Shopping Online

Shopping Online

Shopping Online
Shopping Online
Shopping Online

Avoiding Grocery Stores

Right now we are all being advised to stay at home except for essential trips. This is important for us all, but especially seniors and those with underlying health conditions. Although grocery shopping is essential - after all, we need to eat - it is also a high-risk activity that should be avoided as much as possible.

So how can we do that?

1) Ask a neighbour to help

Shopping Online

2) Online grocery shopping

Shopping Online

Shopping Online

This blog gives you various options for online grocery shopping, and we have tried to include a mix of smaller local businesses as well as the larger Canadian retailers. Many small businesses have quickly adapted to meet the needs of Canadians in this crisis, and we know many of you would love to continue to support your local businesses. Many of these suggestions have come from our friends during our weekly coffee mornings. Please feel free to send me your ideas too.

Ottawa

Together Apart highlights small businesses who are open in the Ottawa area. This includes grocery, breweries, and various other services such as fitness and therapy. This list is being updated regularly.

Good Food Ottawa highlights many places where you can buy food from local Ottawa companies. It highlights both options for families who are struggling to afford food, and those who have resources to buy their own.

The Ottawa Good Food Box is a joint initiative to support Ottawa households who have limited financial and physical access to fresh fruit and vegetables. They offer a weekly home delivery of a $20 box which contains enough produce for a family of 4-5 people. This is designed for low-income and vulnerable community members. You can also donate a box to a family in need.

The Buchipop Burrow Shop supports local growers, makers and small businesses and now offers curbside pick-up in Little Italy or delivery across Ottawa ($15 fee). You can also donate online to the Parkdale Food Centre. They have a very user-friendly website where you can shop by category or by vendor.

The Kaladar Market is offering fresh and local produce, dairy and meat for curbside pick-up and delivery. You can get next-day delivery if you order before 5pm. They do have a minimum order of $99 for delivery and $45 for pick up though.

Produce Brother's offer delivery or pick up of local produce. They have minimum orders of $25 and can do next-day delivery for orders placed before 3p.m. You can check their delivery area here.

Good Food 2u offer local, organic produce and meal boxes throughout the Ottawa area. You can also add on various options such as meat, fish, dairy and baked goods. Due to high demand, new sign ups are taking a minimum of a week to process.

Veggie Trails is a market garden with a retail stand at the intersection of Richmond Road and Holly Acres. They are currently serving customers with a no-contact porch pick-up. You can email in your order in an evening and they have it ready for pick up the next day. They offer a selection of vegetables, dairy, eggs and meat. Their website is updated regularly to show what is in stock. They are closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

Your Milk Man offers free home delivery for various dairy products. Leave a cooler outside overnight and they deliver between 12-6am. Email matt@yourmilkman to submit an order.

Findlay Creek Apiary offer home delivery of local honey.

Papa Jack’s popcorn on Thurston near Conroy Road is good for flavoured popcorn and other snacks and food. They deliver or offer contactless curbside pick-up.

Want to treat someone for a birthday or Mother's Day, or just to say thank you? Fruit Couture comes highly recommended by one of our Wednesday morning regulars! Order by 5p.m. for next-day delivery.

Or you could use The Choice Concierge for personal shopping and delivery services. Prices start at $25/hour.

GTA and Hamilton

The Mustard Seed Coop in Hamilton is a full-service grocery store where anything that can be local, will be local. They now offer free, same day, pre-order pick-up and delivery for their members. They also offer a local bounty box for pick-up for members and non-members. Please note they are now closed on Sundays to give staff a rest. The supply of flour has been good, as well as other basics like coffee, eggs & milk.

Dinnerlicious delivers fresh ingredients and easy-to-prepare recipes to your door. They now also provide groceries, produce, fruits and other items. You can subscribe to recurring weekly or bi-weekly deliveries or just place a single order. They focus on as much local and organic products as possible. They deliver to the entire GTA.

Bennetts Apples in Ancaster are offering curbside pick-up for apples, cider, fresh produce and baked goods.

Longos offer delivery and free pick up from many of their stores. Enter your postal code to see delivery options.

Saltlick Smokehouse in Hamilton provide meat packs (burgers, ribs, sausages, etc.), fruit or veg packs for delivery. Free delivery within 10 km if you spend more than $50. They also deliver beer and wine!

Woodword Meats in Oakville are offering curbside pickup for meat.

