and ability to get to where you need to go and even to maintain your social connections.

Transportation and escorting to and from appointments and social engagements are in-home care services provided by home care agencies like ours. We can help you get around whether it’s for the long haul or while you’re getting your new life in order.

Dealing with age-related changes and/or illness

Age-related changes and illness can be especially difficult to deal with when you find yourself alone later in life. Oftentimes, spouses take on the leading caregiver role, handling everything from medication reminders, to medical appointments, and even more advanced home health care.

In these cases, hiring a caregiver is often the best solution. A professional caregiver can take over the caregiving role once held by your spouse and help take some of the stress off of family caregivers, if any. In-home care services can change as your needs change, too, including as much or as little assistance as required.

The effect on your adult children

It’s no secret that many couples stay together “for the sake of the children”. While couples who divorce later in life still consider their children’s feelings, many underestimate the effect that their divorce will have on their children. They’re grown adults with their own lives, after all!

Kids struggle with parental divorce at any age, but adult children face particular challenges, such as being in the position of having to emotionally support both parents. Then there’s also the stress of helping to care for both parents—something that’s logistically and financially more difficult after divorce.

In these cases, having an open conversation and solid care plan is a must. Consider any existing health or mobility challenges, be honest (and realistic) about your wishes and preferences when it comes to your care and any expectations as to your child’s role.

Enlisting the services of an in-home care agency can help ease the physical and emotional burden of being responsible for caring for two elderly parents now or later.

Divorce isn’t easy at any age, but with some extra planning, support from loved ones, and help from a caregiver, divorce over 60 can be a lot smoother.

 

Article Resources
Family matters: Being separated or divorced and aged 55 or older. (2019). Statistics Canada. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/11-627-m/11-627-m2019036-eng.htm
Bein S. Grey divorce: Why are more baby boomers ending their marriages when they get older? National Post. (2018). https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/grey-divorce-why-are-more-baby-boomers-splitting-up-their-marriages-as-they-get-older

Canadian Mental Health Resources for Seniors

Good mental help helps seniors stay physically healthier longer, which in turn allows them to maintain their independence and stay in their homes longer.

In honour of Mental Health Week and our commitment to providing care that helps older adults in the community age in place, we’ve compiled a list of Canadian mental health resources for seniors.

If you or an ageing loved one has mental health concerns, you can also speak to your family doctor or contact your local hospital for support.

211

211 is a free and confidential service that can be accessed by phone, text, chat, and online for information on government and community-based, non-clinical health and social services.

You can access it in any province or territory by dialing 211 on your phone or go to 211.ca to find your local service provider.

Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association (CCPA)

You can use the CCPA website to find a certified counsellor/psychotherapist in your area for in-person counselling or to access online counselling or tele-counselling.

When using their online search tool, you can search by specialization area. For instance if you search “seniors”, you will be given related options to choose from, such as Older adult/Aging issues and Geriatric counselling. You can also search by conditions, such as anxiety, or types of therapy, such as grief counselling.

Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

CMHA is a community mental health organization available in more than 330 communities across every province and one territory.

Visit the CHMA website at cmha.ca to find information on mental health conditions and to find a CMHA branch in your area.

Canadian Red Cross

The Canadian Red Cross offers support services for seniors who are living at home, including the Telephone Assurance Program which provides regularly scheduled friendly calls and safety checks.

Visit the Canadian Red Cross website to find senior support services in your area.

Crisis Services Canada

Crisis Services Canada provides access to local distress centers and crisis organizations.

People in crisis and having thoughts of/contemplating suicide can access support by chat, text, or phone through the Crisis Services Canada website or by calling toll-free anytime at 1.833.456.4566.

eMentalHealth.ca

eMentalHealth.ca is an online portal for anyone looking for information about mental health, including:

  • A directory of mental health services and organizations
  • Free online screening tools to help you determine if you or your aging loved one has a mental health concern
  • Info sheets on a variety of mental health conditions and topics

Government of Canada

The Government of Canada website offers reliable information on mental health and wellness topics for all ages.

Visit the Government of Canada Mental Health and Wellness page to access information and services.

Wellness Together Canada

Wellness Together Canada provides free mental health and substance abuse support to Canadians.

The service was created in response to the rise in mental health and substance abuse concerns due to the pandemic, with funding from the Government of Canada.

They offer—free of charge:

  • Immediate text support
  • Phone, video, and text counselling
  • Community and peer support for mental health and substance abuse
  • Wellness programs you can do on your own or with coaching
  • Information and videos on common mental health and substance use issues

Visit the Wellness Together website to get help or information or text the word ‘WELLNESS’ to 741741

5 Ways to Boost Mental Health in Seniors

Though most Canadian older adults report having good psychological health, the risk of mental health issues increases as we age due to life transitions such as chronic illness, mobility issues, caring for a spouse, and the death of a partner and other loved ones.

