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 Psychotherapist 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 psychotherapy sessions & 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 Psychotherapist 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 psychotherapy sessions & 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 Psychotherapist 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 psychotherapy sessions & 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 Psychotherapist 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 psychotherapy sessions & initial intake assessments.

Caregiver Guilt

Caregiver Guilt

Caregiver Guilt

Written by: Jessica Moreau RN

Family caregivers are some of the most unnoticed and under-appreciated caregivers there are. They juggle their work lives, their families, their wellbeing and their social life with that of their loved ones – taking them to appointments, to treatments or to the grocery store. It’s easy for a caregiver at the end of the day to feel like they haven’t done enough. Caregiver guilt is very common when caring for a loved one, but it doesn’t need to be insufferable. The stress of caregiving, if left unchecked, can take its toll on your health – mentally, emotionally and physically.

It is important to recognize the feelings of guilt, explore why you may be feeling guilty, and to find ways to try to overcome it. Caregiver stress can cause feelings of guilt if not addressed.

Common signs and symptoms related to caregiver stress are:

  • Feeling tired and run down
  • Feeling increasingly resentful
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of appetite
  • Overreacting to minor upsets
  • Feelings of anxiety, depression or irritability

Here are 5 of the most common reasons for experiencing caregiver guilt, and some suggestions to overcome it:

1. I feel guilty when I can’t be with my loved one.
When Mom begs you to stay longer or visit more often, it can feel like a real guilt trip. Busy schedules, work demands and family commitments make visiting difficult. Knowing that your visits are the highlight of her otherwise lonely days only adds to the stress and keeps you from making the most of the time you do have.
How to overcome it:
Try to make the time you spend together as meaningful as possible.  When you can’t be there, consider how companionship services could help. You won’t feel as guilty leaving Mom if she has someone coming on a regular basis whose company she enjoys.

2. I feel guilty when I lose my patience.
Caregiving is a true test on anyone’s patience at some point in the caring process. Caregivers of loved ones with dementia or cognitive impairments who exhibit repetitive behaviours may find this especially true.
How to overcome it:
Patience typically wears thin when you’re worn out and have little support. If you feel like you’re reaching the end of your rope, use that as a warning sign that you need to take a break. It’s important to remember that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Using respite care services will give you the break you need while ensuring your loved one receives the support they need.

3. I feel guilty when I take time for myself.
Putting another person’s needs before your own may feel natural to you, as these are likely the people that raised you. In a way, you may feel like you need to “repay” them. But you can’t ignore the need to care for yourself. It’s self-defeating to feel badly about indulging in a little time to yourself.
How to overcome it:
Remind yourself that in order to be the best version of yourself, you need to be well rested, well nourished and well hydrated. You won’t be able to care for your loved one if you burn out, so taking time for yourself ensures that you can continue to be by their side when they need you most.

4. I feel guilty when I rush my loved one.
It’s easy to forget that Mom or Dad can’t eat as quickly as they used too, or get dressed as fast as you’d like. It’s also easy to snap at them to hurry up when you’re in a rush to get a move on with your day. You may feel like they are intentionally moving slowly to spite you, but when you factor in their mobility problems, illnesses, or medications, you may realize that they are just slowing down.
How to overcome it:
We are all busy. Giving care to your aging loved one is not easy, and sometimes it’s easy to want to rush through it to make time for other things in your life. But it’s important to remember that rushing your loved one can cause them to choke or fall. Take a deep breath, and if they’re seeming a bit slower than usual, ask them if they’d like assistance instead.

5. I feel guilty for getting angry or frustrated.
You may view emotions like anger or frustration as a sign of weakness. People tend to bottle up certain emotions until they become too much to manage. It can be stressful to both you and your loved one if you begin to display your negative emotions in an unhealthy way.
How to overcome it:
While it’s true that too much negativity can be toxic to those around you, it’s important that you have a safe outlet for those emotions. Vent to a friend, engage in some exercise, or find a secluded place to have a good cry. If you feel it would be beneficial, go to counselling to discuss with a neutral party. There is never any shame in talking to a professional.
If you feel that you are overwhelmed, stressed out and can’t work past your guilt, seek out someone you can talk to and share your feelings. As important as it is to take care of your loved one, it’s equally important to take care of yourself too.

About the author:
Jessica is a Registered Nurse Psychotherapist 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 psychotherapy sessions & initial intake assessments.

Premium Quality Home Care

Aging in Place – “what” and “why”

Premium Quality Home Care

Written by: Jessica Moreau RN

Aging in Place is a term used to describe when an older adult continues to live in their own home while they age for as long as it as safe to do so. Modifications may be needed in the home to promote safety, such as grab bars in the shower or a chair lift if going up and down stairs is becoming difficult. Older adults may decide to use community resources, such as home care, to assist them with daily tasks. By supporting your loved one in their choice to age in place, you are also supporting their right to autonomy and promoting their independence.

While there are several benefits to retirement home living, the benefits to aging in place are often greater – for the right population. Not every older adult is suited to continue to live in their home, and that is dependent on their condition, their physical limitations, their cognition, their mobility and their comfort level with remaining at home. The decision between aging in place and moving to a retirement home is a personal decision to be made with the advice of their physician by individual and their family.

There are 4 major benefits to aging in place:

1. Decrease loneliness

When your loved one is able to remain in their home, they are remaining in a community they have spent part of their life in. They have created social connections, perhaps engaged in community activities or gone social events. They do not have to go through the process of meeting new people, becoming acquainted and establishing new connections. This can be especially difficult on people who move into retirement communities with a high population of people with advanced stages of disease, such as dementia, as they can typically be less social and less engaged in social interaction.

2. Familiar environment

Change isn’t easy, and it can be even less so as we age. As we get older and our memory lessens, or for those with the beginnings of dementia, it can be difficult to adapt to a new environment and can be overwhelming. When aging in place is an option, the individual remains in an environment they are comfortable with. Some adaptations may be made depending on the condition, however the familiarity of the environment eases some of the anxiety that change can bring.

3. Maintain independence

Studies have shown that maintaining independence has a positive effect on one's quality of life. By aging in place, the individual has the option of receiving the care they need, where they need it, when they need it. Community resources such as personal support care, nursing care and companionship services provide the support one needs while promoting independence at every turn.

4. Routine

Everyone has a routine in some capacity. Wake up, wash up, breakfast, read the paper, walk the dog, feed the cat… In a retirement home, your day isn’t your own. You’re told when to eat, you’re told when activities are. Your entire routine changes. If you have been doing things a specific way for a long time, this may come as a shock to you. Pair this up with an unfamiliar environment, new people and a loss of independence and you may feel overwhelmed.

So, while aging in place offers the independence, familiarity and quality of life that your loved one craves, it also offers them ability to remain active in their community, and combats loneliness and social isolation. Aging in place is definitely something to consider, and if you call us, we’d be happy to discuss it with you.

About the author:
Jessica is a Registered Nurse Psychotherapist 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 psychotherapy sessions & initial intake assessments.

Premium Quality Home Care

What Is Home Care?

Home Care 101

You might be wondering what Home Care actually is. Do you or a loved one need it? Home Care, or domiciliary care, supports individuals to live independently in their homes.

The care and support you need will vary as your situation changes and your care will change with you.