Caregiving can last for decades, new research shows

Understanding different lifetime patterns of caregiving can inform supportive policies to help people cope, say U of A researchers

Caregiving can last for decades, new research showsTo most people, ‘caregiving’ means looking after ailing relatives in their final years. But the reality is much different, with the actual workload lasting up to 30 years for some, according to University of Alberta research. The study, the first of its kind to gauge caregiving across a person’s lifetime, debunks the myth that looking after an…

Combating the over-medication of seniors

Seniors are particularly vulnerable to the effects of too many prescriptions

Combating the over-medication of seniorsWorking aggressively to reduce their daily medication burden may be the single best thing we can do to improve the quality of life of our aging parents and grandparents. The issue of too much medication in Canadian seniors is finally starting to be recognized as the serious problem it has become. Seniors are particularly vulnerable to…

Put end-of-life wishes at the top of your to-do list

People who have conversations about their end-of-life preferences are much more likely to be satisfied with the care received

The new year is a good time to put making end-of-life wishes at the top of your to-do list. It's a perfect time to tell family and friends your health-care preferences in case one day you're unable to speak for yourself. This advance care planning is good for your peace of mind and for your loved ones,…

Break the awkward silence about end-of-life decisions

Why you should start talking early to your family and friends about your wishes, and some tools to help you get the conversation started

Break the awkward silence about end-of-life decisionsBy Sharon Kaasalainen McMaster University and Tamara Sussman McGill University Many people must make critical decisions for family and friends who are at the end of their lives. This can create a great deal of stress and burden. They must navigate the social and health-care systems while coping with their impending loss and grief. A…

Dealing with the deaths of close friends

As much as we may wish to avoid the obvious, there’s increasing likelihood of the death of treasured old pals, neighbours and work associates.

Dealing with the deaths of close friendsAll of us born in the baby boomer era – the period signalling the end of the Second World War – are now in our 60s or early 70s, and sailing into the zone of no return. As much as we may wish to avoid the obvious, there’s increasing likelihood of the death of treasured…

Early dementia diagnosis helps patients live fuller lives

There comes a moment when the doubt disappears and the panic sets in

Early dementia diagnosis helps patients live fuller livesThere comes a moment when the doubt disappears and the panic sets in. For one retired executive, that moment came in January 2015 while he was driving his car to pick up a book at the library near his home in the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, B.C. As he was heading to his destination, he…

Three ways you can help families affected by autism

Small gestures can make all the difference to someone’s day

Three ways you can help families affected by autismAbout one in 68 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (one in 42 boys). ASD often includes those with a wide range of challenges and abilities, including linguistic, social and sensory impairment, along with fine motor and gross…

Navigating health and social system a challenge to caregivers

The time it takes caregivers to navigate medical and social care systems may surprise many health policy analysts, but not caregivers

Navigating health and social system a challenge to caregiversBy Amélie Quesnel-Vallée McGill University and Miles Taylor Florida State University The Canadian population is aging. For the first time, Canadians 65 years and over outnumber those 14 years and under. To face this major demographic change head on, we need to adapt. In particular, to meet the preferences of the great majority of Canadians who want…

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…

Caregivers don’t need a pat on the back; they need more support

Governments must begin to accept their responsibility to improve caregivers access to support services and patient care resources

Caregivers don’t need a pat on the back; they need more supportAre you aware of the significant contributions that family caregivers make to society? In 2012, eight million Canadians – 25 per cent of the population! – provided care and 2.2 million Canadians received that care in their homes – most often from family. In 2009, the estimated value of family care was more than $25…
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