Thursday, 19 December 2013

How important are hearing issues?


Hearing issues are an ongoing challenge for seniors. In severe cases, if a senior denies they have issues or refuses to wear hearing aids, people may think that they have cognitive issues when indeed its only that they didn’t hear a question or statement properly that might lead to an incorrect response. If you or someone you know is struggling with hearing impairment consider other options to assist if hearing aids are not a desired solution. Besides traditional hearing aids, there are many different types of devices that can help a person with hearing impairment stay connected to their world and maintain their independence. Contact your local Hearing Society to ask about amplifiers, special visual or vibrating alarms for doors, and tips for communication. Consider showing them how to text message on a cell phone, or find out about TTY phone lines or Relay services for the hearing impaired.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

How do I know if a place is good?


If you or someone you care about is moving to a retirement or long-term care home, consider the following tip. The most important factor in determining quality of care in any residence or care situation is that of the staff. You can determine this easily if you take the time to watch and listen during your visits. Watch other residents when you visit; get to know them, their families/regular visitors and talk to them. Developing relationships with both staff and residents in the home is important and will ensure that if there are issues, you are notified of them. Focus on the food quality, cleanliness and staff attitude. Join a Family Council if there is one or encourage your loved one to join a Residents’ Council if they are able to participate. If you have the time, join in activities in the residence. This is a way to help your loved on adjust while creating opportunities for you to get to know other residents and staff by observing and interacting.

Friday, 13 December 2013

More on Downsizing Tips....


Yet another downsizing suggestion which we absolutely love! Even though we found it a long time ago, we like sharing it with people (still) since it can apply to just about everyone. And you don’t have to be moving or downsizing to try it. When you are looking to pare down your clothes closet a bit do the following: “Reverse Coat Hanger Trick: We wear 20 percent of our clothes 80 percent of the time. Turn all coat hangers in your closet back to front. In the next six months, when you wear something, put it back in your closet the correct way. At the end of six months, you'll see what you've worn and what you haven't. Give away what you haven't worn.” Seems like such a simple idea but I've never read or heard about it anywhere else but in this one article quoted below.

Quoted from: “Culling Your “Stuff” Can Be Painful Task” by Ellie Kahn, November 3, 2005, The Jewish Journal
www.jewishjournal.com/lifecycles/article/culling_your_stuff_can_be_painful_task_20051104/

 

Monday, 9 December 2013

What is the RHRA?


In follow up to our last post about the new Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA), we thought we should tell you a bit about them…. So the first thing you should know is that they are not a government agency. They are an independent, not-for-profit corporation set up by the government through something called a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ and through this there is accountability to the government. There is a Board of Directors consisting of 9 members and a Stakeholders Advisory Council. The RHRA administers the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 and has as its objectives, licensing homes, inspecting homes, keeping a public register of information on homes and informing/educating both the public and the retirement homes in Ontario. In the first couple of years the province did contribute funds to get the Authority off the ground but moving forward, the RHRA will sustain itself through fees provided by the homes.
The Fundamental Principle of the RHRA is “that a retirement home is to be operated so that it is a place where residents live with dignity, respect, privacy and autonomy, in security, safety and comfort and can make informed choices about their care options” (from: RHRA Plain-Language Guide, page 4 ). There is also a clear definition of what a retirement home is for the purposes of homes applying for licenses and following regulations. In order to be considered a retirement home under the governing legislation most residents must be 65 or more, there must be 6 or more resident spaces for people unrelated to the owner and, there must be a minimum of 2 care services available (the Act defines what a care service is specifically). So if a home doesn’t offer ‘care services’, they do not fall into this classification and are not subject to regulation.
Licensing has been phased in over a nearly 2 year period starting in April 2012. The final phase will occur as of January 1, 2014 when all homes will be expected to fulfill all the requirements set out in the legislation. At this point there are almost 700 retirement homes registered with the RHRA and we know that there are always new ones under construction. People in homes or considering moving to one, should educate themselves on the rules and regulations and resident rights. Visit the website for the RHRA to find out this important information – www.rhra.ca. More on the RHRA in future posts…. But do let us know if there is something you would like to know about them or the legislation as well……..

For additional information on this topic see the article entitled What is the RHRA?

