Seniors with Dementia Can Age Independently at Home

Imagine that one day, you woke up to find that you could no longer look after yourself, not to mention your children or spouse. Whether it’s due to dementia, depression, or mobility issues, this may be the prospect facing your mother or father today. After a lifetime of independence and decades of raising children of their own, many elders find it emotionally and psychologically difficult to transition into assisted living. It’s important to have an open, honest, and sensitive conversation when it comes time to consider options for your loved one, and knowing all of your options is the first step toward choosing the right path.

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Many people believe that as Alzheimer’s progresses, there may be no options other than a long-term home. However, these facilities have long waiting times and they are rarely the first option seniors themselves want. Fortunately, at-home care is a viable option, and not just for basic services like laundry and meal preparation. It can range from help with activities of daily living, including transportation, to nursing and live-in assistance.

Nine out of every ten older adults would rather age in their own homes than the alternative, though not all of them will admit it to their children. One of the biggest hurdles to overcome in talking about eldercare is the issue of dependence. Seniors often develop feelings that they have “become a burden” on their family, and may deny themselves the right to express their own wishes. It may be up to you to listen to your parents and genuinely ask how they would like to live out their later years. Home care is often more affordable than Long Term facilities, and it can mean so much more than just the basics, with room to evolve as time demands more intensive support.

In Ontario, at-home assistance is available through both public and private agencies. Private agencies like Mavencare offer a range of services and employ fully screened, registered PSWs for seniors who want to “age in place.”On the other hand, CCACs (Community Care Access Centres) are government-funded agencies that help families pay for assisted living. However, CCACs are fraught with long waiting lists, cutbacks, and time limitations as low as a single hour per day. In addition to sparing families long waits and stress over inadequate public services, private agencies have begun adapting new technologies to give their work a new kind of transparency. If you’re interested in learning how 24-hour updates can bring you peace of mind, stop by and find out more about mobile technology’s growing role in this industry.

Since 2012, the Ontario Ministry of Health has maintained a registry for Personal Support Workers in order to standardize the quality of care this sector of health workers provides. While PSWs do not have to be registered, the province’s 30,000 registered PSWs have all been formally trained and accredited. Look for agencies that, like Mavencare, require as a minimum a PSW or HCA (Health Care Aide) Certificate. When you are looking for home care for your loved one, trust in agencies that perform detailed screening. Conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s do not mean that your loved one cannot live with dignity and independence. Start the conversation today.

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