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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Are Children Scared of the Elderly…?

October 27, 2011 By Kyle Murphy

Young children uncomfortable around old people…I am always amazed when I see young children interact with an elderly person.


Some children are very comfortable, but the majority seems to be uneasy or scared around seniors. A lot of what I see is in our Residential Care Homes for the Elderly or Board and Care Homes as they are also known.

That probably starts at home. If they have close ties to grandma and grandpa, they are most likely used to seeing them quite often. One difference is that some people in these types of homes need more care and often have disabilities that might be strange to younger children.

What I noticed here in the United States is that seniors downsize and move out of the old neighborhoods where they raised their children living separate lives and only seeing each other here and there. Some of our Elderly populations live in 50 and over parks or communities where children are not allowed. I feel this is unfortunate because exposure to children may very well be what keeps us young.

On our recent trip back to my hometown in Switzerland, I was curious to see if anything had changed. The one thing that I really enjoyed growing up in my little hometown was that the young and old lived together.

In many cases, Grandpa and Grandma would live with their kids until the end, especially on farms. Our Elders were always involved with the younger generations; they even lived in the house next to their families or in the same building as their children and grandchildren.

If one went to a restaurant, you would always find the old and young sitting together and talking about daily issues. I always thought that was great. The younger people learned a great deal from the older generations and older ones learned what’s new with teenagers, etc.

What I found out while on my trip is that times are changing there as well. More and more elders are moving to Assisted Living Communities and Board and Care Homes, usually because of an ailment like Dementia or Alzheimer’s, etc. As fate would have it, a Care Home for the Elderly was built across the street from the house that I grew up in.

But like anywhere in the world, people like to stay home as long as possible and live independently. The one thing that I did not see is 50 plus neighborhoods. People still live in their communities, downsizing here may mean to rent out a room or two to get additional retirement income. Overall, young and old stay in the same neighborhoods and live together without too many problems.
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Monday, November 7, 2011

Raising Grandchildren | 4 Tips for Grandparents

November 2, 2011 By Kyle Murphy

A Grandparents’ Quick Guide to Raising Grandchildren

Grandparents have an incredibly important role in a young baby’s or toddler’s life. You are an additional source of love and care, a valuable resource for the parents, an inspiration to all.

Here’s 4 Quick Ideas that will help Mold you into the Grandparent you strive to beWhen you’re not visiting in person, try making a scheduled phone call once a week to talk to the child. Encourage him to share some news with you, preferably something only he can reveal.

These phone calls will likely become a favorite event that the child looks forward to.Video Record. If Grandma and Grandpa are hip, they may be carrying a smart phone with a video recorder, a camera with video capabilities, or a digital camcorder. If they try to use anything that winds up, it is time to invest in a birthday gift. Grandparents make wonderful videographers of special events; they hold the camera steady and are usually okay with not being in the middle of things.

Stories. Magnify your family history by telling your granddaughter stories of her parents. For me, it was always the story about my dad painting an entire glass window while my grandmother stepped away for a brief phone call.Celebrate at your house. Holidays are a time for everyone to get together and usually this falls on the oldest generation. Host parties to your heart’s content and cherish family rituals and the time spent together. You never know when it will be the last.

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5 Ideas to Keep Busy During Retirement

November 1, 2011
By Kyle Murphy

Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you are done working.

For some of us this means, now we get to pursue something we’ve wanted to do all our lives. Before retirement, we had responsibilities and obligations to provide for family and set aside for retirement; now we actually have the time and hopefully the energy to begin a new chapter. The best part is the luxury of not having to worry about whether your new venture is extremely profitable or not.
Some of These May Seem Obvious

However, consider this a checklist of things not to forget to ask yourself during your Idea Hunt.
Think about jobs that relate to childhood dreams or old hobbies. Buy and sell baseball cards online.Consider a job that enables you to continue or grow your expertise in a certain area. Working at a nursery or teach at a local community college.Do you love fishing, cooking, golfing, traveling, spelunking, law enforcement? There is a creative solution to working as a retiree in almost any industry, especially if you have a comfortable financial lifestyle already.If you can afford to sacrifice income for a rewarding job and vitality, than volunteering is certainly an option.