Addressing issues early is crucial, but you don’t need to wait till you get that bridge to cross it, so to speak. There are ways to boost mental health in seniors to reduce the risk of developing mental health issues such as depression and anxiety or improve outcomes for seniors who may already be struggling.

In honor of Mental Health Week, we’ve rounded up 5 proven ways to improve mental health in seniors.

Volunteer your time

Helping others helps you, too, according to research which shows that volunteering has numerous mental health benefits, particularly for seniors because it offers a way to stay connected to others. People who volunteer experience improved life satisfaction, happiness, and self-esteem, and lower psychological distress and depressive symptoms.

There are endless volunteering opportunities available for older adults, including virtual volunteering from home, such as:

  • Mentoring youth
  • Tutoring
  • Friendly callers support
  • Telephone fundraising

To find an organization, you can do a quick online search of volunteer opportunities for seniors or contact your local church or community center.

For seniors aging in place, an in-home care provider such as Living Assistance Services, can help with transportation to and from volunteering outside of the house or with setting up online and telephone calls for the care recipient.

Get exercise

There is no doubt that mental and physical health is fundamentally linked. Having poor mental health increases the risk for chronic health conditions. On the flipside, having a mental health condition puts you at higher risk for chronic physical health conditions.

Exercising boosts the production of endorphins and other feel-good chemicals that lower stress and anxiety, reduce depressive symptoms, and improve your mood, and help you sleep better. And all it takes is 30 minutes!

If able, get out for a walk on your own, with a friend or loved one, or an in-home caregiver. For those with mobility issues, seated exercises can give you the mental health benefits while helping improve circulation and strength.

Care for a pet

Having a pet has been shown to increase happiness and decrease loneliness in people of all ages. Pet owners also experience health benefits like improved heart health and better fitness, too.

There are extra benefits for older adults who care for a pet because of the daily routine it provides. Pets also provide seniors with emotional support and give them something to talk about, which can help connect with others and make friends.

An older adult can reap the health benefits of a pet regardless of the type of pet, making it a possibility for anyone. If unable to have a cat or a dog due to pet regulations in a building, consider a fish! If mobility issues are a concern, an in-home caregiver can help with feeding and walking so that the care recipient can still enjoy the love and companionship of an animal.

Stay social

Our social networks tend to dwindle as we age, which is why senior loneliness and isolation is so prevalent. Adult children often move away and are busy with careers and their own children, friends become ill or pass away, and illness or age-related changes affect mobility and independence.

Remaining socially connected is crucial for the mental well-being of older adults and worth the effort of trying to make new friends and interacting with others in person and virtually.

Joining a club, participating in seniors or community events, going to church, and getting out and about to meet up with a friend are just some ways to stay social.

For adults who are bedridden or have difficulty leaving the house, an in-house caregiver makes for great companionship and can help arrange other social activities, such as preparing a meal to share with a visiting friend or family member or by providing transportation to social outings.

Take care of your spiritual well-being

This suggestion comes from the Canadian Mental Health Association which says that spirituality can provide us with meaning and solace, help us overcome challenges, and help us build connections with others.

The way to achieve spiritual well-being is to learn to be at peace with who you are and how we do this doesn’t have to look the same for everyone. For some, it’s about religion, but for others it simply involves living with purpose and finding solace in activities that make us happy.

Some ways to take care of your spiritual well-being:

  • Attend a religious service (in-person or virtually)
  • Practice deep breathing or meditation
  • Spend some time outdoors
  • Do some gardening

Good mental health translates to a better quality of life and improved physical health. This is something older adults can work towards on their own or with the help of loved ones and/or a professional caregiver, and if needed, their doctor and a mental health care professional.

 

 

 

 

Article Resources
About Pets and People. (2019). https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/index.html
Mental Health for Life. https://ontario.cmha.ca/documents/mental-health-for-life/
Yeung, J.W.K., Zhang, Z. & Kim, T.Y. Volunteering and health benefits in general adults: cumulative effects and forms. (2018). https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-017-4561-8

Getting Extra Help for Seniors to Reduce Fire Risk

Along with taking the precautions we just covered, you can get extra help with fire safety for seniors living at home.

Contact your local fire department

Your local fire department will be happy to help you, your family, and caregiver with fire prevention, free of charge.

They can help you test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make safety recommendations based on your home and any special needs, or help you prepare a fire safety plan.

Hire a professional in-home caregiver

Most fires happen when seniors are home alone. Having a caregiver in the home can help reduce the risk of accidental fire and burns for seniors, while still allowing the senior to live independently. This is especially beneficial for seniors at a higher risk for accidental fires, such as those who smoke, are forgetful due to age, illness, or side effects of medications, or are living with reduced physical or mental capacity.

