Is Living At Home Always Best For Seniors? Home Care VS Nursing Homes

My dear Grandmother was recently moved from her beautiful Condo to Baycrest Nursing Home. When I heard about the move, my stomach turned. I was so heartbroken to think of my grandmother moving to a nursing home. I remembered the sad feeling I felt when I used to visit my great aunt in the 90’s. I can still smell the stench of dirty diapers mixed with the smell of hospital meals. I can see the sadness on the faces of the seniors.
 
I walked into Baycrest Hospital yesterday and I was amazed. The place felt like a resort. My grandmothers room felt like a hotel room. She was busy in the music room listening to music with her wonderful caregiver Jenny at her side. She looked peaceful and happy.
 
Home Care is wonderful and my grandmother enjoyed living in the comfort of her own home for many years. I thought that was the utopia for her.  I think I was wrong. My grandmother is busy with activities. Baycrest is a fresh and happy place for her to call home. My heart is at peace. I am overjoyed. My grandmother is happy. 

IS A LIVE IN ELDER CAREGIVER RESPONSIBLE TO CARE FOR MOM OVERNIGHT?

We get this question all the time. Is a live in caregiver responsible to care for the senior during the night, or does another caregiver need to be hired to do the night shift?

A live in Caregiver can not be expected to work a 24 hour shift. If the senior requires care during the night,  you do need to hire someone that can be responsible for the night shift.

 If care at night is not required, and the caregiver is there only in case of emergency, most caregivers would be comfortable with that arrangement. You can possibly arrange with the caregiver that if an emergency ever comes up, you will pay her for her time.

Best of luck hiring!

Is it Time Yet? When is an Elder Caregiver a Necessity?

It was a Thursday. My grandmother fell again and we all looked at each other and knew that it was time. Our Grandmother who cooked and baked and prided herself on her independence, could no longer be alone. Who would tell her? Nobody wanted that dreaded  job. She would be angry. She would say it was a complete waste of money. She would hate having a stranger invade her personal space. 
 
Telling someone you love, that they need care can be difficult and very painful. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help determine if care may be needed:
1) Has your senior been falling or getting hurt?
2) Is your senior more forgetful? Is he paying the bills? Is she missing appointments?
 3) How is her/ his mental health? Is he lonely or depressed? Does she socialize?
4) Can he keep the house clean?
5) Can she get dressed, shower, make meals? 
6) Is he taking his medication properly?
 
My Grandmother was very resistant when we brought up the idea. As a young widow, she had  been on her own for almost 45 years. We were lucky enough to find a wonderful caregiver name Connie. She took care of my grandmother for 5 years. They cooked and baked together. They talked and went to appointments together. Connie kept the house clean and was there for my grandmother always. Although it was a huge adjustment for my grandmother, it did not take long for her to grow to love Connie. 

12 Best Brain Stimulating Activities for Seniors & Caregivers to do.

Here are some great brain stimulating activities for seniors & caregivers to do together:

a) Word Games like Crossword Puzzles

b) Gardening

c) Board Games like Chess, Checkers, Puzzles or Card Games

d) Social Stimulation: Get together with friends, family, grandchildren

e) Cooking & Baking- Follow a recipe together

f) Exercise – Swimming, Biking, Walking

g) Reading- Newspapers, Novels, Magazines

What are the duties and expectations of an Elder Caregiver?

Dear Rachel,

I am looking to hire a caregiver for my mom.

What are the usual duties and expectations of a senior caregiver?

Nicole

 

Hi Nicole,

Thanks for reaching out to us. Hiring a new elder caregiver for your Mom is an imporatant job that will grealy improve her quality of life.

Here’s are some duties you can expect from a senior caregiver.

* Help getting dressed

* Help with bathing and grooming, brushing teeth and hair, denture care, makeup, nail care

* Help in the bathroom as needed

* Kitchen help, meal prep, serving and feeding

* Shopping for food and household needs

* Basic housekeeping

* Managing medication, going to Dr’s appointments

* Providing mental stimulation, playing games, going for walks, social interaction, love, companionship

 

Activity Ideas for Elder Caregivers and Seniors- Keeping Seniors Stimulated & Happy

One year ago today my grandmother peacefully past away in Toronto. She was 99 years old and fabulous! She cooked and baked for her children and grandchildren almost every day until the day she passed. The highlight of her day was when the kids called to tell her how fantastic her food was. Her face glowed as she told them to enjoy and she then planned with her live in caregiver what she was going to make next day.

I firmly believe that my grandmothers cooking and baking added years to her life. People need to feel accomplished, acknowledged and appreciated.

It is important for caregivers and families to discuss what activities can be done to keep the senior happy and feeling accomplished. What does the senior like to do? What is he good at? What makes her feel happy?

Here are some activities that caregivers can do together with the seniors they are taking care of:

1) Baking & Cooking- Have fun experimenting with food in the kitchen. Try cooking soup for a neighbor or baking cookies for the grandchildren.

2) Games – Card games, Scrabble, Trivia and Bingo are all stimulating and fun to play.

3) Arts & Crafts- Painting, Drawing, Beading, woodworking and Sculpting can be relaxing and entertaining. Make something special for a friend, child, or grandchild.

4) Sewing – If sewing or knitting is something they know how to do try making blankets, hats or scarves for a loved one.

5) Dancing- Blast the music and sing & dance to his or her favorite oldies.

6) Talk about the past- Ask about childhood experiences, how he or she met their spouse, first job, best vacations….

7) Watch old movies- Watch old movies together and act and sing along.

8) Walks – Air is good for the mind and body. Try and get out every day. You can stop and pick flowers to give to a friend or to put on the dining room table.

9) Shopping- Going to the mall or grocery store can be a nice outing.

10) Look at old photo Albums- Ask questions about the pictures. Every photo has a story and you can ask about them all.

11) Spa Day- A manicure, pedicure or new hairdo is a great way to spend the day.

12) Massage- A nice warm bath followed by a back rub is therapeutic and relaxing