There is never enough people to fill all the worthy causes in the world, starting with hospitals, schools, libraries, churches, parks, zoos, international relief organizations, and so much moreIf you just want to do something, anything…you can find a company that actively recruits seniors. You may be surprised to find everyone from McDonalds to MetLife wants to employ older people. Why? The AARP has developed a program that partners with companies who encourage experience and leadership from older Americans.

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A ‘Perfect Storm’ Helped Create Health Care Reform in Our Country

CanadaRetirement Living Submitted by szadmin on Wed, 10/05/2011 - 08:00
Browsing our Museum of Civilization’s time-line series, you can’t help but think that the ‘perfect conditions’ meteorologist Bob Case described to author S. Junger, who was researching a book about a real-life hurricane, is eerily similar of what happened between 1914 and 1918 in our own country to help create health care reform.

Canada faced extraordinary circumstances from four different situations. Each was overwhelming, combined they formed a ‘perfect storm’. The consequences forced ordinary Canadians to demand change.

Looking back, 1914, Canada was a colony in the British Empire, population approximately 7.5 million, many of whom were recent immigrants. Alberta and Saskatchewan were the newest provinces created in 1905; Newfoundland was still a separate colony. Canada had 8 medical schools with 1,792 students in all--321 doctors graduated that year and the majority went into private practice as general practitioners.

Four ‘perfect storm’ conditions converged.

WW1 exposed the poor health condition of our citizens!

That same year Britain declared war on Germany and doctors here discovered numerous health problems as Canadians enlisted (active tuberculosis, bad teeth, sexually transmitted infections). They also found many recruits unfit for duty because of past childhood ailments (infectious diseases such as smallpox, diphtheria, typhoid, scarlet fever, measles).

These findings, plus earlier reports of high maternal and infant death rates in our cities, launched calls for a national preventive services health department to be created to ease the problems of communicable diseases.

The conscription crisis forced compromise!

Winning the war was a priority for Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden, thus he promised to maintain a field force of 500,000 soldiers and to supply food and munitions to the Allied forces.

But fewer men volunteered for overseas service as the war dragged on. Thus, in 1917, the government decided to introduce military conscription.

It became a controversial election issue and caused a split in the opposition Liberal Party led by Sir Wilfrid Laurier. The Borden government was forced into an alliance with some of the pro-conscription Liberals. One of the conditions the Liberals called for, so as to join a Union government led by Borden, was the formation of a federal health department.

The Halifax Explosion signalled our lack of emergency planning!

On December 6, 1917, once again the need for health-action was starkly revealed when the Halifax Explosion occurred. Two ships in the narrows of Halifax military harbour (one of the world’s greatest natural harbours) rubbed together, one carried explosives. The resulting flames caused a massive explosion and a huge tidal wave, all within 10 seconds! (This was the second biggest man-made explosion in history, the first is the bombing of Japan.)

1,963 died, 9,000 were injured and 25,000 became homeless as 2.5 kilometres were levelled. The situation worsened when a six-day blizzard hit immediately after the catastrophe. The “Shattered City” as it became informally known, urgently needed medical assistance, supplies and help. Canadians responded rapidly, but help came more swiftly from Massachusetts. (Halifax still sends Boston a Xmas tree every year in thanks for their support.)

At the same time, the services needed to deal with the orphans, the blind and the disabled from this disaster were also required for the 160,000 returning wounded servicemen.

As a result, the Department of Soldiers’ Civil Re-establishment was created in 1918 to run convalescent hospitals, sanatoria and homes, pay disability allowances, operate an artificial limb and surgical appliance factory, work with out-patients with tuberculosis, dental and mental health conditions, help servicemen find jobs, occupational therapy was pioneered in these hospitals....