Nique Restaurant in Hamilton is offering meat, eggs, bread, buns, butter, cheese, milk and other pantry and veggie items for pick-up.

When you need something sweet and delicious to keep you going, The Donut Monster is open for pre-ordered contactless pick-up in Hamilton.

 

Quebec

Le panier bleu is an initiative of the Quebec government to support and promote local businesses. You can search by category or by region, and specify if you are looking for online ordering, delivery or pick-up. Many businesses will also deliver to different cities and provinces! It is a great resource, but only available in French.

Canadian Wide

The following retailers all offer online options, with pick up from stores (curbside) or delivery for a small fee. In most cases the fee for in-store pick up has been waived during the pandemic, but please check before you place your order.

Delivery is restricted to certain locations and you can enter your postal code to see what is available in your area. For pick up, you normally choose a time slot, arrive in the parking lot at that time and your personal shopper will come out with your groceries. Due to the high demand, the next available slot at most of these stores is several days or even weeks out, so plan ahead! Stores also can't guarantee that all your items will be available. They may substitute them with similar items. When we did our online shop, you could choose if you wanted substitutions for particular products or not.

You will need to create a login for these stores and enter your credit card online. Most of them make it easy for you to reorder. If you buy the same items each week, you can save them as favourites!

  1. President Choice family (e.g. Loblaw, Real Canadian Superstore, Fortinos, Zehrs)
  2. Metro
  3. IGA
  4. Walmart
  5. Costco (members only)

We hope that this is useful. Please do send in your suggestions and feedback to info@freiheit.ca

Our response to COVID-19

Our response to COVID-19

Our response to COVID-19

Written by: Helen Reimer & Dr. Mark Reimer

The health and well being of everyone is exceedingly important. We care about our customers, our staff, and everyone’s families and loved ones. It goes without saying that we are following all medical directives to keep everyone as safe as possible.

We have restricted our in-person offerings to include ONLY medically necessary non-elective services, until further notice. We are asking for a medical order from an attending physician that our service is medically necessary before we provide it. Both our caregiver and our customer will complete the actions required by public health beforehand, such as symptom screening before a visit and whatever additional measures may be deemed necessary. We will of course follow social distancing precautions when not providing person-to-person care. We have a limited supply of personal protective equipment with which we can provide services. Efforts are underway to obtain more. A significant concern is the risk of transmission by asymptomatic but contagious caregivers who may be working at multiple facilities who risk spreading the infection from one site to another. For this reason, we are working to minimize this scenario as much as possible.

We also offer other services such as delivery of groceries and errands which do not require personal contact. Please call us if you require this service. It is billed at the caregiver rates (the lowest cost rates we have), plus visit fee. Online services continue unaffected, such as counselling.

We know that isolation is real and we want our care for you to continue. Our supportive care options, which are FREE OF CHARGE, continue. In fact, we are increasing our free online offerings. You will see more webinars, online concerts and virtual get-togethers coming soon. We invite everyone to take part in these as a way to expand and to maintain your community. Maybe you’ll make some new friends too! You’ll have the opportunity to take part in interesting (we hope!) and interactive discussions that may make this time of social isolation a little more bearable. If you have topics you would like us to cover, please let us know. We’re eager to hear from you.

 

 

About the authors:
Dr. Mark Reimer and Helen are the founders and owners of Freiheit Care Inc.

Simple Tips to Promote Independence for Seniors

Simple Tips to Promote Independence for Seniors

Independence does not need to waiver as you get older. Older adults are at risk of becoming dependent on their caregiver to maintain their quality of life. As caregivers, it is our job to encourage seniors to do as much as they are capable of in order to promote their independence.

Why Should We Promote Independence?

We want to promote independence for our seniors for the following reasons:

1. It is stimulating for the older adult.

  • Independence breaks seniors out of their daily routine of having a caregiver come and care for them. It provides them the opportunity to engage with their caregiver and play a role in the care they receive.

2. It is demeaning to them for caregivers to assume that they cannot do anything for themselves for ‘x’ reason.

  • Just because an older adult may have an illness, impairment or disability does not mean they are unable to care for themselves, with assistance. The tasks they perform may need to be modified to make it easier for them to complete, but they should be able to do the bulk of the task independently.

3. It provides older adults with a sense of purpose.

  • Older adults often fall into a depression because they are unable to live their life the way they used to. By providing the senior with these small tasks, they feel as though they are in control of that aspect of their life.

