A common-sense approach to eldercare

Acute Care for Elders (ACE) is designed to treat elderly patients in a way that respects their abilities and limitations, speeds healing and promotes safe discharges home

A common-sense approach to eldercareDr. Samir Sinha is Canada’s guru on aging. We should listen carefully to his ideas because 42 per cent of all hospital patients in our country are over 65 and they account for 60 per cent of all hospital days. Senior patients consume 60 per cent of acute-care budgets and almost half of all health-care…

Families are key members of patients’ hospital care teams

Wards are staffed based on caring for a sick but otherwise self-sufficient patient population. The reality is patients need family caregivers in the hospital

Families are key members of patients’ hospital care teamsFamily care is a key part of hospital care, so let's start talking about it that way. When a loved one is admitted to hospital, family caregivers want to offer comfort and support at the bedside. But in order to perform their healing role, they need to be recognized as key members of the hospital…

Small acts of kindness turn the myth of self-care into reality

Building self-care into natural caregiving requires a mind shift. Natural caring relationships are reciprocal. Our job is both to give and to receive care

Small acts of kindness turn the myth of self-care into realityBy Donna Thomson Contributor Troy Media The refrain of “care for the caregiver” rings loud and hollow for many natural caregivers. A Google search turns up hundreds if not thousands of links to finger-wagging articles full of instructions to “take a bath” or “just take a break.” Natural carers are told that once they have…

When a caregiver becomes a care receiver

Lesson learned: We need to apply child-friendly practices to adult care because when you are ill or injured, you feel like a child again

When a caregiver becomes a care receiverPaid or unpaid, caregivers are never supposed to get sick, right? But sometimes they do. Sue Robins owns a health-care communications company and is the mother of a young man with Down syndrome. Robins used to blog about caring for her son and his encounters with the health-care system. But that all changed the day she received…

The challenge of talking about caregiving at work

Developing a language that meaningfully resonates with our experiences is an essential step toward creating and leveraging social support

The challenge of talking about caregiving at workTalking about caregiving at work can be difficult and stressful. And that’s important because 35 per cent of all employed Canadians have caring responsibilities at home. Dr. Zachary White is an expert in the barriers that natural caregivers face in explaining their responsibilities at home to others, including employers. White is an associate professor at Queens…

Six places to find local caregiver support

Here are some community resources where help might be found in your neighbourhood. There may be more caregiver support than you imagined

Six places to find local caregiver supportNatural caregiving at home can be isolating. Alone with your loved one, it’s easy to lose connection to the neighbourhood and the supports in it. Here are some community resources where help might be found: Schools Elementary schools may have a volunteer program for reading to children. Participating as a reader can provide a valuable…

Five (bad) assumptions caregivers must overcome

These assumptions can harm caregivers over time. Happiness and fulfilment are emotions that must be generated from within

Five (bad) assumptions caregivers must overcomeMost people who say ‘Yes’ to caring for someone they love begin with a set of assumptions. And those assumptions can harm us over time. Here’s why. Bad assumption: My role is to give care. Why do we believe that caregivers only give care? Of course, there is one person in a care relationship who will…

The problem with kindness – and its vast potential

Once we decide to be kind, we find ourselves experiencing belonging. This is what caregivers, paid or unpaid, can teach the rest of society

The problem with kindness – and its vast potentialBy Donna Thomson Contributor Troy Media In 2004, the effects of our son’s disabilities spiralled into serious illness and constant pain. As a caregiver and mother, I was raw and vulnerable – it was the worst of times. I remember saying to doctors and family members, “I need you to be kind to me. I really…