Up until then, Canadians had been expected to pay for their own care or seek aid from municipal or provincial facilities. Now, for the first time, the federal government was helping fund health services.

An influenza pandemic revealed the limits of our system!

Then during the final battles in the spring of 1918, a new enemy appeared. ‘Spanish flu’ (a subtype of avian strain H1N1) attacked troops on both sides of the conflict. The disease quickly struck our troops overseas plus those in camps at home.

(Note: The pandemic lasted from March 1918 to June 1920, between 50 and 100 million, about 3% of the world's population of 1.6 billion at that time, died of the disease making it the deadliest natural disaster in human history.)

The outbreak spread to our civilian population, killing many of our young adults between 20 and 45. Communities rallied to provide food, bedding, fuel and care to those ill, but the horrifying speed of the epidemic clearly highlighted our country’s need for more health care professionals, facilities and medical research.

The resulting loss of 50,000 of our young men and women to the flu in addition to the 60,000 war dead prompted Canadians to demand government action to protect up-coming generations from similar suffering.

Meanwhile: New political parties were being formed, such as the United Farmers of Alberta and the National Progressive Party, because of growing differences between urban and rural needs. Several of these new provincial parties supported public health measures that would improve access by all to health services.

The upshot: These 4 crises-driven factors contributed significantly to the establishment of our federal Department of Health in 1919!

**I’d like to acknowledge The Canadian Museum of Civilization (a fascinating educational website) for the information in this article, as I have extracted many of the researched parts almost verbatim from their excellent time line series. Visit my website to connect directly to Canadian Museum of Civilization’s complete story, ‘History of Health Care in Canada, 1914 to 2007’. View the Original article

Long Term Care Insurance Planning For When You Need Private In-Home Care in Ontario

The idea of private in-home care during a major long term illness is far more attractive than an extended stay in an Ontario long term care facility. According to the Canadian Home Care Association, 35% to 50% of Canadians over the age of 65 will require some form of long term or palliative care.

Here are some statistics:

• About 50 thousand strokes occur in Canada each year. This is the leading cause of transfer from hospital to long term care.
• 1 in 11 Canadians over 65 is affected by some sort of dementia disease such as Alzheimer’s.
• 7% of Canadians age 65 and over reside in health care institutions.

Private home care services allow individuals to remain at home surrounded by family and friends. It allows them to continue to contribute to their community. This also makes it easier for families to continue caring for their loved one.

Receiving that care in the comfort of your own home can be a way to recover from a long illness. This can also include palliative care, but no matter what the reason might be, private home care in Ontario is costly. This is why, if you would prefer to have private home care should the need arise, you should begin long term care insurance planning today so that you can meet those costs.

The level of private home care coverage in Ontario that is offered by insurers differs. Some policies might offer less financial aid for private home care than for institutional care. When planning long term care in Canada, you should consider how much private home care would cost where you live. Since costs vary throughout Canada, it’s important to be realistic. Unfortunately, many communities have a shortage of qualified home care workers. If access to private home care is important to you, then you need to keep that in mind for your decision with long term care insurance planning. You want to ensure that if you need it, home care will be affordable to you.

To be able to afford the best long term care and minimize your costs, the sooner you start planning the better. Long term care insurance planning in Ontario begins with your Ontario Insurance Agent. Long term care in Canada continues to face increased pressure and quality of care has suffered as a result of low staffing and poor living conditions. This is not how you want to live once you retire and the best way to be in a position to afford in-home care is to start long term care insurance planning now. This will give you peace of mind, knowing that your long term care is covered.

