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Hiring a Caregiver: Go Private or Through a Home Care Agency? – North Shore – North Vancouver, West Vancouver

Deciding to employ the services of a caregiver for you or a loved one can be a significant undertaking. Once you have determined that home care services are required, the next stage is finding a compatible caregiver. There are two main routes you can go when looking to hire a caregiver for in-home care:   Private Caregiver Home Care Agency Private Caregiver A private caregiver will be someone that would hire yourself through your own means. This involves posting an ads, fielding applications, conducting interviews, and performing your own research and checks into each candidate’s background. Home Care Agency A professional home care agency, on the other hand, will do all this leg work for you. For this option, you would just need to contact the agency and book an initial consultation. From there, personal preferences and home care requirements will be discussed to match you or your loved one with a compatible caregiver and design a personalized care plan. Factors to Consider: Private Caregiver vs. Home Care Agency There are many aspects of home care to think about before making a decision about hiring a caregiver. A few factors to examine might be: Legal ramifications Home care services Quality of care Responding to change Legal Ramifications One of the major factors that many people fail to consider are the legal implications of hiring a caregiver. Private Caregiver If you are going the private route for hiring a caregiver, then that caregiver will become your legal employee. With that distinction, comes a set of responsibilities that must be met, as you are know considered an employer. These legal obligations...

Seniors and Technology Use – Vancouver and North and West Vancouver

Technology is something that seniors can harness to make their lives easier and more efficient. While it may be true that some seniors have a harder time adjusting to using forms of technology in their lives than those of younger generations, recent years have seen a greater number of seniors learning to use numerous technological tools and resources in their lives. Whether it be to help stay connected to the people, activities, and tasks that are valuable and fulfilling within their lives, or to better manage productivity and behaviours concerning personal care and wellbeing, more seniors than ever are learning to understand and value the contributions that technology can make to helping them live a positive, engaging, and healthy lifestyle. Supporting seniors as they work towards building a better sense of mastery in terms of their capacity to use technology can help to promote feelings of empowerment and can offer the opportunity for seniors to feel a sense of control over their ability to socialize, connect, learn, play, and keep track of the numerous aspects and facets that make up their lives. Tools and Gadgets The emergence of new technologies continues to take place along with the ever-occurring developments and advancements in the technological realm, and an incredible number of gadgets and tools are made available that can contribute positively to seniors’ lives by improving, simplifying, or introducing various things. Whether it be for entertainment, communication, knowledge and skill building, or management of personal health responsibilities, there are innumerable technological tools that seniors can use in their lives to help increase efficiency or ease of various aspects of life....

Seniors and Sexual Health – North and West Vancouver

Sexuality and Sexual Health are significant features of life, but the taboo that surrounds the topics of sex and sexuality is intensified to an even greater extent when it comes to seniors. In this day and age, there is greater openness and willingness to have important conversations regarding sexuality, sexual expression, and sexual health than there was even just a decade ago, and a great deal of attention has been placed upon shaping understandings and discussions of sexuality to better promote safe, healthy, and fulfilling sexual relationships. The reality is, however, that these efforts are most often directed towards those in adolescence and adulthood, and very little emphasis has been placed upon working to promote a willingness to talk about the sexualities of older members of the population. Popular discourse tends to support the notion that seniors and older adults lack any form of sexual drive or desire. The common understanding, influenced in large part by the taboo that still accompanies discussions of seniors’ sexualities, is that older individuals no longer take part in sexual activity or have the same degree of sexual desire as younger members of the population. Contrary to these beliefs, however, sexual intimacy continues to be an enriching and important aspect of life for many seniors. Yes, Seniors Are Still Having Sex Sex is an uncomfortable topic for a lot of people, and even with the attempts made over recent years to reduce the negative connotation and taboo previously associated with notions of sex and sexuality, most of us aren’t quite comfortable casually discussing sex in everyday conversations quite yet. Throw in the added variable...