Promoting vs Maintaining Independence

In order to promote independence for your senior, you first need to determine how independent they are already. Promotion of a person’s independence involves providing opportunities for them to exercise their independence. This means encouraging them to do things for themselves. Maintaining a person’s independence requires them to be independent already, and just requires the caregiver to provide tools to the senior so they can continue living as independently as possible.

What Can I Do to Promote Independence?

Interactive caregiving promotes mental, physical, social and emotional well-being. This is also considered to be a holistic approach to caregiving. The art of caregiving extends beyond task-oriented skills and includes engaging in activities that help maintain a healthy mind and body. When planning activities to engage in with your older adult, keep the elements of interactive caregiving in mind.

Research indicates that keeping seniors engaged mentally, physically, emotionally and socially enables them to enjoy a higher quality of life, retain better cognitive function, stay healthy and live independently for longer.

By caring for the whole person and not just their physical being, you are engaging in the holistic approach to caregiving. By tending to the ‘whole person’, you can promote independence for your loved one.

When assisting with tasks, try to involve the person you are caring for as much as possible, encouraging them to do all that they can safely manage. It is paramount to remain calm and patient, as it is unlikely they will be able to complete tasks at the same pace as you. When you give them time and space to complete their tasks, you are giving them the freedom to independence.

How Can Freiheit Help Promote Independence?

Have you ever heard of the saying ‘do with, not for’? That is the principle that we at Freiheit Care Inc. live up to. This principle is easily implemented when caregivers remember that there is a person in that bed, and that they are likely still capable of caring for themselves.

An example of doing with and not for can be when a loved one needs to be bathed. Our caregivers can encourage their senior to wash themselves as much as they can. This could include washing their face, washing their armpits, brushing their teeth or combing their hair.

Freiheit Care Inc. provides only premium quality care to help you or your loved one “Be Free to Live”. This means that we want to help you help yourself. We are strong believers in helping you or your loved ones be your/their best. Give us a call today at (613) 518-8258 and find out how our caregivers are qualified to promote the independence of yourself or your loved one.

What is cerebral palsy?

Cerebral Palsy

What is cerebral palsy?

What is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders that affects muscle tone, posture and balance. It is the most common childhood disorder.

According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), cerebral palsy affects 1 in 323 children.
It is more prevalent in boys than in girls.

There are three types of Cerebral Palsy:

• Spastic Cerebral Palsy: causes muscle stiffness and makes movement difficult
• Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy: causes uncontrollable movement
• Ataxic Cerebral Palsy: causes problems with balance and depth perception

What Causes Cerebral Palsy?

The cause of cerebral palsy is not always known. However, there are some known causes that seem to be common in the diagnosis of cerebral palsy:

• Infections during pregnancy that affects the foetus’ neuro-development
• Stroke while in the womb or after birth
• Genetic disorders

Cerebral palsy can develop later in childhood due to childhood trauma, for example:

• Lead poisoning
• Bacterial meningitis
• Car accident resulting in traumatic brain injury
• Shaken baby syndrome resulting in traumatic brain injury

Like many other childhood illness, your child being diagnosed with cerebral palsy is not your fault. Because the causes are mostly unknown, cerebral palsy is unable to be prevented.

When to See a Physician?

The following symptoms or manifestations of cerebral palsy should be assessed by a physician as soon as possible after the child presents the following:

• Developmental delays (such as not reaching for toys by four months, not sitting up by seven months)
• Problems with motor skills (inability/difficulty walking, crawling or moving the arms and legs)
• Uncoordinated movements
• Muscle tone that is too tight (stiff) or too loose

Difficulties with Cerebral Palsy

There are a range of physical and cognitive impairments that are evident in people with cerebral palsy. Each person is different, and their manifestations depend highly on what part of the brain was affected, to what degree, and what kind of cerebral palsy they have. In general, cerebral palsy can cause the following:

• Visual impairment or blindness
• Hearing loss or deafness
• Gastroesophageal reflux (excessive spitting up)
• Tooth decay
• Learning disabilities
• Sleep disorders
• Behavioural problems
• Seizures

How is Cerebral Palsy Treated?

There are no cures for cerebral palsy, but targeted treatment is available for the different deficits that may arise in persons with cerebral palsy.

Physiotherapy
• Massage therapy
• Speech-Language therapy
• Occupational therapy
Assistance with activities of daily living
Medications (for pain, muscle spasms, gastrointestinal problems)
• Surgery (to correct physiological impairments, such as scoliosis [if developed])

How Can Freiheit Care Help?

