Sunday, October 17, 2010

Elder Education

Recently there have have been care conferences and Zoomer Fairs popping up all over the city. Although, illness and aging, are still not a topic that some are comfortable facing, these events are very informative and can save all of us time and money. From how to source care for aging relatives to services and products that allow you to stay in your home, this is vital information that could allow you to take control of what seems like, an uncontrolable situation. More information can be found at

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Appling for long term care placement changes

As of July 1st, 2010 the process for applying for long term care has changed. Families who would like to consider placing a loved one in long term care need to contact their local Community Care Access Centre (enter postal code to find the right location) and complete an application which is now moving from paper to electronic form. Other changes include that 5 homes can now be applied for at the same time (previously the maximum was 3 homes). A word of warning, make sure that the homes selected are somewhere that your loved one really wants since, should a bed become available at any of these homes, you will be strongly encouraged to take it. Not doing so can lead to a 6 month penalty. Also, under the new long term care act, Retirement Homes can apply for temporary licencing and bring long term care residents into their homes. Details of how this will work and who will fund, still to come.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Be prepared, best defence against long ER wait times

Although much work has been done to reduce wait times in the Emergency Rooms, the article that appeared on the CBC news site clearly states that we still have a problem.

Wishing that things were different is not enough so preparing for the ER visit is your next best defence. Before leaving for the hospital or once you arrive, ask a family member to bring items that will make your stay more comfort.

  • Bring a book, ipod or laptop that can play movies to pass the time

  • Bring food, water and any medications that may be required prior to admission

  • Also bring pillows and a blanket....better safe then sorry

Seek medical help if you need it but make sure you make your stay as comfortable as possible.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Aging issues get well deserved ink

Recently a number of books have been released that reflect the needs of our aging population.The Essential Hospital Handbook helps families navigate the hospital system and advocate for their ailing loved one's.

You could live a long time, are you ready? is another must read since we are all aging but we can learn little from previous generations since there has never been this many people, advancing in age, at the same time, with such a high life expectancy.

And, for my co-author and I, May will be a monumental month with the release of our book Now What? A Practical Guide to Dealing with Aging, Illness and Dying. The book is available at Chapters and can be ordered from our website

Written as if you were speaking with your best friend, we offer advise in a friendly, heart-to-heart manner with factual material in easy to read, short passages. Now What?? provides answers to questions you did not even know to ask.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cost Containment limits CCAC services for seniors

Last week, just when I thought we were turning a corner on improving the emergency room services and the access to senior services at home, I was completely floored to find out that Community Care Access Centres (CCAC) are putting seniors on wait lists for homecare services and, at the time same, sending them home from the ER without proper care. I cannot understand a system that expects people, who have paid into the health care system for their entire lives, to accept this poor level of service. Should you be aging, or have a family member who is aging, please educate yourself on the services that are available to you and how to access these services or you may find yourself with no one caring for you except your family.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Marketing and Communicating to the "over 50's"

  • If you run a business, sell a product or provide a service, it is important to run your business with the “over 50” market in mind. They hold the largest disposable income that our industrialized world has ever seen and it is important to know this customer and make their experience a positive one.

    Use a minimum 12 point font size to ensure that older eyes can easily read about what you are trying to sell.

    Printed materials are easier to read if there is lots of white space and there is dark type on a light background

    Ensure your client care specialists speak clearly and slowly when answering customer inquiries

    When designing web pages, make sure there is a magnifier easily visible to adjust type to a larger size

    Offer easy access to a live person for questions not easily answered on line or through computerized menus

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Clarington Older Adults anything but bored

The Adults of the Clarington Older Adult Association are vibrant and very connected to their community. They are involved in learning new activities and their 2010 winter guide is filled with great activities. With fitness, dance, art and photography classes to choose from there is little chance of getting bored over the winter months. It is a thriving association with over 800 members with 250 members recently joining. I will have the privilege of speaking to these new members on March 20th and I am thrilled to meet these vibrant, involved members of the community.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Signs of aging bubble to the surface during holiday season

Here we are in the second week of January 2010. The holidays can be a whirlwind and the return to routine is welcomed by many.
As we reminisce about our family times over the holidays, this may be the time that you realize your parents or relatives are starting to show signs of aging.
Did your Aunt, who lives alone and does not get out much, look un-kept or her house uncharacteristically dirty.
Did your Mom seem distant in the family get together because she was having a hard time hearing?
Did your cousin, who lost her husband last year, still appear to be depressed and having trouble living alone?
If any of these ideas strike a cord with you, don’t sit idly by. You care for these people and there are resources available to help. Open the dialogue and then research what help can be provided. Share your caring ways the whole year through. All the best for 2010.