Friday, 24 January 2020

Senioropolis Inc News - Introducing SeniorCareAccess.com!

As some of our followers may know, Senioropolis Inc., in its ongoing goal to be the site for 'all things senior' embarked on creating a second website for professionals a couple of years ago. It's goal was to be innovative by providing unbiased housing data through a membership based site, different to all exisiting models in Canada. To this end, we partnered with another company, Pivotal Aging Innovations, Inc. and spent endless hours creating something unique to the industry focused on providing information, support and resources for professionals and consumers alike. The result is SeniorCareAccess.com and we will be unveiling it in a webinar next week. 

If you work with seniors, care for an aging parent or offer services and care to the older adult community, you will want to know about this site.

Join us for an introductory Webinar on Thursday January 30th @ 11am EST.
If you cannot attend this one but would like to know when we host another, just drop me an email at esther@senioropolis.com and we will ensure you are notified of the next one. 

If you can attend, please register at https://lp.constantcontact.com/su/Ke3xIAb - you will be sent log on information once your registration is received. There is no cost to this event and all who are interested are welcome to attend. 


SeniorCareAccess.com offers:
Canada's largest UNBIASED Senior Housing Database for Professional use.
Families and Service Providers can benefit from our Consulting/Navigation program.
Service Providers have the focused opportunity to market their services and network with other providers.

Who is it for?
Accredited Senior Agents™, Financial Services, Home Care, Age in Place, Social Workers, Estate Planners, Executor Services, Estate Lawyers, Accessibility Services, Realtors, Retirement Home/Services, LHIN, Researchers, NFP, Government Agencies, Mental Health and families in transition.

By Canadians For Canadians

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

New Year, New Book!

Hi all - happy new year! I can hardly believe it's 2020. The end of 2019 flew by as we were busy getting our latest book completed. It is officially up on our site for all to see and download at no charge. To download your free copy, please visit https://www.senioropolis.com/BookInfo.asp. Our 23rd edition, covers Ontario and includes some homes in BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan. In addition to the homes we detail, there is a wonderful section on all sorts of housing and care options for seniors and questions to ask when touring both long-term care and retirement homes. For those starting from square one, who don't know anything about what exisits and what the different models of senior care are, it's truly a must have book. 

It's over 240 pages, in full colour with links and bookmarks throughout. Using any PDF reader, one can open up the bookmarks bar and go directly to a page or article of interest. Clicking on a weblink takes users directly a specific website and the email links take you straight to your computer's email composer where you can send a quick email to any home or resource listed in the Guide. There is a ton of great information for seniors, families, consumers and professionals that can really help navigate the realm of senior housing and care.

Do keep in mind that homes that are listed with us, choose to be there. Not everyone wants to be in a publication or on a 3rd party website so we need to respect that and only print information of those that want to be with us. So, as much as we would like our information to be all-encompassing, that is simply not possible. However, for professionals, we do have another site www.seniorcareaccess.com, that is membership-based and as such, has very extensive unbiased information on all homes throughout Ontario.

We love to hear feedback from our users, so please feel free to drop us a line once you have downloaded our 2020 Guide from www.senioropolis.com. Keep it on your desktop for easy access and share with friends and family looking for housing, resources and care information for themselves or a senior in their lives.

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Holiday Concerns

As the holidays approach I am reminded of the many calls we get from families in the early part of January after they visit with their loved ones. Often, holidays are the time when families notice that an elder loved one is not doing as well as they hoped, is perhpas having difficulty with simple tasks, or has declined since a previous visit. Especially in families where caregivers/children/loved ones live far away, what one anticipates as a pleasant visit after many months or longer, can turn into one fraught with concern and worry.
If you are faced with this situation, or anticipate that you may find yourself scrambling to figure out care and/or supports for an elder loved one over the hoidays, it's important to begin a conversation with the person about your concerns sooner rather than later. It's never easy. And there is no perfect time. Ideally, a conversation about planning ahead should happen well in advance of a crisis - especially if all family live out of town. However, realistically, such a conversation may not occur until something happens to instigate it. In this situation, the priority is ensuring safety while you organize next steps.
Keep in mind, when talking to your loved one, that this can be a very frightening experience and you need to be supportive and listen. Consider their requests and understand that as long as they are mentally competent, they have the right to decide what they want to do. If there are other family members, ensure they are part of the conversation. Prior to sitting down with your loved one, you may want to investigate some care options in their area so you have some solutions to offer. Try not to overwhlem and stay focused on the senior and what they need, not what the family wants. Be open and honest and try to problem solve together. Teamwork can help and no one person should be expected to take on all of the responsibility alone especially if there are other family members. Do what you can to keep the person at home for as long as possible, with adequate support, as long as they can be safe in their own envirionment.
For those of you that consider your role to be a long distance caregiver, it's important to create a group of helpers who can keep an eye on your loved one through regular physical contact. It's much easier to hide concerns or issues on the phone than in person so, someone who visits often is an important component of keeping your loved one safe. When you are in the home, make sure you check it for safety issues and familiarize yourself with finaincial and medical information. Do what you can to organize paperwork, caregivers and any necessary documents. Consider creating an emergency file or download one from  https://www.senioropolis.com/BookInfo.asp or https://www.seniorcareaccess.com/publications.php. As well, once you are home, you may want to consider technology based  tools to assist you in monitoring your loved one from a distance. For more information on caregiving, care options, and/or having a difficult conversation about care needs with a loved one, download a free copy of our Guide at www.senioropolis.com. 

Friday, 15 November 2019

Elder Orphans

Do you know what an Elder Orphan or Senior Orphan is? Apparently, its a senior who does not have any immediate family or family that they have contact with  or are in close proximity to - no spouse, children,  grandchildren, parents or siblings - so if there is an emergency or crisis, there is no one to assist with care or decision making. Perhaps a nicer term I have seen used is a 'solo-ager' or 'solo-senior' but all seem to lead to a more negative than positive connotation. Being unattached, does not always mean being lonely and for some, it is a preferable choice. That being said, for those who are elderly and live alone, if they are not socially connected, there is a higher risk of mental health, cognitive and medical issues.
The earliest mention of elder orphans that I can find online, from a quick google search, is 2016. From the definition above, there have always been 'elder orphans' who we did not need to label as anything but 'single', so why label them now? I suspect there is a sudden concern now because our senior population is increasing. In the US, the prediction is that up to 20%  of current seniors are potential elder orphans. That's based on current figures; 30 years from now, it's predicted that the number could be double that. So, for those who have no next of kin, there are many reasonable questions that have arisen.  Who will make decisions for people who don't have family to help them? Who will provide unpaid care to supplement paid care or goverment-funded homecare?  Will there be enough resources and enough housing? Do we have the resources to accommodate potentially tens of thousands of people or more, who do not have a power of attorney and for whom a a life-threatening illness occurs? While the general population may not realize how much informal caregiving happens from family, those of us who work in the senior sector see it day after day.
All of these questions are concering but, in many situations, people who are in this predicament have already thought about this and have planned ahead. For those that haven't, but see their future selves when reading this article, having some foresight by planning, will provide much of the solution.
You may want to reach out to close friends you trust with either your finances, health care decisions or both, to ask if they would be your Power of Attorney should you require one in the future. If this is not possible, enquire with your bank - some trust companies may have the availability of people who can manage your finanical power of attorney. This option though, would still leave you with no one to make health care decisions for you. It is preferable to have someone take on this task who knows you or who you can specify your wishes to when you are well; if you don't do this, and you become unable to make finacial or medical decisions, the Public Guardian steps in and makes those decisions for you.
There are senior agencies in every area that you can contact in order to find out services available and the costs involved. Contact your local LHIN to enquire about their offerings and assistance. While you are well and mobile, you may want to look into housing options with care (or graduated care options) in your area so you can plan ahead. Or you may want to look into innovative options like home-sharing or co-housing which will afford you companionship and perhaps shared expenses which can help with care costs.
As long as you are able to plan ahead, do your best to stay healthy, socially connected and reach out when you need assistance, being a solo senior can be something to look forward to rather than something to fear.

Friday, 18 October 2019

Help The Cause: Prostate Cancer


Prostate Cancer affects one in every seven males, making  it the second most common cancer in Canada. According to a study done by the Mayo Clinic and the risk of getting prostate cancer increases with each year that you age, making senior males at a higher risk. Fortunately, if its detected early the survival rate is very high. Common symptoms of Prostate Cancer include, frequent urination, blood in urine or seamen and erectile dysfunction. If you have any of these symptoms, it is important that you schedule a visit with your healthcare provider. However, you should start having a conversation on Prostate Cancer between ages 45 and 50 to become more educated. If interested, your healthcare provider can give you a PSA test to determine your risk factor for the disease.

Many  studies have shown that men are more laid back when it comes to health issues, partially because they are not educated enough on the topic. This causes a major social divide when it comes to men’s healthcare. To help  raise awareness for Men’s health there are many awareness plays you can get involved in, such as Movember. Movember is an internationally recognized movement that supports men's health, with prostate cancer being a main focus. To get involved in this movement all you have to do is rock a moustache for the month of November. To take part all you’ll need to do is take a  sharp clean razor, apply some shaving cream and remove all your facial hair except for that moustache.

Since 2003, Movember has helped fund over 1,000 different men’s health projects around the world and are continuing to challenge the societal norm that surrounds men’s health care. This organization is looking to reduce the number of men dying prematurely from cancers and mental health conditions by 25% in the next 11 years.

This movement isn’t just limited to the men, but women can also get involved now too! Women can play their part in the movement by getting active instead of growing a ‘stache. MOVE is the campaign that they can be in. MOVE encourages women to be active for all 30 days of the month, this not only helps support the men in their lives, but it also benefits their own health!

So let's Help the Cause together by growing our moustaches and getting active!

Contributed by: Alan Johnson

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Alan Johnson is a health and lifestyle writer who enjoys all things health and bringing about awareness to others. When he’s not writing he enjoys running, meal-prepping and hiking.