Cerebral palsy is diagnosed in childhood, however Freiheit Care Inc. can support adults living with cerebral palsy as well.

We have a range of services that can provide additional support for you or your child in your home. Personal support workers are available to assist with various activities of daily living, such as bathing, toileting, dressing, feeding, meal preparation and light housekeeping. We have nurses on staff who can be utilized to provide at-home therapies, such as medication management and physiotherapy exercises (only if prescribed by a physiotherapist).

Call us at (613) 518-8258 to consult with our Intake Specialist and find out how Freiheit Care Inc. can support you and your child.

Additional Resources

Head Lice

Head Lice

Head Lice

If you have school-aged children, there is a good chance that you will experience the dreaded “there has been a lice outbreak at your child’s school” letter your child is destined to come home with. There are a lot of misconceptions about head lice, and we’re here to share our knowledge with you.

What are Head Lice

Scientifically known as ‘Pediculus humanus capitis’, head lice are very small greyish-brown insects that live on the human scalp. They and their eggs are very small, and are difficult to see. The eggs take 9-10 days to hatch, sticking to strands of hair close to the scalp.

Who Can Get Head Lice?

Anyone with hair is susceptible to getting head lice. You do not have to have poor hygiene to get lice. It is a common myth that head lice jump from head to head. Head lice do not have wings, and cannot jump or fly from one person to another. Another common myth is that those living in poverty are more likely to get head lice. Head lice can affect the rich, the poor and the middle class.

How are Head Lice Transmitted?

If the head lice cannot jump or fly, how is it transmitted? Good question! Head to head contact is the most common way to transmit head lice, or directly sharing items that has been in contact with someone who has head lice (items such as scarves, hats, pillows, stuffed animals).

Treatment Options

It is incredibly important not to treat anyone for head lice unless live lice are found. When someone in your household has head lice, each member of the family should be checked. There are various treatment options for someone with head lice:

Insecticides

There are currently two Health Canada approved insecticides for treating head lice

  • Pyrethrin*
  • Permethrin*

*These products are safe on humans over the age of 2 months old.

Non-Insecticides

  • Isopropyl Myristate/Cyclomethicone**
  • Silicone Oil Dimeticon***
  • Benzyl Alcohol Lotion 5%

**Only for use in children age 2 and over.
***Only for use in children age 4 and over.

Should I Keep My Child Home From School?

It is unnecessary to keep your child home from school. As long as they are being treated for lice, they are able to attend school and other activities as usual. Unless the school as a ‘no lice’ or ‘no-nit’ policy treat your children with one of the methods above and send them to the bus stop as normal.

Preventing Head Lice

Teach your child to avoid head-to-head contact with other people. Also teach them not to share items that come into contact with hair, such as hair brushes, hats or hair accessories.

Keeping Others Lice Free

If you or your child are receiving home care services, either from Freiheit Care Inc. or another organization, please inform them that your child has head lice. This allows the company to ensure they will be cautious when coming into contact with your or your child’s hair.

When to See Your Health Care Provider?

Contact your health care provider if treatment is unsuccessful, or the lice are frequently recurring. If you are unsure of what treatment is best suited for you, or if your child is younger than four years old, please contact your health care provider for advice. Some treatments are not suitable for young children.

Additional information:
https://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/head_lice
https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/head-lice

Supporting children with autism

What is Autism

Supporting children with autism

What is Autism?

Autism, or more formally known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication. Autism affects 1 in 68 children in Canada yearly. It is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 2 and 3 (24-36 months).

What is the Spectrum?

The term “spectrum” refers to a scale of severity or developmental impairment. In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association merged four individual diagnoses into one umbrella diagnoses, known as Autism:

  • Autism / Classic Autism / High Functioning Autism
  • Disintegrative Childhood Disorder
  • Asperger’s Syndrome
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder

Children and adults with ASD usually have some characteristics in common, but the condition covers a wide spectrum, with individual differences in:

  • Number and particular kinds of symptoms
  • Severity: mild to severe
  • Age of onset
  • Levels of functioning
  • Challenges with social interaction

There is no “one” treatment. Because every person is different, treatment is specific per individual. Individuals with autism vary in their skills, needs and abilities. The treatment is often decided based on these factors.

Understanding the Early Signs of Autism

Early Signs of Autism (12 to 24 Months):

  • Often begins to develop speaking ability then loses it, or there is no language development
  • May appear deaf, respond unevenly or not at all to sounds
  • Difficulty consoling during bouts of crying & hysterics
  • Difficulty sleeping / wakes at night
  • Does not “point and look”
  • Failure to bond to parents, siblings and/or others
  • Self-restricted diet (“picky eaters”)
  • Limited to no imaginative play
  • Not interested in playing with other children
  • Chronic gastrointestinal problems

Please note that a child may demonstrate only a few of these symptoms, or possibly none at all until 24+ months.

If your child has ‘normal’ development but then regresses, speak to your pediatrician or family physician immediately:

Possible signs at any age are as follows:

  • Struggles with understanding other people’s feelings
  • Avoids eye contact and prefers to be alone
  • Remains nonverbal or has delayed language development
  • Repeats words or phrases over and over
  • Gets upset by minor changes in routine or surroundings
  • Has highly restricted interests
  • Performs repetitive behaviors such as flapping, rocking or spinning
  • Has unusual and intense reactions to some or all sounds, smells, tastes, textures, lights and/or colours

Please see this checklist of developmental milestones based on child’s age.

Treatment Options*

  • Play Therapy
    • Floor-time
    • Integrated Play Groups
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech Therapy
  • Applied Behaviour Analysis

*This is not a comprehensive list, treatment options vary for each individual.

Services for You and Your Child

At Freiheit Care, we are honoured that we are able to offer services to the younger population. Our respite care services are designed for family caregivers when they need to tend to their own personal lives or take a well earned break. We have trained staff to provide care for your child, so you don’t have to worry when you are not around!

Call us TODAY at (613) 518-8258 for your FREE phone consultation and learn about how Freiheit Care Inc. can give your child the freedom to a childhood!

Additional Resources:
https://autismcanada.org
https://www.autismspeaks.ca
https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/pdf/checklists/all_checklists.pdf
http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/specialneeds/autism/ontario-autism-program.aspx#families

 

Polypharmacy

What is “Polypharmacy”?

What is "Polypharmacy"?

Written by: Jessica Moreau RN

Polypharmacy, defined as the simultaneous use of medications to treat the same ailment, is plaguing our older adult population. It is estimated that 30-40% of seniors take 5 or more medications. When it comes to complex illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease and hypertension, it is common that multiple medications are used to manage symptoms.

A contributing factor to polypharmacy is that patients are often seeing multiple physicans, such as visiting their primary physician, specialists and occasionally a physician in urgent care or the emergency department.

One of the main risks of polypharmacy is drug to drug interactions. If an adverse effect occurs, it can be very difficult to figure out which of the many drugs is the cause, and the correct treatment for the adverse effect. Harmful effects of taking multiple medicines can include:

  • Falls and fractures (due to dizziness/grogginess)
  • Memory problems
  • Hospitalization
  • Higher risk of death

Multiple medications increase the risks of inappropriate medication use, non-adherence, and adverse effects. Another unwanted effect could be that physicians may hesitate to prescribe a new essential medication to a patient already on five or more. Thus, ironically, polypharmacy can lead to under-treatment. Regular medication reviews should happen to ensure that a patient is only taking what is needed. Here are some helpful questions to ask a doctor or pharmacist:

  • Do I still need to take all of my medicines?
  • Are all my medicines still helping me to stay well?
  • Could any of my medicines be causing ________?
  • Could any of my medicines be affecting the others?
  • Is there anything I can stop taking safely?

Deprescribing is what occurs when a medical professional reviews the medication list of a patient and begins discontinuing medications. It involves patients, their family and/or caregiver, doctors and pharmacists who together:

  1. Review all medicines a person is taking and why
  2. Identify how likely each medicine will cause problems
  3. Identify if each medicine is still right for the person or could be stopped
  4. If medicines can be stopped, prioritize which should be stopped first
  5. Agree on a management plan
  6. Stop medicines carefully, one by one
  7. Meet frequently to see if the plan works or the patient is experiencing problems.

Polypharmacy puts seniors living alone at risk for various problems, but knowing your medications and consulting with your health care team is paramount to keeping yourself or your loved ones safe.

About the author:
Jessica is a Registered Nurse and Intake Specialist at Freiheit Care Inc. She has been with Freiheit Care Inc since its inception. She has experience in community nursing and palliative care. Jess sees customers for initial intake assessments.