The Healing Powers of Laughter – North and West Vancouver

We’ve all heard laughter referred to as “the best kind of medicine”, but most of us don’t know how true it is that laughter can help our bodies and minds. Laughter is more than just an outward expression of happiness, and is actually connected to numerous processes within the body that can help to improve overall feelings of wellbeing, health, and wellness in terms of mind, body, and spirit. Seniors can reap great benefits from taking part in activities, interactions, and experiences that make them laugh, because the very act of laughing has the power to help add some light to the day and ward off worries and negativity. How Laughter Heals Laughter can really be a powerful tool for healing and dealing with worries, and there are numerous positive outcomes related to health that seniors can experience by finding ways to add a little more laughter into their lives: Reduction of Stress, Depression, and Anxiety: The heightened levels of dopamine and other hormones that help to manage stress and anxiety that come along with laughter can be truly helpful. Also, the feelings of joy that come along with laughter can help to minimize feelings of depression. Higher Endorphin Levels: Laughter increases levels of endorphins, which support pain relief and promote feelings of pleasure. Management of Pain: Along with the increase in endorphins, known as the body’s natural painkillers, laughter can also offer a distraction, and laughing can often help to redirect attention away from pain, thereby minimizing its effects. Lowering of Blood Pressure and Cholesterol: The increase in vascular blood flow that occurs during laughter, along with increase...

Anxiety Disorders in the Elderly – North and West Vancouver

Anxiety is a natural feeling that performs a useful and necessary function for our safety and wellbeing. When Anxiety becomes such a recurrent and dominant aspect of day-to-day life that it begins to overpower everything else and stops people’s from living happy, fulfilling, and enriching lives, however, it starts to become cause for concern. Anxiety Disorders can have a significant impact upon how people are able to live their everyday lives, and can be really challenging to manage. While anyone can be faced with an Anxiety Disorder, certain aspects of life that are features of older age make seniors vulnerable to experiencing Anxiety Disorders. Worries associated with personal health, lower self-confidence, chronic pains, the loss of social connections as a result of death or isolation, and numerous medical conditions can all add up to create a web of worries that fill seniors’ daily lives with fears and anxieties. Cultivating an awareness of the types of anxieties that seniors may face, and learning how to identify and address them can help seniors and their loved-ones to work towards better managing Anxiety Disorders. Types of Anxiety Disorders Not all seniors who deal with Anxiety Disorders will face the same issues or have the same experiences. Numerous forms of Anxiety Disorders exist, one or many of which might come to impact seniors at one stage or another: Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD): Among the most commonly experienced forms of Anxiety Disorders, GAD is characterized by constant or unyielding feelings of worry that seem to exist without an identifiable trigger, reason, or cause. Seniors experiencing GAD will be constantly anxious and worried to the...

Talking to Seniors About Their Mental Health – North and West Vancouver

Starting a conversation about mental health can be difficult, but these thoughtful conversations can give seniors an opportunity to express themselves, and can help to make sure that all possible matters of concern are sufficiently tended to. When combined with all the other cognitive and physical changes and adjustments that seniors are dealing with as a part of older age, mental health problems, if left unaddressed, can have a significant and meaningful impact on seniors’ lives. Opening A Dialogue The common and overarching stigma associated with mental illness makes it difficult enough to feel comfortable disclosing mental health concerns, but seniors may be even more likely to withhold feelings and challenges with their mental state for fear of troubling or burdening families and caregivers, or because they may assume that the negative impacts of mental health problems are natural or unavoidable aspects aging. The fact that seniors are often inclined to avoid discussing their own mental health means that family members, friends, and caregivers need to be proactive about keeping track of changes in mood or behaviour, and need to start a dialogue to make sure seniors do not feel ashamed to discuss emotional challenges. Starting a conversation about mental health can be challenging, but talking to seniors openly with respect and understanding can be healing, productive, and meaningful for maintaining health. Seeking Help Seniors may feel discouraged from seeking the professional assistance and support that they need to address troubling feelings and challenges because of the same barriers that prevent them from disclosing their difficulties to loved ones. Encouraging seniors to consult with their doctors, or with a...