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Book Club Update: April 2018

Who doesn’t love a suspenseful novel? We’ve chosen a new thriller this month… The Little Stranger By Sarah Waters There seems to be a theme preferred by our Book Club. We love murder mysteries, but this novel promises to take the genre to the level of psychological suspense thriller. Although this Gothic novel was published in 2009, no one in our group has read it yet. It’s 1940s England and the Ayres family has fallen on hard times. The stately home in which they live, called Hundreds Hall, may or may not be haunted! Family drama, romance, and the supernatural are all elements that helped us pick this gem, not to mention the writer’s storytelling ability. It really feels as though you are in the scene, not just observing it. If you can’t be at our meetings, join our conversation on Facebook! We’ll post updates each week to share our thoughts on the book as we read.  We want to hear from you too! Check out our Facebook group. Burlington Gardens Book Club Info...

ICYMI: 2018 Provincial Budget Highlights for Seniors

If you live in Ontario and are a senior, you may be interested in what the 2018 Budget (provincial) has to say about what the Province is promising for the next year. The 2018 Budget plan, outlined here, addresses issues such as mental health, affordable housing, child care and making health care better and more accessible to everyone. Most significantly, the government is promising a fair approach to implementing the plan. The main points that are specifically geared toward the Province’s aging population show that our policy makers recognize that the cost of living independently can create barriers for seniors who wish to stay in their home. Retire-At-Home understands this as well. Our team of qualified Nurses and Client Care managers will work with you to identify the services you really need to help you stick to a budget. 2018 Budget highlights Expanding long-term care to make it more accessible (the plan is to add 5000 new beds by 2022, and 30,000 over the next decade.) A benefit of $750 annually for seniors 75 years of age and older, to help maintain their homes (e.g. this could help pay for custodial services such as snow removal, lawn maintenance and air duct cleaning, but the eligible expenses have not been revealed yet.) OHIP benefits will cover prescriptions for seniors in August 2019. Support for dental care costs. Expanding and improving home and community care for people who need nursing services, as well as for caregivers. Personal Support Workers (PSWs) will receive additional training and incentives (such as retirement security) to join the PSW workforce. Support for people living with Dementia and...
The 2018 Provincial Budget: How Does It Affect Seniors?

The 2018 Provincial Budget: How Does It Affect Seniors?

If you live in Ontario and are a senior, you may be interested in what the 2018 Budget (provincial) has to say about what the Province is promising for the next year. The 2018 Budget plan, outlined here, addresses issues such as mental health, affordable housing, child care and making health care better and more accessible to everyone. Most significantly, the government is promising a fair approach to implementing the plan. The main points that are specifically geared toward the Province’s aging population show that our policy makers recognize that the cost of living independently can create barriers for seniors who wish to stay in their home. Retire-At-Home understands this as well. Our team of qualified Nurses and Client Care managers will work with you to identify the services you really need to help you stick to a budget. 2018 Budget highlights Expanding long-term care to make it more accessible (the plan is to add 5000 new beds by 2022, and 30,000 over the next decade.) A benefit of $750 annually for seniors 75 years of age and older, to help maintain their homes (e.g. this could help pay for custodial services such as snow removal, lawn maintenance and air duct cleaning, but the eligible expenses have not been revealed yet.) OHIP benefits will cover prescriptions for seniors in August 2019. Support for dental care costs. Expanding and improving home and community care for people who need nursing services, as well as for caregivers. Personal Support Workers (PSWs) will receive additional training and incentives (such as retirement security) to join the PSW workforce. Support for people living with Dementia...