With someone else in the home you can significantly lower the chance of a fire because of a forgotten pot, candle or cigarette, or improper use of a space heater or a fireplace. An in-home caregiver can also monitor side effects from medications and conditions that can impair a senior’s judgment or contribute to forgetfulness or falls.

A caregiver can take on the cooking or be present while the care recipient is cooking if they enjoy doing it themselves. They can also help seniors maintain a clutter-free home, test smoke detectors, and pick up and replace batteries, etc.

Along with all of these things, a caregiver can also provide companionship and assist with other tasks that can make aging in place safer.

 

Article Resources

Fire and at risk populations in Canada – Analysis of the Canadian National Fire Information Database. (2017). http://nfidcanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Murdock-U-NFID-Report-At-Risk-People.pdf
Seniors Fire Safety. Central York Fire Services. http://www.cyfs.ca/fire-prevention/Pages/Seniors-Fire-Safety.aspx

Fire Safety for Seniors Living At Home

Fire safety is an important consideration for any senior who chooses to age in place. With some planning and a few precautions, you can greatly reduce the risk of accidental fires in the home.

Here are some important considerations when it comes to fire safety for seniors:

  • An escape plan.Everyone should have two potential escape routes in mind in case of a fire. When it comes to planning a fire escape for seniors, keep floors free of clutter, especially in bedrooms, hallways, and staircases. Have a light and telephone within reach of beds and any areas that you (or your ageing loved one) spends a lot of time. In-home caregivers are trained to spot potential tripping and other safety hazards and can ensure areas are clear and that the care recipient has what they need nearby when they go to sleep.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.There should be a working smoke detector on every level of the home and a carbon monoxide detector outside of sleeping areas. Each one should be tested monthly and batteries replaced yearly or sooner if needed. As this usually requires reaching high and/or getting on a chair or ladder; the responsibility can be assigned to a caregiver who can do it safely.
  • Cooking safety. You can reduce the risk by keeping flammable materials away from burners, setting timers, and turning pot handles away from you to avoid accidentally knocking pots over. Don’t cook wearing long or loose sleeves or any clothing that can dangle and make contact with the stove. Meal preparation is one of many in-home care services offered by Living Assistance Services. Having a caregiver take over cooking can eliminate the risk. For seniors who love to cook, a caregiver in the home while they’re cooking can also help. This is especially important when cooking multiple dishes or deep-frying.
  • Space heater use. Space heaters on common in most Canadian homes thanks to our frigid winters, but they’re a common cause of accidental fires in homes. Choose heaters with an automatic safety shutoff that turn off when moved or tipped over. When using a heater, keep it 3 feet away from curtains, furniture, and any materials that can catch fire. Post a note as a reminder near the door to shut off heaters before you or the caregiver leaves the home.
  • Smoking safety. The risk of accidental fires is higher for seniors who smoke. It’s important to never smoke in bed or when tired because of the risk of falling asleep with a lit cigarette. You can also reduce the risk of smoking-related fire by using special products, such as a smoker’s bib to protect clothing from a dropped cigarette or ashes, or an ashtray with a remote tube that leaves the lit cigarette over the ashtray at all times while you smoke via the tube.

Accidental Fires – A Leading Cause of Death in Seniors At Home

Older adults are more likely to die or be injured in a house fire than other populations, according to the Canadian Safety Council and the Canadian National Fire Information Database.

There are a number of factors that put seniors at higher risk of accidental fires. These include:

  • Vision changes. Seniors with poor or no vision risk falling on top of space heaters or falling while trying to escape from a fire. They’re also less likely to notice potential sources of fire, like combustibles that are placed too close to heat sources, such as dish towel too close to a stove burner or a lit cigarette discarded near paper.
  • Hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss is common and can affect a person’s ability to hear a smoke detector. The risk is even higher during the night, which is when most fire-related fatalities occur. Even seniors with mild to moderate hearing loss are less likely to respond to a regular residential smoke alarm when sleeping, according to research.
  • Decreased sense of smell. Smell is another sensory ability that diminishes with age, which can prevent a senior from being alerted to a fire in the home at any time of day. For instance, a senior may not notice the smell from a forgotten pot on the stove or a lit cigarette that makes contact with clothing or bedding.
  • Diminished sense of touch. As we age, our skin changes and our sense of touch decreases. A diminished sense of touch means that older adults can have trouble sensing pain or heat, and have a slower reaction to tactile stimulation. This can lead to more serious burns if they don’t notice a sleeve has caught on fire while cooking or a hot door handle that could otherwise alert them to a fire elsewhere in the home.
  • Mobility issues. Trouble with mobility makes it harder for a person to react quickly in the case of a fire. It can impede a person’s escape from a burning home. A senior with even mild age-related mobility changes is more likely to accidentally trip over a space heater.
  • Illness. The risk of illness increases with age and many older adults live with chronic illness. Conditions that cause physical or mental capacity can impact reaction time and affect how quickly and well a person responds to a fire. Reduced mental capacity can also make it difficult for some people to recognize fire-risks or engage in activities that increase the risk for fire.

