If you live on the Sunshine Coast, you know how frequent and extended power outages can be, especially during the winter months. Strong winds, heavy rain, and snow can cause trees and branches to fall on power lines, leaving thousands of customers in the dark. This can be especially challenging for our senior family members, who may live alone or in remote areas. How can we help them cope with the cold and isolation? Here are some tips on how to prepare them for winter emergencies and keep them connected and safe.
- Make sure they have a backup source of heat, such as a fireplace, wood stove, or generator. Check that they have enough fuel and that the equipment is working properly. If they use electric heaters, make sure they have surge protectors and extension cords that are in good condition. You can also consider getting them battery-powered heaters or power banks that can charge their devices and appliances in case of an outage.
- Help them stock up on non-perishable food, water, and medications. They should have enough supplies to last at least three days, or longer if they live in a rural area. Make sure they have a manual can opener, a flashlight, and extra batteries. Place the flashlights in convenient locations, such as near their bed, bathroom, or kitchen, so they can easily find them in the dark.
- If they have any medical equipment that requires electricity, such as oxygen concentrators, CPAP machines, or nebulizers, make sure they have battery backups or alternative power sources. Check that the batteries are fully charged and that the equipment is functioning well. You can also contact their health care provider or local emergency services to see if they offer any assistance or resources for seniors with medical needs.
- Create a communication plan with them. Set up a regular phone call or text message to check on them during a storm or outage. If possible, provide them with a cell phone or a landline phone that does not require electricity. You can also use social media or email to stay in touch.
- Encourage them to stay active and social. Physical and mental health are important for seniors, especially during the winter months. Suggest some indoor activities that they can do, such as reading, puzzles, crafts, or games. If they have neighbors or friends nearby, encourage them to visit them or invite them over for a cup of tea or coffee.
- Offer your help and support. If you live close by, offer to shovel their driveway, bring them groceries, or drive them to appointments. If you live far away, ask someone you trust who lives near them to do the same. Let them know that you care about them and that they are not alone.
Thank you so much to the Sunshine Coast Community who voted for Sunshine Coast Senior Care as their Favorite Home Health Care company.
However, the biggest heartfelt Thank You goes to our incredible Nurses and Care Aides at SCSC and across the West Coast; they are the real heroes and deserve all the recognition.
Today, I want to shine a spotlight on the incredible individuals who make up our Care Teams at Sunshine Coast Senior Care. They are the unsung heroes among us, dedicated to supporting our clients and their loved ones, especially during some of the most challenging moments in their lives.
A Shoulder to Lean On
Our Care Teams are so much more than healthcare providers. They are shoulders to cry on when tears flow, a source of laughter when it's needed most, and a quiet comfort during moments of uncertainty. They provide the emotional support that goes far beyond medical care.
Dignity in Daily Tasks
They step into the role of caregivers, helping with daily personal tasks that many of us take for granted. Whether it's assisting with bathing, dressing, or other personal and sometimes embarrassing needs, they ensure our clients maintain their dignity and comfort.
Support in the Final Days
Our Care Teams often walk beside clients on their final journey, providing unwavering support and compassion. They are there to offer a hand to hold, a kind word, and a gentle presence during the most challenging moments of life.
The Silent Army Among Us
These dedicated professionals give their all, day in and day out, to provide exceptional care for clients dealing with injuries, illnesses, or the natural aging process. They are the silent army walking among us, giving their everything to ensure the well-being and comfort of those they serve.
A Call to Appreciation
Let's come together as a community to show our gratitude for our healthcare heroes. Reach out to a healthcare professional you know – whether they're a Care Aide, Nurse, or anyone in the field. Take them for a meal, send a heartfelt card, or simply give them a warm hug. Let's appreciate the dedication and compassion they bring to their work and share the kindness they extend to our loved ones.
In these moments of reflection, let's recognize the profound impact these individuals have on our community. Their selflessness and unwavering care remind us of the power of human connection and the beauty of compassion.
Life can be a rollercoaster, and for many of us, it's our loved ones who ride beside us, offering support through the ups and downs. This is especially true when it comes to mental health challenges. In this blog post, we'll explore the perspective of one of our clients, who struggles daily with bipolar disorder, severe depression, and suicidal thoughts, and her daughter's life-long struggle to care for herself, her mother and the invisible illness that haunts her.
A Daughter's Perspective (Renee’s fight to help her mother): The Emotional Struggles
Growing up, my mother was my hero. She was strong, vibrant, so smart and full of life. However, from her first hospitalization for debilitating depression when I was only 10-years old, our relationship reversed rolls, as I took on the roll of parent. The conflicting emotions I still struggle with, between anger that she couldn’t take care of me when I really needed it (and still do sometimes), and my fear of losing my beautiful mom to her inner demons will always be a haunting presence in my life.