Cooking For One

Cooking for One

Cooking for One

Written by: Jessica Moreau RN

If you live with a partner, friends or family, chances are good that you have an idea of what will be on the table at every meal. Couples and families have multiple helpers for meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking and clean-up. Meal time is also family time, which provides added motivation to create healthy, enjoyable meals. But what about people who live alone?

Too often, healthy eating or smarter choices can seem troublesome for people on their own – especially if they don’t have much experience with meal planning and preparation. Health problems and disabilities can make these tasks even more difficult.

Unfortunately, this is the situation facing many older adults, many of whom are on their own for the first time in years. It’s not uncommon for seniors to eat poorly.

Planning healthy meals for one

Eating well when eating alone takes effort, but with planning and practice, it can become a daily routine. Consulting with the new Canada Food Guide can be a great starting point to get some ideas. Its advice includes: have plenty of vegetables and fruits; choose whole grain foods; cook more often; limit foods high in sodium, sugars or saturated fat; make water your drink of choice; and read food labels.

If you have specific health concerns, such as weight management or diabetes, talk to your physician or a dietitian. If oral health problems are making it difficult for you to eat properly, see a dentist as soon as you can.

Trying new recipes is an enjoyable way to add variety and nutrition to your lifestyle. Look for cookbooks and cooking magazines at your local library, or go online. Be mindful that what you choose fits within your diet and is healthy.

More ways to improve eating habits

Healthy meals start with healthy ingredients. You can stretch your grocery dollars by buying fruits and veggies that are in season, or frozen. Buy in bulk the items you use frequently. Check store labels for unit pricing to compare costs and ensure you’re getting the best value. Shopping at Costco may give you better value for your dollar.

Explore what resources are available in your community. For example, does your local seniors’ centre or community centre offer workshops about meal planning or cooking? Does your community have a meal delivery service for seniors? Would friends or neighbours join you for monthly potluck dinners? Eating with others offers opportunities to socialize and to share foods from different cultures. It also encourages people to eat more slowly and enjoy their meals, rather than seeing food as fuel.

Plan your meals. You are more likely to eat well when you know exactly what is required of you for the meal. How long will it take? What ingredients do you already have, and what do you need to buy? There is nothing more frustrating than making a meal but realizing you don’t have the right stuff. It can be easy to resort to easier, less time consuming meals if you aren’t prepared.

About the author:
Jessica is a Registered Nurse and Intake Specialist at Freiheit Care Inc. She has been with Freiheit Care Inc since its inception. She has experience in community nursing and palliative care. She sees customers for initial intake assessments.

Sun Safety for Seniors

Sun Safety for Seniors

Sun Safety for Seniors

Written by: Jessica Moreau RN

As we age, our skin changes. Our skin becomes more susceptible to damage from the harmful UV rays from the sun. The skin will begin to lose its turgor and wrinkles emerge. Individuals with thinner skin are more likely to develop sun-related skin problems, such as irritations, sun spots, and in some cases, benign or malignant skin lesions.

It’s important for seniors to get out and enjoy the sun, but they need to exercise extra caution when it comes to sun exposure. So how can seniors keep their skin safe while soaking up the Vitamin D?

HOW SENIORS CAN ENJOY THE SUN WHILE STAYING SAFE

Stay hydrated

When you’re in the sun, it can be easy to get dehydrated. In fact, you might not even notice you’re thirsty until you’re already dehydrated. Make sure to always have water on hand when you’re outside or in the car. You don’t have to drink it all at once – just be sure to sip throughout the day. If you tend to sweat more, consider an electrolyte replacement drinks (with salt and potassium) to replenish your sweat. Be mindful of the sugar content, however!

Cover up

If your skin isn’t exposed to the sun, it won’t burn. Covering up also provides protection from the harmful UV rays. Look for fabrics that will help to block the sun and keep you cool. Just make sure you’re dressed to handle the heat, but still keep your skin safe. You don’t want to be too hot, so it’s a good idea to dress in layers. If you don’t already, consider wearing a hat whenever you’re out in the sun; it will help protect your scalp and face from sunburns.

Use sunscreen

It’s easy to forget to put on sunscreen before you go out, but it’s a vital step in keeping your skin safe from skin cancer. Make it a habit to apply sunscreen whenever you step outside, even if it’s just for a short time. It’s also a good idea to carry it with you in your bag, so you can reapply if you’ve been out for a while. When you choose a sunscreen, SPF 30 rating is the minimum you should use, especially for prolonged exposure. If you are worried about chemicals in sunscreens, look for natural formulas. Here are some recommended ones!

Protect your eyes

Sunglasses are another important part of sun protection! The eyes can be extra sensitive for many seniors, especially those with vision problems. Wearing sunglasses can help shield your eyes from damaging rays. Make sure you choose sunglasses with 100% UV protection, or UV 400 rating, as these are the types of lenses that will actually protect your eyes from the damaging rays of the sun. If you wear prescription glasses, chat with your optometrist to see if you would benefit from prescription sun glasses – pun intended.

Keep cool

It’s easy for seniors to get overheated on hot days. Try to find a shady spot to sit when you’re outside and stay out of direct sunlight. On extra hot days, try to limit your time outside and take breaks indoors when you can. You can also try to stay out of the sun during the peak hours of 10am to 4pm when penetration of harmful rays is at its highest. If your home doesn’t have central air, consider investing in a portable air conditioner unit, or purchase some fans. It is easy to become overheated indoors when it is 30 degrees Celsius or higher outside.

Look for skin changes

Just one bad sunburn early in life can potentially double the risk of skin cancer as a senior. This is why it’s especially important to watch for changes in the skin for seniors. If you notice any changes, tell your doctor right away. What should you look for? A handy way to remember it is to look for the ABCDEs: look for moles that are Asymmetrical, have irregular Borders, have a strange Colour, have a Diameter larger than a pencil eraser, or that have Evolved or changed in any way. If you are unsure about a spot on your skin, make sure you contact your GP or dermatologist so they can have a look!

In the mean time, cover up, stay cool and wear the sunscreen! Enjoy the sunny weather.

About the author:
Jessica is a Registered Nurse and Intake Specialist at Freiheit Care Inc. She has been with Freiheit Care Inc since its inception. She has experience in community nursing and palliative care. Jess sees customers for initial intake assessments.

Glossary of Medical Terms

Glossary of Home Care Terms

Glossary of Medical Terms

Written by: Jessica Moreau RN

It is a known fact that medical terminology can be a bit daunting, especially so to the untrained eye. Terms such as “respite care”, “palliative care” and “gerontology” can be intimidating if you’re seeing them for the first time and aren’t clear on their meaning. We at Freiheit Care Inc have compiled a list of terms that are often misunderstood or are unknown, which we hope will simplify an already challenging time.

Glossary of Teams

Activities of Daily Living (ADL): things that happen every day and are part of personal care, such as bathing, dressing, hair care, nail care, brushing teeth, etc. Our companions and personal support workers are trained to assist or supervise our customers with personal care.

Family Caregivers: a family member or loved one of a senior who provides care to them in the home. In Canada, there are upwards of 8 million caregivers providing care to family members. Family caregivers are especially susceptible to caregiver guilt and burnout.

Gerontology: the study of social, cultural, psychological, cognitive and biological aspects of aging.

Palliative Care: there is a tainted reputation surrounding “palliative care” and what it means. Palliative care has coined the nickname “end of life care” over time, and while this is true in some cases, even those who are not approaching the immediate end of life can receive palliative care. “Palliative care” is a blanket term used to describe comfort measures and symptom management of disease. This includes (but is not limited to): pain management, symptom management (such as oxygen therapy), psychosocial support and caregiver support.

Professional Caregivers: professional caregivers are trained and certified individuals who will enter the home to provide care. Freiheit Care employs three classifications of professional caregivers:

Personal Support Workers: assist in the home with tasks such as hygiene, meal preparation, light housekeeping.

Registered Practical Nurse & Registered Nurse: administer treatments in the home, such as medications, wound care, foot care.

Respite Care: often offered temporarily in the home, respite care can provide family caregivers with a much needed break from the caregiving process. Our trained professional caregivers are available 24/7 to provide relief to you and your loved ones.

These are only a few of the common terms used in home care. At Freiheit Care, we are happy to help explain what our services and definitions are. We don’t want there to be any confusion, because the longer you spend trying to figure things out, the less you will be free to live your life to its fullest. So, call us today and we’d be happy to define any terminology for you that is unfamiliar or seems daunting! Just another way we help you to be free to live.

About the author:
Jessica is a Registered Nurse and Intake Specialist at Freiheit Care Inc. She has been with Freiheit Care Inc since its inception. She has experience in community nursing and palliative care. She sees customers for initial intake assessments.