Learn New Skills and Make New Friends—it’s Never Too Late!

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” – Henry Ford

The most wonderful thing about the internet is that it’s opened up a world of possibilities and experiences to everyone. This is particularly exciting for seniors who want to be engaged and learn something new—which can actually make the mind 30 years younger and slow cognitive aging, according to research.

You’re never too old to learn something new and what better time to try your hand at a new skill and make new friends than now! Get your university degree, learn a new language or musical instrument, or pick up social media skills that to have some fun with your grandkids or even become the next TikTok sensation!

Get your university degree online

Taking university courses online isn’t just a way to keep learning and earn a degree, but also a wonderful way to socialize and connect with “classmates” of all ages during virtual classes and even online study groups.

Seniors who enroll in continuing education courses or university programs may be eligible for significant discounts and even free tuition. These savings apply to in-person and online learning.

For example, York University, waives the tuition fee for people over the age of 60, as does Brock University, and the University of British Columbia, to name a few.

George Brown College is one of the many schools offering a 20% senior discount for continuing education courses.

If you want to earn your university degree online, the cost and timeframe depend on a few factors such as the field of study and number of courses needed, and extra costs such as text books and supplies, which are not included as part of the tuition fee.

Typically, an undergraduate degree can takes 3 or 4 years to earn. The average tuition cost in Canada is $6,580, though that would be waived if you enroll in one of the universities offering free tuition for seniors.

The Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) offered by the Government of Canada can also help you finance full-time education or training by allowing you to withdraw up to $10,000 from your RRSP.

You can find all the post-secondary education options in Canada using the Government of Canada Colleges and Universities online search.

Learn a musical instrument online

If you’ve ever wanted to learn to play the guitar, piano, or even the accordion; you can learn just about any musical instrument online.

The social aspect alone makes music lessons especially enjoyable because you get to connect and make beautiful music with others with a share interest through group classes or practice sessions.

If you’re the type who prefers to fly solo, you can take individual classes or even learn an instrument by watching YouTube videos. There are also numerous music apps available that you can use on your smartphone or tablet, too, if you’re app savvy!

A 30-minute music lesson typically starts at $25, depending on the instrument and the teacher. You can save money by taking group classes or purchasing a package of lessons. Many instructors and schools offer seniors discounts and a free introductory class.

Here are some options:

The Music Studio’s Virtual Seniors Connecting Through Music Program

Canada Music Academy

BestBeginnerGuitarLessons.com (also available on YouTube)

Learn a new language online

If you ever dreamed of learning a new language but thought you were too old, think again. There’s no critical period for language learning, according to experts, and learning a second language is in many ways easier for older adults than it is for youth.

Online group classes are loads of fun and there are plenty of apps available to help you learn and practice skills on your own, too. Babble and DuoLingo are just two popular options.

Online language classes are available through most colleges for around $350 and most offer senior discounts.

You can find information on classes offered by different schools at OntarioLearn.ca. Your local community center and public library may also offer language classes online.

Learn how to use social media apps online

Social media apps, like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok offer numerous benefits for seniors, according to research. Not only can social media help seniors stay connected to family and friends; it can also keep you learning and improve the way you live by giving you access to information on healthy cooking and lifestyle habits.

Seniors can learn how to use social media online thanks to free online workshops offered by local libraries and other organizations. Seniors Tech Services.ca, for instance, offers various workshops each month for Canadian Seniors on social media, as well as things like online safety, online shopping, and online dating for seniors.

If you have grandkids, having them teach you how to use social media is a great way to bond and continue to engage with them now and once it’s safe to get together in person again. (It’s also a great way to cinch your status as Coolest Grams/Gramps Ever!

 

 

Article Resources

Brock Tuition waiver for Seniors. Brock University. https://brocku.ca/retirees-association/tuition-waiver/
CEGEPs, Colleges and Universities Search. Government of Canada. https://tools.canlearn.ca/cslgs-scpse/cln-cln/rep-fit/cu/af.cu.clsea-eng.do
Cognitive Effects of Social Media Use: A Case of Older Adults. Kelly Quinn. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/2056305118787203Continuing Education: Seniors. George Brown College. https://coned.georgebrown.ca/policies/seniors
Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP). Government of Canada. https://www.canada.ca/en/revenue-agency/services/tax/individuals/topics/rrsps-related-plans/lifelong-learning-plan.html
Tuition fees for degree programs: Interactive tool. Statistics Canada. https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/pub/71-607-x/71-607-x2019011-eng.htm
Waivers and Payments by a Third Party: Academic Fee Waivers for Senior Citizens. York University. https://sfs.yorku.ca/fees/waivers