It was a painful realization that she was battling something much larger than herself - and it became my responsibility to care for her, at an age when I still needed caring for. But, I have also been a touch envious of her ability to check out from reality with annual vacations in the psych ward. Cue the 1966 classic Funny Farm lyrics:
“They´re coming to take me away,
Haha, they´re coming to take me away,
Ho ho, hee hee, ha ha,
To the funny farm
Where life is beautiful all the time
And I´ll be happy to see
Those nice young men
In their clean white coats
And they´re coming to take me AWAY,
But alas, I have always been too busy trying to hold everything together to fully let go of my sanity enough to earn a paid vacation in the Loonie bin. I joke, but in all seriousness, witnessing a parent’s mental health deteriorate often feels like you are drowning and the only life preserver available is a warped sense of humor.
It's a constant balancing act between supporting them, worrying about their safety, trying to maintain your own well-being (and your own kids/spouse, etc...), desperately needing support, but refusing to admit that you can’t do it alone. If that isn’t enough, you also worry others might believe you are tainted with the “crazy” gene. It’s best to paint a perfect picture of your family and make excuses for your mom’s crazy behavior that nobody believes anyways.
The Power of a Support Network: A Lifeline
During these challenging times, I discovered that having a support network is a lifeline. Friends, family, and support groups/programs became pillars of strength. They offered me a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, someone to laugh with, and guidance on navigating the turbulent waters of mental illness. Their unwavering support reminded me that I was not alone in this journey.
The Role of In-Home Care Companies: Enter Sunshine Coast Senior Care
Amidst the chaos, when the rest of my mother’s friends and family had given up, I found a beacon of hope in the form of Sunshine Coast Senior Care. Their mantra of “no senior left alone” has evolved in my mind to “nobody left alone”, as their deep caring and empathy extends beyond just helping seniors to also include those struggling with mental health issues and their families.
Companionship and Care: A Vital Combination
Sunshine Coast Senior Care offered both my mom and I something priceless– companionship and care. Their dedicated staff visit my mother twice a week, ensuring she is taking care of herself. They gently, but firmly encourage her get up and into the shower, to eat properly, help with chores, get her outside for fresh air, vitamin D and exercise, etc… but most importantly, they provide her with companionship, and have gained her trust and confidence.
These seemingly minor acts have gigantic effects that ripple through our lives, lifting some of the burden I have carried alone for decades, including the gut-wrenching guilt when I just don’t have anything left to give my mom, when she is in pain.
Emergency Support: A Lifesaver
In those urgent moments when I simply cannot be there for my mother, whether because of physical distance or just emotionally spent, knowing there is a team ready to help, provides immense relief for both of us. During times of crisis, the staff at Sunshine Coast Senior Care have been just a phone call away. Charlene, Michelle, and Laurie have all jumped into action with open hearts to help my mother; without judgement that I had nothing left for her in that moment.
Conclusion: A Journey of Resilience
Supporting a loved one battling mental health challenges is an arduous journey. But with the right support network and professional care services like Sunshine Coast Senior Care, it's a journey we can navigate together. My mother's story is one of resilience and hope, a testament to the power of love, companionship, and professional compassionate support.
As we continue to stand by our loved ones through their battles, let's remember that there is strength in seeking help, in reaching out and admitting we can’t do it alone, and in the unwavering bonds of our support networks.
Together, we can be the safety net that saves lives and brings light to the darkest of days.
Anonymous Client of Sunshine Coast Senior Care
Why Seniors Are Vulnerable to Scams
Seniors can be more susceptible to scams due to a combination of factors, including isolation, trust, and cognitive decline. They often don't understand the new technology and how easily they can be compromised, for example, with just a click on a link in a phishing email. Recognizing these vulnerabilities is the first step in protecting them from potential scams.
Common Scams Targeting Seniors
To effectively protect seniors from scams, it's essential to be aware of the types of scams that are prevalent:
The Role of Family & Caregivers (including professional In-Home Care providers)
It is so important for family and caregivers to help educate the seniors in their care, take extra steps to ensure they are well protected, and keep a vigilant watch if they see or hear anything suspicious.
At Sunshine Coast Senior Care, our Registered Care Aides and Nurses are more than just caregivers; they are trusted companions who are often deeply connected with the seniors they assist. Here's how we can all work together to protect our seniors from scams:
Here are some actionable tips for families and caregivers to work together in preventing seniors from falling victim to scams:
Post by Lisa McGregor, CFO, Sunshine Coast Senior Care firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are interested in learning more about our in-home care services or want to book a free consultation with us, please visit our website at https://sunshinecoastseniorcare.com/ or call 1-800-783-1913. We are here to help you and your senior loved one stay safe and comfortable during these challenging times.