ICYMI: 3 Ways Seniors Can Boost Their Immune System

Eat well The idea that our immune systems rely on a healthy diet to keep our digestive tract in balance has always been a guiding principle for our approach to health care. Our caregivers can help you plan and shop for wholesome, nutrient-rich foods so you can get through cold and flu season. Your specific needs, including gout, diabetes, heart disease or arthritis, can be addressed through a combination of traditional medicine as well as through food choices. As an example, if you have an allergy, you’d generally avoid the allergen. Likewise, if you suffer from arthritis, eating certain foods can cause inflammation, so you’d also avoid them and find alternatives. Learn more about anti-inflammatory foods Safe food handling Our reliance on antibiotics to fight infection has created a problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that our resistance to the antibiotics that treat diseases like pneumonia and E.coli infections has increased considerably. This development means that we need to help our bodies stay healthy using lifestyle choices so that diseases find us inhospitable hosts for disease. We need to pay attention to how we handle food, choose immune-boosting foods like citrus, kale and healthy oils. Keep moving! In addition to eating well, regular exercise can help keep your immune system in check. We read an article on the BBC recently about a scientific study that says doing lots of exercise in older age can prevent the immune system from declining and protect people from infections. When the scientists say: “do lots of exercise” and refer to an octogenarian who does marathons, we realize that most of us do not fit into that category. However, we...
3 Ways Food and Exercise Can Help Seniors Stay Healthy

3 Ways Food and Exercise Can Help Seniors Stay Healthy

Eat well The idea that our immune systems rely on a healthy diet to keep our digestive tract in balance has always been a guiding principle for our approach to health care. Our caregivers can help you plan and shop for wholesome, nutrient-rich foods so you can get through cold and flu season. Your specific needs, including gout, diabetes, heart disease or arthritis, can be addressed through a combination of traditional medicine as well as through food choices. As an example, if you have an allergy, you’d generally avoid the allergen. Likewise, if you suffer from arthritis, eating certain foods can cause inflammation, so you’d also avoid them and find alternatives. Learn more about anti-inflammatory foods   Safe food handling Our reliance on antibiotics to fight infection has created a problem. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that our resistance to the antibiotics that treat diseases like pneumonia and E.coli infections has increased considerably. This development means that we need to help our bodies stay healthy using lifestyle choices so that diseases find us inhospitable hosts for disease. We need to pay attention to how we handle food, choose immune-boosting foods like citrus, kale and healthy oils.   Keep moving! In addition to eating well, regular exercise can help keep your immune system in check. We read an article on the BBC recently about a scientific study that says doing lots of exercise in older age can prevent the immune system from declining and protect people from infections. When the scientists say: “do lots of exercise” and refer to an octogenarian who does marathons, we realize that most of...

ICYMI: Why You Need to Take Care of Your Vision

We often take our senses for granted, until we lose one or more of them. I have a friend who can’t taste anything as the side effect of a medication she took years ago. She says that it doesn’t bother her as much as it did at the beginning. I suspect it’s because she knows that losing her sense of taste was a risk she was willing to take because those drugs saved her life. In other words, there wasn’t much she could do to prevent the loss of taste in her case. This week, we want to ask you to ask yourself some questions, that may seem basic on the surface, but as you read this post you will see how important your answers are! Which of the five senses do you rely upon the most? Do you live alone? Is your home a house or an apartment? How often do you visit the eye doctor? Why prevention matters The CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) offers great resources for anyone who wants to learn about eye health. Did you know that every 12 minutes, someone in Canada begins to lose their eyesight? 75 per cent of vision loss can be prevented. We rely on our vision to drive or just get around in general. As adults, it can be challenging (but not impossible) to learn how to do things again. Why not take some care to ensure you maintain as much of your vision as possible? There are instances the outcome of which we cannot control, such as genetic predisposition, illness, environmental factors or an accident. There...
5 Ways Seniors Can Improve Their Eye Health

5 Ways Seniors Can Improve Their Eye Health

We often take our senses for granted, until we lose one or more of them. I have a friend who can’t taste anything as the side effect of a medication she took years ago. She says that it doesn’t bother her as much as it did at the beginning. I suspect it’s because she knows that losing her sense of taste was a risk she was willing to take because those drugs saved her life. In other words, there wasn’t much she could do to prevent the loss of taste in her case. This week, we want to ask you to ask yourself some questions, that may seem basic on the surface, but as you read this post you will see how important your answers are! Which of the five senses do you rely upon the most? Do you live alone? Is your home a house or an apartment? How often do you visit the eye doctor? Why prevention matters The CNIB (Canadian National Institute for the Blind) offers great resources for anyone who wants to learn about eye health. Did you know that every 12 minutes, someone in Canada begins to lose their eyesight? 75 per cent of vision loss can be prevented. We rely on our vision to drive or just get around in general. As adults, it can be challenging (but not impossible) to learn how to do things again. Why not take some care to ensure you maintain as much of your vision as possible? There are instances the outcome of which we cannot control, such as genetic predisposition, illness, environmental factors or an accident....

