Upcoming Workshop - November 5th

Help for Family Caregivers

Are your parents aging and needing more help?  Are you supporting an aging friend or family member? Do you work with seniors and their families? Take away a toolbox full of information, tips and local resources. 
  • When:   Saturday November 5,  1:00 - 4:30 pm 
  • Where: Sturgeon Creek I Retirement Residence  10 Hallonquist Dr. (Across from Grace Hospital)
  • Fee: $20 to be paid at the door
  • Register in advance:  Please email

    When Parents Expect Too Much

    "I took care of you and now it's your turn to take care of me."
    "I'm not moving out of my home."
    "I don't need home care. I don't want strangers coming in here!"

    Caregivers who hear this from their parents are in a tough spot. The realty is that these parents are being unrealistic. Both their sons and daughters probably work full time. Often they do not live close to their aging parents. 

    Life expectancy has grown due to medical advances. Unfortunately many of these advances lead to chronic conditions. Dementia and Alzheimer's are on the rise. Research tells us the average Canadian lives the last 10 years of their life in ill health. When aging parents need care, putting all the responsibility on the shoulders of the adult children is not the solution. 

    "Both adult children and their aging parents should be aware of the caregiving is a two-way process and cannot be effective without the consent and cooperation of both parties." - Caregiving To Aging Parents  

    Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. We all hope to remain independent and sharp until the end of life. But it is unwise to ignore the possibility that our parents may not be so lucky. Consider the possibility that they may live for years with declining physical and mental health. What then? 

    Work together to develop a proactive "What If?" long term plan. What if your parent has a stroke and isn't able to safely remain at home without support? 
    Consider the following:
    What are the financial costs of remaining at home? Are safety renovations necessary? Who will take care of home maintenance, laundry, meals and transportation? Is there enough money to hire help. How much support is required? Will your parents be able to maintain their independence or will they become dependent on others? Will they become isolated in their home? How much support can the family sustain over a long term? Look at the the pros and cons of other housing arrangements. 

    Yes, this involves difficult conversations. Take it slow and be persistent. It is unlikely that you will agree on a perfect plan. Strive for an acceptable compromise. 

    Yes, our parents did raise us. We owe them but we do not owe them everything. 

    July/August - Be Aware

    The following sites have valuable information on current health issues:

    • Choosing Wisely Canada
    • Healthy Debate
    • Dying With Dignity
    • End-of-Life Planning Canada

    Choosing Wisely Canada

    The Facts. As much as 30% of healthcare in Canada is unnecessary.

    When it comes to your health, more medical tests, treatments and procedures are not always better. In fact, sometimes they’re unnecessary. Find out when you need medical tests, treatments and procedures — and when you don’t.

    Talk to your doctor about what you need and what you don’t.
    Four questions to ask your doctor:

     1) Do I really need this test, treatment or procedure?

    2) What are the downsides?

    3) Are there simpler, safer options?
    4) What happens if I do nothing?
    Over 30% of residents in. Long term care are taking anti-psychotic drugs without a diagnosis of psychosis.

    Healthy Debate

    Canadians want to know more about the health care system that they care about, yet there are currently few places to go for factual, easy-to-understand information about the health care system. Healthy Debate fills this gap by providing comprehensive, unbiased information.
    Here's an article worth reading. Why don’t doctors screen more for frailty?

    Dying With Dignity 

    Drive Change

    The Supreme Court has spoken: Canadians facing unbearable suffering have the right to end their lives with the help of a physician. But now, small but noisy special interest groups are working to curtail your rights. We must act. Stand with the 84 per cent of Canadians who support compassion and choice at end of life.

    Know Your Rights

    You have choices. But all too often, overworked doctors and other healthcare providers don’t have the time to tell you about your full range of choices. Don’t be left in the dark: arm yourself with the right information to get the treatment you want and the peace of mind you need.

    Find Support

    If you have received a catastrophic diagnosis and want information about your end-of-life choices, a new independent charity called End-of-Life Planning Canada (ELPC) can help.


    Support for Those Living with Dementia

    Alison Kennedy provides one-on-one cognitive stimulation and emotional support to clients living with dementia. This is her story.
     I was once hired to work with a client in a locked personal care home unit who was sleeping excessively. My first challenge was to get him to wake up! The unit nurse suggested I start reading to him when I visited. I did. A few weeks later another nurse on the unit popped her head in the room, called to my sleeping client who to all appearances was comatose and told him to wake up as I was there. He rolled over opened his eyes and told her that he was listening to a great story, did she mind??  I almost fell off of my chair!
    Eventually he was staying awake. One day I gave him a set of letters and had him spell “Thanksgiving” on the table.  I then said we are going to take turns creating original small words out of those letters. You go first and create five words. He did as I wrote them down. Then it was my turn.  We went back and forth for an hour. Do you know that between us we created 102 original words out of those letters! Towards the end he was starting to squirm in his seat. He did not want to lose to a woman!
    He came to life and made me marvel at the hidden talents in sleeping bodies in nursing homes. You know something else…he could do math faster than I!

    Visit Alison's website Kennedy Cognitive Services, Inc.