As you may have heard, on August 18th, 2023, a state of emergency was declared in British Columbia due to a rapidly escalating wildfire crisis across the province as thousands of Canadians were displaced due to evacuation orders. This news comes on the heels of the shock we all experienced seeing the aftermath of the wildfire disaster that struck Maui, where the historic town of Lahaina was destroyed within only hours.
These are scary and stressful times for everyone, especially for seniors who may have dementia and/or mobility and health issues that make it harder to evacuate quickly and safely. That is why we at Sunshine Coast Senior Care want to share some tips on how to keep seniors safe and prepared for evacuation in the event of disasters like the current forest fires in Kelowna.
If you are interested in learning more about our in-home care services or want to book a free consultation with us, please visit our website at https://sunshinecoastseniorcare.com/ or call 604-865-0135. We are here to help you and your senior loved one stay safe and comfortable during these challenging times.
Loneliness is a common yet invisible problem among older adults, especially those who live alone or have limited social contacts. Feeling alone and isolated can have negative effects on the physical and mental health of aging parents, such as increased risk of depression, anxiety, cognitive decline, heart disease, and stroke. In this blog post, I will explore some of the causes and consequences of loneliness in seniors, and how hiring an in-home care service can help them overcome this challenge and improve their quality of life and by extension their health.
Causes of loneliness in older adults
There are many factors that can contribute to loneliness in older adults, such as:
- Loss of spouse, friends, or relatives due to death, divorce, or relocation
- Reduced mobility or physical function due to illness, injury, or disability
- Retirement or loss of work-related social network
- Social isolation due to lack of transportation, accessibility, or affordability
- Changes in family structure or dynamics, such as children moving away or having their own families and busy lives
- Lack of hobbies, interests, or meaningful activities
Consequences of loneliness in older adults
Loneliness can have serious implications for the well-being of seniors, such as:
- Increased stress and inflammation, which can impair the immune system and increase the risk of infections and chronic diseases
- Decreased self-esteem and self-confidence, which can affect the ability to cope with life challenges and seek help when needed
- Increased depression and anxiety, which can affect their sleep, mood, motivation, and appetite
- Increased cognitive decline and dementia, which can affect the memory, attention, and reasoning skills, further exacerbating their feeling of disconnectedness
- Increased risk of suicide or self-harm, especially among those who have a history of mental illness or substance abuse
How hiring an in-home care service like Coast Care (previously Sunshine Coast Senior Care) can help?
One of the most effective ways to help our aging parents and loved ones combat loneliness is to provide them with regular social interaction and emotional support. Hiring a qualified and experienced in-home care service can offer many benefits for aging parents who are struggling with isolation and loneliness, while making them feel like less of a burden for family already struggling to keep up with their own hectic lives, including:
- Providing companionship and conversation, which can reduce the feelings of isolation and boredom
- Offering assistance with daily activities, such as personal care, healthy meal preparation, household chores, medication management, and transportation
- Encouraging participation in social and recreational activities, such as clubs, classes, hobbies, or outings
- Connecting with community resources and services, such as senior centers, libraries, churches, or volunteer opportunities
- Enhancing the relationship with family members and friends, by facilitating communication and visits
- Peace of mind: As a family caregiver, you might feel stressed or guilty about not being able to spend enough time with your parents or provide them with the care they need and deserve, especially if you don’t live close by. Hiring in-home care for your mom and/or dad can ease your burden and give you peace of mind. You can trust that your parents are in good hands with trained and compassionate In-Home Care Aides. You can also communicate with your parents' companion and get regular updates on their well-being. They can even arrange regular visits on Zoom, so you can all feel more connected.
Coast Care Ltd. is a trusted and reliable provider of in-home care services for older adults from Gibsons to Sechelt. Our caregivers are trained, experienced, and compassionate professionals who are dedicated to helping our clients live independently and comfortably in their own homes. We offer flexible and affordable care plans that are tailored to the specific needs and preferences of each client. Whether you need a few hours a week or multiple visits each day, we are here to help.
Asking for help isn't giving up, it's getting up!
We offer more than just a service, but a way of showing your parents that you love them and want them to enjoy their golden years. Contact us today to find out how we can help your loved ones live happier and healthier lives.
Or call or text us directly at 604-865-0135
Music and dancing are not only fun and enjoyable, but they also have many benefits for our health and well-being. Studies have shown that music can reduce stress, improve mood, enhance memory, and even boost brain function. Dancing can also improve our balance, coordination, flexibility, and strength. Plus, it's a great way to socialize and express ourselves.
Coast Care Ltd. owners, nurses, and Registered Care Aides all contribute to providing up-to-date news and information on staying health, active, and in charge of your life/health. From Whistler to the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia.