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Caring Matters Newsletter www.LAServices.ca

newsletter-september-2012.pdf (application/pdf Object)  

“the grey tsunami” has become a buzz phrase for the phenomenal tide of retiring seniors who are living longer than ever and are understandably expecting to be provided for by our universal health care system. Consider the following statistics:
The number of seniors will increase by 43% in the next decade. At current spending levels, the Ontario government will need to devote an annual $24 billion to seniors by 2033 (50% more than the annual expendi-ture today). There are expected to be about 9.8 million senior Canadians by 2036.

 Caring Matters is the copyright of Living Assistance Services.
Articles or other materials may be reproduced provided the source is acknowledged.
Compiled & Written by: David Porter & Mary Ellen Tomlinson
Edited by: Claire Valgardson
Designed by: Rafia Hasan
Original Concept by: Kendall Carey
3183 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4N 2K9
t. 416.483.0070 f. 416.256.9802

Assisted Living: Are You Asking The Right Questions?

Assisted Living: Are You Asking The Right Questions?: Assisted Living: Are You Asking The Right Questions?
Posted by Derek Jones, Certified Senior Advisor on Wed, Sep 19, 2012

Bring this list of questions with you when you visit an assisted living facility to ensure a customized approach when it comes to facility care. The responses of the facility’s representative will help you determine if the staff, care and environment are up to your standards, and help you decide if the facility is good enough to be a new home for Mom.
  1. How far away is it? You’ll want to visit Mom as often as you can, not to mention pick her up for holidays and family events. The closer the facility is to your home, the easier this will be. Also, how close is the facility to other relatives, doctors offices, friends, and shopping?
  2. How much is the cost, and what does it cover? This is a question you can’t afford not to ask. Read the fine print to look for hidden fees and services that aren’t covered. Costs and payment options vary widely between assisted living facilities, so don’t be afraid to ask questions before you even see a contract.
  3. What is the staff like? What kind of assistance do they offer to residents? Are the staff licensed and certified? Do they seem friendly and knowledgeable? Do they seem well-attended to? What is the ratio of staff to residents? Try asking the residents if the staff are responsive and how well do they like the staff--it’s often the best way to predict your own loved one’s experience.
  4. Is the food good? To your mom, this will be one of the most important questions. Visit the dining room during a meal. Ask to see the menu for the week. Does the food look and smell appetizing? Are the portions not too big or too small? Ask the residents how well they like the food--it’s something they’ll be happy to chat about!
  5. Are there adequate activities available? Do you see a list of activities posted? Are the residents engaged in crafts, games, or group discussions, or do they seem to just be sitting around? What kind of activities are available for patients who are confined to their rooms?
  6. What are the visiting hours? Do they accommodate your schedule and the schedules of your loved one’s friends and relatives? What if schedules change? Generally, facilities that allow visiting hours seven days a week, for several hours of the day make for the happiest living situation.
  7. What kind of amenities are offered? Does the facility offer exercise classes and recreational classes? Is there a wellness office? (Your loved one might not need skilled services now, but that could change in the future.) Make sure to find out if these amenities are covered, and if not, what the additional fees are.
  8. What is the facility’s history of violations? Mistakes and complaints happen. But you want to know that the facility you’re entrusting with your family member hasn’t made any egregious errors. Ask to see the facility’s licensing and violations records.
  9. Who would you be communicating with? How does the facility handle questions and concerns? Would you be speaking to a front-desk employee, or would you be able to directly contact the facility’s director? If the facility views communication as a priority, your experience will be all the smoother for it.
  10. Would you live there? Before you commit to a facility, ask yourself this all-important question. Would you feel happy and adequately cared for in the facility? If not, it’s probably not the right choice for your loved one.
These questions will help you gauge if a facility is right for you and your loved one. If your family has elected that facility care is a must, keep in mind that a private aide can also provide personalized and dedicated attention to your loved one’s needs within a facility. Learn more about adjunct senior care.

Veterans Affairs (VA) has toll-free telephone line for the caregivers of veterans of all eras

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has opened a new, toll-free telephone line for the caregivers of veterans of all eras. The National Caregiver Support Line at 1-855-260-3274 will assist caregivers, Veterans and others seeking caregiver information. The telephone line will be available Monday through Friday. 8 a.m. to 11 p.m., eastern time; and Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., eastern time. Licensed VA social workers and health technicians will staff the support line. For more information on caring for veterans, visit the VA's Caregiver webpage

Dementia As A Terminal Illness: Understanding Clinical Course Of Disease Leads To Better End-of-life Care | LinkedIn

Dementia As A Terminal Illness: Understanding Clinical Course Of Disease Leads To Better End-of-life Care | LinkedIn: "As the end of life approaches, the pattern in which patients with advanced dementia experience distressing symptoms is similar to patients dying of more commonly recognized terminal conditions, such as cancer."

The study underscores the need to improve the quality of palliative care in nursing homes to reduce the physical suffering of patients with advanced dementia, and to improve communication with their family members.
Dementia As A Terminal Illness: Understanding Clinical Course Of Disease Leads To Better End-of-life Care sciencedaily.com

ScienceDaily (Oct. 20, 2009) —

Social Security Disability - What Are Compassionate Allowances - AARP

Social Security Disability - What Are Compassionate Allowances - AARP: What Are Compassionate Allowances?
165 severe medical conditions will fast-track a disability application

by: Stan Hinden | from: AARP Bulletin | September 6, 2012

 Basically, an application is sped up if the person has any of the diseases and conditions that are on a compassionate-allowances list that Social Security maintains. Now numbering 165, these include various forms of cancer, brain injury, heart disease, and immune system and neurological disorders.
More on Social Security

The special processing saves the applicant from waiting months or even years to obtain benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) programs.

An Alzheimer's hearing included testimony from not only medical experts but also family members who recounted the difficulties they faced when their breadwinners developed Alzheimer's disease in their early 50s and were unable to work.

Although the disease generally afflicts older people, the Alzheimer's Association estimates that about 200,000 Americans under the age of 65 have the disease. Early-onset Alzheimer's disease and related dementia's were added to the list in 2010. "Now, individuals who are dealing with the enormous challenges of Alzheimer's won't also have to endure the financial and emotional toll of a long disability decision process," commented Alzheimer's Association Chief Executive Harry Johns.

Home Health Aide Shortage Could Affect Future of Senior Care

Home Health Aide Shortage Could Affect Future of Senior Care: Home Health Aide Shortage Could Affect Future of Senior Care
By Sarah Stevenson on September 3, 2012

Tomorrow’s seniors may be on the verge of a home health care crisis, reports the Associated Press. How can home care agencies attract enough workers to serve the growing senior population?
Home Health Aide Assists with Senior Care

Photo credit: Associated Press

With growing numbers of baby boomers getting older, the need for home health care workers is expected to soar over the next decade. But when the median pay for home care aides is comparable to that earned by fast-food workers, and nearly half of home care workers live at or below the poverty line, it may end up being difficult to fill those jobs. And that’s going to be tough for the seniors who rely on health aides to get through the day.

What Does Power of Attorney Do. - The two types of POA

What Does Power of Attorney Do. - AgingCare.com

Restraints | Lauren Turner at ElderCare at Home West Palm Beach, Florida Area

Restraints | LinkedIn: Restraints

Lauren Turner

I want to take a second to address the use and misuse of Restraints.
Firstly, they can be an excellent tool, or a severe hindrance. Restraints can help a patient sit up and stay in that position (geri chair or lap buddy), or can keep a patient safe (i.e. a hospital bed to make sure the patient does not roll out of bed and hurt themselves. Restraints can also be a hindrance however; using restraints to prevent falls in ambulatory patients, to manage annoying behaviors or at the request of the family is never an appropriate use of such measures.
Secondly, many times nurses in facilities and hospitals may utilize restraints without the Doctors knowledge, even though the Doctor is liable.
Thirdly, the use of restraints should only be utilized in certain, specific instances. If a patient specifically asks for restraints (competent), if restraints are needed to treat an uncooperative patient medically, or to prevent falls from TEMPORARY conditions (post opp).
Improper use of restraints is a liability, and can cause injury or death, so be aware of the risks and use only if and when appropriate. Remember to treat EVERY patient as you would want your own mother or grandmother treated. Be respectful and allow them the dignity of independence and safety whenever possible.

Communication is challenging with a loved one with Alzheimer’s, including meal time. | LinkedIn

Communication is challenging with a loved one with Alzheimer’s, including meal time. | LinkedIn: Alzheimer's and dementia patients also need a fiber rich diet (non commonplace in nursing homes) and constant reminders to drink water & stay hydrated. Institutional food and dehydration may cause agitation. A simple self test to check for dehydration was to pinch the skin at the back of the wrist; if it stay pinched that means your dehydrated.

There are 6 additional considerations for dietary services with Dementia patients:
1) Presentation of food (a square tray versus a round plate can add confusion)
2) Food consistency (tremors & arthritis patient may have difficulty with soups).
3) Utensils (a carton of milk may be harder to open than milk poured into a glass with (or without) a straw)
4) Entree selection; many patient's have specific religious or dietary needs when it comes to meal times.
5) Frequency of feedings- Alzheimer's & Dementia patients should eat often, minimally 3 times/day + snacks, to help keep weight on.
6) Dining room environment(noise & chaos)

Good topic, Cynthia!

"The Grey Zone": How to Handle Partially Incompetent Aging Parents - Aging Parents | Aging Parents

"The Grey Zone": How to Handle Partially Incompetent Aging Parents - Aging Parents | Aging Parents: Your aging parent seems ok one day. The next day, he can’t find his way out the front door. Is he really losing it? Or is it just a temporary thing?

What we call “the grey zone” is that place between being competent and being incompetent for making decisions that is part of cognitive decline. The crazy-making part of it is that it is so unpredictable. The impairment that begins to affect the brain of a person with dementia very early in the process may be both hidden and subtle. But it’s real. And it can be dangerous.

AgingParents.com grew out of the combined efforts of three individuals, Carolyn L. Rosenblatt, R. N., attorney, Dr. Mikol Davis, psychologist, and Bruce Tokars. It arose from a shared desire to help boomers meet the needs of their aging loved ones. All three are boomers themselves.

Bracelet Locator finds missing man in 11 minutes

GPS Tracking Devices, Tracking System, For What Matters Most | Adiant Solutions: Adiant Solutions empowers users to locate "what matters most"

Adiant Solutions is revolutionizing the GPS industry by providing solutions that transforms lives. You are in control… you decide how to better manage "what matters most". Whether you are looking for tracking devices that locate a wanderer with dementia, a child with autism who is eloping, a low-level criminal, your fleet or cargo, or even a teen driver, we have the answer with our easy-to-use, customizable technology.

Adiant's products ensure that people and property are where they belong…..and when. The devices are easy to use and can be managed from any computer or smart phone with Adiant's easy-to-use LocationNow Software.

No activation fees - No annual contract - No termination fees


A Halifax-area senior who went missing Sunday was found within 11 minutes by police who are trying out new technology as part of a pilot project. “It looks a lot like a large mens’ watch,” Halifax Regional Police Const. Matthew MacGillivray said of a new global positioning satellite device that has been given to 10 people in the project. Late Sunday morning, a man who is older than 75 but is not being identified, was reported missing. He is prone to wandering due to a medical condition, MacGilivray said. Officers using Project SOFT (satellite option finding technology) found him in a park minutes later.