Friday, 4 October 2019

GUEST POST - Winter Weather Preparation for Seniors


Whether it’s global warming or our imaginations, winter storms seem to get more intense every year, so it’s always good to take the required precautions to stay safe. Blizzards can completely disrupt cities—stopping drivers, halting emergency responders, and even causing power outages. Unfortunately, the two most vulnerable groups of people when it comes to cold weather are the elderly or very young. Many weather-related casualties are not from storms themselves, but rather from the aftermath— elderly people stranded in their homes, overexertion from shoveling snow causing heart attacks or strokes, or automobile accidents due to unsafe roads. While it is difficult to predict exactly what will be damaged by a winter storm, it is possible to know when they will occur, and that vital piece of information will hopefully give you enough time to prepare.

Many people across the country live in small towns and while this doesn’t mean total isolation during a storm, it does mean longer recovery time, so it is best to be prepared on your own. If you are lucky enough to be at home during an extreme winter storm, plan in advance to have supplies that will allow you to stay comfortable and warm. If your home has a fireplace, keep an ample supply of firewood in case the heat goes out. Canned and non-perishable foods are necessary in situations where you lose power or the roads are snowed in. Check that emergency equipment such as flashlights and electric generators are in working order. Lastly, keep bottles of clean water for drinking and cooking because your pipes may freeze.

When you are weathering the storm you will want to receive the latest weather updates. Luckily, weather updates are automatically programmed into many smart phones, but if your phone does not do this, then manually sign up for weather alerts through your mobile phone or email. The Weather Channel offers free weather alerts for any postal code on their website. Sometimes though, the internet goes out, so have a radio available as well. Be sure all of your mobile devices are charged ahead of time in case of a power outage.

Mobile and home phones are especially important for older people who live alone. A senior’s family, wherever they may be living, will want to know they are safe. If the family lives in another province, older people should designate a friend or neighbor as an emergency point of contact. If you are an older person that lives near loved ones, it could be a good idea to group together at one location.  Locate a place for everyone to meet when a winter storm warning is issued, depending on where you and your family are.

You should also make sure your house is fortified for the winter. Make sure the home’s walls and attic are properly insulated to avoid losing heat. To avoid pipes bursting, keep faucets dripping. It is also important to know how to locate and stop your home’s water valves in case a pipe does burst. Set up emergency heating equipment, such as a fireplace with wood or a portable stove with plenty of fuel. If electricity does not go out, space heaters can be very helpful when used correctly. Space heaters should remain at least three feet away from all furniture, flammable items, or drapes. Once everyone leaves the room, turn off the heater. Never place any objects directly on a heater.

If, for some reason, you do need to travel in extreme conditions, or if you are stuck in the middle of a storm in your car, make sure the car is properly fitted for the winter. Before the season, have your car’s radiator system serviced, check the antifreeze level, and be certain the windshield wipers are in good condition. If your tires have worn-down tread, replace them. It is also a good idea to keep jumper cables and chains in the trunk. These basic steps will hopefully prevent an emergency from occurring and keep you safe during the winter months.

Contributed by: Jacob Edward
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Author Bio: Jacob Edward is the founder of Senior Planning, a free service dedicated to helping Seniors find care. He is also the founder of Prime Medical Alert.


Friday, 6 September 2019

Preserving Memories

Downsizing. Relocation. Moving. These words easily create anxiety - especially for someone who is elderly and may have lived in the same home for decades. Besides the practical tasks of figuring out what you can take with you, what will fit, what you need and don't need, comes an often unspoken worry of letting go of and/or finding a new home for, things that are special to you. Your memories. Photos. Memorabilia. That vase you got as a wedding gift. That music box you were given when your first baby was born. The pencil marks on the wall from when you measured your kids growing. And so, the more difficult task than figuring out the practical 'stuff', is how to preserve those memories.

Recognizing that moving will not erase your memories that are connected to your home (or for some adult children, their parents' home) or its contents is a good first step. Once you figure out the items that are hardest to part with, set aside a few that will fit in your new place that you can take with you. For other items, that you simply cannot take with you, consider doing the following: write down the stories behind your treasures which you can then give to your loved ones with those items. Alternately, when you give special items away, use it as an opportunity to share the story behind them verbally with the person you are gifting them to. It is far nicer to share items that are important to you with others when you can see them being enjoyed and it will make you feel good knowing that things you have loved, are being enjoyed by others who will treasure them as much as you did. 

Keep in mind that some items you treasure, may not hold the same meaning to your loved ones or things you don't care much about may be special to someone else because of a memory for them that's tied to it. If possible, allow the loved ones you have chosen to share your valuables with,  to choose what they want keep.

While gifting things to close family or friends may make it easy for you to 'visit' them when you feel a bit nostalgic, you may want to also, consider creating a 'memory book' of photos of your special items that you can take with you and look through whenever you want. Having a child or grandchild help you do this gives them an opportunity to learn more about you and perhaps the family.

When it comes to family photos & mementos, do make every effort to preserve them. Even though everyone is not sentimental, photos denote our history and I know of many grandchildren that would be more than happy to help organize shoe boxes of photos and be the family memory keeper.