ICYMI: Why does blood pressure matter?

What’s your morning routine? Do you always get ready for bed the same way? We often find ourselves stuck on auto-pilot when it comes to daily tasks like maintaining personal hygiene or taking our vitamins and medication.  Have you noticed that you tend to rush through the things that could make a real difference in your general health and well being? We may ignore our blood pressure because it’s invisible. One of the tasks we build into our morning and bedtime routine is to measure our blood pressure. This vital sign can warn you of heart disease, including the likelihood of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. What is blood pressure? When your heart beats, it pumps blood throughout your body to provide it energy and oxygen. As the blood travels through your veins and arteries, it pushes against the sides (walls) of the blood vessels. Blood pressure is the force and the rate of the blood travelling through the blood vessels. Taking note of your blood pressure can help your doctor diagnose blocked arteries, hardened artery walls, irregular heart rate, and various other heart diseases. The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation website is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to understand heart disease. Learn more about heart disease here. It can be difficult to decipher the meaning of the numbers on the reading, especially when we don’t really understand terms like systolic and diastolic. We like how the American Heart Association illustrates blood pressure readings so they’re easy to understand. Click here to see their chart. Heart Disease You may have been born with a heart condition (congenital),...
Have You Checked Your Blood Pressure Today?

Have You Checked Your Blood Pressure Today?

What’s your morning routine? Do you always get ready for bed the same way? We often find ourselves stuck on auto-pilot when it comes to daily tasks like maintaining personal hygiene or taking our vitamins and medication.  Have you noticed that you tend to rush through the things that could make a real difference in your general health and well being? We may ignore our blood pressure because it’s invisible. One of the tasks we build into our morning and bedtime routine is to measure our blood pressure. This vital sign can warn you of heart disease, including the likelihood of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. What is blood pressure? When your heart beats, it pumps blood throughout your body to provide it energy and oxygen. As the blood travels through your veins and arteries, it pushes against the sides (walls) of the blood vessels. Blood pressure is the force and the rate of the blood travelling through the blood vessels. Taking note of your blood pressure can help your doctor diagnose blocked arteries, hardened artery walls, irregular heart rate, and various other heart diseases. The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation website is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to understand heart disease. Learn more about heart disease here. It can be difficult to decipher the meaning of the numbers on the reading, especially when we don’t really understand terms like systolic and diastolic. We like how the American Heart Association illustrates blood pressure readings so they’re easy to understand. Click here to see their chart. Heart Disease You may have been born with a heart...

ICYMI: Protect Your Family from Home Care Abuse

You may have seen the news about a live-in caregiver who was charged with theft in Burlington. It can be a real eye-opener when we see these crimes reported, especially when they occur in our own community. Stealing from someone who has entrusted a new person with their care is a serious violation. Theft, physical violence, deprivation of nutrition, verbal abuse and neglect are all forms of abuse. Your safety is our number one priority, and we do not tolerate elder abuse, or any other form of abuse. Screening caregivers A proper vetting process administered by a professional in the healthcare industry can give you peace of mind. Hiring someone from a publicly available advertisement may not yield the most appropriate candidate. Be aware of scams that give unverified people access to your home. Retire-At-Home uses a thorough screening process when we hire caregivers and nurses. We run criminal record checks, verify work permits for foreign workers and check all certifications and vaccine records. Our hiring process also takes into consideration your specific needs or ability to communicate. It can feel like you’re searching for the impossible. Try not to be stressed about it! Our team at Retire-At-Home Halton can help you. Get started Take a breath, and make a list of your needs. It’s helpful to determine your budget as well. The following checklist can help you get started: gather medication and medical history make notes on physical limitations list all the equipment you use (rented or owned) indicate all the languages you understand or prefer to use ask people in your community about potential referrals. You may have a personal support worker or...
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