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Retirement Home Regulation in Ontario


Several years ago, there were ‘consultations’ held in Ontario, to discuss the need for regulation of the retirement home sector. Retirement homes are part of the ‘private sector’ while there are a few not-for-profits out there, most are for profit and many owned by small to large companies though there are still a few independent owners out there. For the most part the homes that have existed are good and treat people well, but over time there were enough reports of problems and a recognition that seniors are very much a vulnerable population so there needs to be some form of regulation. Fast forward a couple of years and we now have the Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) in Ontario. Some other provinces have some similar organizations, but it is by no means standard across Canada. Anyway, the RHRA has a set of standards homes must abide by and has the ability to regulate, inspect and educate homes. We think this is a very positive thing for Ontario seniors and so, we will spend some time in our upcoming posts sharing information about the RHRA and the regulations for retirement homes in Ontario. You can look up the license status of all retirement homes on their website www.rhra.ca.

Monday, 25 November 2013

Do you have our Apps???

We wanted to share some information about our Apps so those of you with cell phones that want to download them, know what we have created. Our Retirement Home Cost Calculator App allows users to determine the difference in cost between living in their own home vs. living in a retirement setting. This App is available in the Apple store for IPhones at no charge for the time being. Our Free GPS App allows users to search our database of homes for contact information and will map them from their current location to the home of their choice. This works across Canada and contains information on all homes that are active on our site. This GPS App is available for IPhones and Andriod devices. Go to the store of your choice and enter Senioropolis into the search bar. Alternately, you can click on this link on our site to take you to the right place http://www.senioropolis.com/apps.asp

Friday, 22 November 2013

More on downsizing............


Another thought about downsizing……when you move to a smaller home or even a care facility or retirement setting, there might be many items that you simply cannot take with you no matter how dear they are to you. Consider taking photos of those items and displaying them in a photo album. This will allow you to ‘visit’ them whenever you want. You might want to select the items you want to remain in the family and let close relatives choose the ones they want. Prior to giving it to them, consider writing up the ‘story’ that goes with it and share it with them as you pass it along for them to display in their homes. Items are that much more special when the recipient knows how important it was to you and how it came to be so special.

For a more detailed look at this topic see the article on our site entitled Relocation Basics & Downsizing Tips

Monday, 18 November 2013

Downsizing - A Family Affair!


Since downsizing is such a huge ordeal for most people, never mind how difficult it is if you are trying to clean out a house you have lived in for 50 years, we like finding little ‘tips’ that can help people as they go through this process regardless of where they are relocating to. So at various points you will see valuable ideas or suggestions that we have found helpful over the years. One such ‘idea’ that some seniors suggested to us a while ago was a great way to get rid of many household items that also involves grandchildren and other family members. Hold a garage sale, let the kids help with pricing, laying out the items and selling them – let them keep the money earned and divide up among the helpers!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Honouring Seniors


We love hearing and reading about positive things being done to honour seniors and their contributions to the world… So, this is something that I wish our Governments did more of….. Did you know that there is something called a Senior Achievement Award in Ontario that the provincial government established to honour seniors who have made an “outstanding contribution to their community after age 65”? Every year 20 people are given this award. To find out more about this or nominate someone you can visit www.citizenship.gov.on.ca/english/citizenship/honours/saa.shtml.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Who we are....


Senioropolis Inc. is a company started many years ago, at first under the name Retirement Residential Placement Service Inc., by Esther Goldstein, a Toronto area hospital social worker. Through her many years in the field, Esther came to understand important resources for seniors and how locating information in a concise format was difficult and in many places, unavailable.

Esther set out to create a publication for herself that would make her job helping seniors and their families easier but inadvertently ended up creating something that benefited other professionals as well. The book, ‘Comprehensive Guide to Retirement Living and Long-Term Care®’ became a well-used and known resource in the Toronto area almost immediately and over the years has grown to cover all of Ontario and include all sorts of resources for seniors.

The Guide is published and distributed every January and 2014 will mark the release of the 17th edition. Several years after starting the book, as the world became more web savvy, Esther set out to create a website where this information, and more could be stored and searched through – hence the birth of www.senioropolis.com!

The site has grown to cover all of Canada and includes the most extensive database of information on housing options for seniors currently. It also contains information on many types of resources and articles and information.

Over time senioropolis.com has become very interactive as well. It now includes all sorts of photo features, videos, social media feeds – and the list grows every year. Senioropolis also created Apps recently – both a GPS and a Financial one – for cell phones across Canada. More about the Apps in a future post.

Always open to ideas and suggestions for expanding what we offer and to whom, we have decided to create this blog as a means of communicating additional information that we discover, that is informative and that can help seniors, their families and those who work with them explore and locate resources and housing options. Our hope is to post frequently so please visit us often to see what’s new!