Introduction to Caregiving 101

Statistics Canada states that the number of Canadians who are 65 or older grew 20 per cent between 2011 and 2016, surpassing for the first time the number of children aged 14 and under.

It’s the largest increase for that age group in 70 years, and the highest increase in the proportion of seniors since Confederation.

The oldest of baby boomers are only now just coming into an age where they may need extra assistance with activities of daily living, or instrumental tasks of living such as mowing the lawn, shopping, or extensive house keeping.

Families are in dire need of companions and especially live in workers.  This article mainly focuses on the rewards of providing live-in to the elderly.  Workers often wonder what experience they may need to provide this care.  For many it starts as companionship with a few key additional aspects to manage the care of an elderly person to palliative care at home.

What are the appeals of such a position you may ask?  Well, for one there is a lot of autonomy in the position of providing live-in companionship or care.  Aside from the fact that you must follow a certain protocol of provision for medications and directives for your senior, you will be able to organize your day around what your senior likes to do, play games, go for drives and assist them in engaging with friends or family but now you are the set of wheels to accommodate this.

Newly Retired but not really ready to give up working?  There may be a part time position that is perfect for you!  Joan recently retired, she’s 63 years old and single but finds she has a lot of free time on her hands.   Joan expressed the desire to work a maximum of 3 days per week as a live-in to a senior gentleman.  Listen to what Joan has to say about her experiences:

“ We have a blast!  Mitch is the best!  He’s like going out with my dad.  Many think Mitch is my dad, which gives us both a little giggle.  Mitch has good mobility and can still get out and about.  His hearing is failing and dealing with cash is getting a little harder.  He used to just open his wallet at the grocery store and have the cashier help themselves.  A little guidance goes a long way, and now I budget the shopping carefully to make sure $40 or 2 x $20 bills are sufficient so Mitch (who has been cued) can pull out the 2 bills on his own!  We go out for lunch, read the paper to each other, and in the afternoon, we read together (and nod off while doing so).  Mitch loves to walk and shop and take drives.  He loves current events and we have great debates.  Why can’t Mitch be on his own?  Well, he has short term memory issues, border line dementia and his reasoning skills aren’t always the best.  Mitch lost his wife 2 years ago and is alone in his own home.  We love doing activities together and I love that I make a difference in his life …. And he in mine!”

If you are a compassionate and caring person, with a little time on your hands, you may be interested in seeking a position where you can both make a difference and be fulfilled at the same time.

Please feel free to join Senior Care Victoria, Care & Company at our session on September 24 from 7pm to 9pm called ‘Introduction to Caregiving 101’ at #116-2187 Oak Bay Avenue.  Coffee & tea supplied.