SOURCE: Independent Financial Concepts Group

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How to Find an Assisted Living Facility

Assisted LivingCanada Submitted by szadmin on Wed, 10/19/2011 - 14:37
In an Assisted Living facility, support is provided to individuals that still wish to live as independently as possible but also need a hand with certain daily life activities. Housekeeping, dressing, laundry, transportation and taking medications are a few examples; there are many ways in which assistance is generally provided. Prepare a list of specific daily life activities that you would like assistance with and inquire about the services offered by each residence that you are considering.

Do an Online Search
The term ‘Assisted Living’ refers more to the type of care than the type of facility and for that reason, a website search will be helpful in the process of narrowing down your options. Assisted Living facilities may be available in a single family home or an apartment building or an entire community.

There are many online databases that you may use to search by location, city, province or postal code. At you have the option to search by province, city and care type. Enter your search criteria and the SeniorsZen database will show you the Assisted Living facilities available in the city you’ve selected.

Browse Assisted Living in Victoria, BC

Quality of care and Level of Service
The provinces vary in the level of services provided under the Assisted Living umbrella so look into whether the provincial government has established regulation or if there is a standard that assisted living providers are accountable to.

In the province of Ontario, look for ORCA – Ontario Retirement Communities Association. In the absence of government regulation, ORCA has set standards of excellence in order to receive accreditation as an ORCA residence. In being accredited the facility demonstrates their commitment to providing a high quality of service to residents, staff and the public. Complete information may be found on the ORCA website.

British Columbia is the first province in Canada to regulate assisted living residences and an Assisted Living Registrar protects the health and safety of seniors in Assisted Living residences under the Community Care and Assisted Living Act. More information about the Assisted Living Act may be found on the BC Government website.

Location and Amenities
Location will be important when choosing an Assisted Living residence and in your web search you will see many community planners have already thought of that with regard to amenities. You may want to be in the heart of the city where you’re close to dining and shopping or you may rather live in a quiet community in a more rural setting. Being close to family may also be important to you so make a list of your location preferences to help in your decision making process.

Visiting and Questions to Ask
Most seniors’ communities welcome visitors; look beyond the physical structure and esthetics and arrange to visit for an afternoon or even as an overnight guest. In doing so, you’ll get a better feel for the community and have the opportunity to ask questions. Take a list of questions with you on your visit; here are some suggestions of things to keep in mind:
• Talk with the residents about their feelings and opinions of the community and collect references from them as well; you may want to call family members for their feedback.
• Arrange for a dinnertime visit and ask for a tour of the kitchen and also for a menu.
• Inquire about safety standards and look at stairwells and less traveled areas of the building for maintenance and cleanliness.
• Ask about the activities available and whether there’s a social director on staff, ask for a calendar or a newsletter that you can take with you.
• Ask about admission requirements and application paperwork.
• Ask about the daily or monthly rates and whether there are costs for additional services like cable and telephone.
• Inquire about the average rates over the last 5-year period and about how frequently they expect to increase the rates. How much advance notice must you give if you decide to move?

Consider hiring an Advisor or Consultant
There are many things to consider in making the move to an Assisted Living community and an advisor or consultant can help in covering all bases. This is a big step and the most important consideration should be given to ensuring your comfort and safety. Gather all the information you can with the focus on making this period of transition as smooth as possible.

Explore Assisted Living in Calgary

By Alice Lucette
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Questions to Consider When Seeking Home Care for Your Loved One

Posted by SunTimes Online Magazine on 11/04/2010
As the cooler temperatures arrive in Arizona, our relatives arrive as well. This is a wonderful time of year, when our loved ones join us for holiday celebrations and outdoor activities. For some families, this means seeking help for their elderly family members. They may not get around as well as they used to, or perhaps a job requires you to leave them alone for long periods during the day or even a few days at a time.

In Arizona, roughly 400 companies provide some type of in home care, such as cooking, cleaning, companionship and transportation. As an unregulated industry, it’s important to do some research so that you feel comfortable, safe and confident with the caregiver(s) you select. Although most organizations offering home help are ethical and trustworthy, there are a few points to consider while choosing the right provider.View the Original article