In recent years, an aging population and the rise of non-traditional marriages have become issues that are increasingly relevant to estate planning considerations in Canada. As society shifts over time, it is important that estate planning methods and strategies are capable of adaptation to suit changing needs.
Personal Support Workers attend to the diverse needs of individuals who rely heavily on the help of others. They have a variety of roles including caring for a person's hygiene, making sure they are nourished, dressed, toileted, validated, comfortable and happy. Most importantly, PSWs may be the only human connection some individuals receive in a single day. Yet, while they are offering their valuable support, it can feel thankless when trying to bathe and clean an uncooperative incontinent person, soothe the irritable and feed the ungrateful who are not longer able to do things themselves.
The Parliament's Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Death, nevertheless, urged the federal government not to exclude individuals with psychiatric conditions from being considered eligible. Their reasoning comes down to this: Mental suffering is no less profound than physical suffering, so denying individuals with mental illness access to physician hastened death would be discriminatory and a violation of their Charter rights. It's an excellent point, and one worth seriously discussing.
It is important to correct the person with dementia when they say things that are not true - FALSE. The cardinal rule is "never argue with a person with dementia". A person with dementia is simply taking files from their memory bank that come from another place and time. They are sure they are telling the truth.
One of the biggest threats to quality of life and health in aging is the loss of cognitive abilities and functional autonomy that are associated with dementia, including Alzheimer's disease. The projections of the number of Canadians living with dementia are staggering with over 750,000 individuals affected today.
One of the earliest memories from my childhood is when you'd come home, I'd help you take your shoes and socks off. Memory is a funny thing though; it's not always accurate, but more importantly, and particularly in your case, it's oftentimes fleeting, and unreliable. You may not remember this, or at times fail to even understand, you have an illness called dementia.
While each province and territory provides dementia treatment and support services, more can be done under the framework of a national dementia strategy. Other member countries of PAHO -- including Argentina, Mexico and the U.S. -- have implemented national strategies. To get there, we need to bring all the voices to the table, especially Canadians facing the daily challenges of this unforgiving disease. That's the only way to ensure we have consistent and integrated care across the country for all Canadians, from initial diagnosis to end of life.
But from the moment my mother and grandmother shared with me my grandfather's diagnosis, everything changed. Though my role as national director of sales and marketing memory care for one of the country's largest providers of assisted living was still the same, my motivation was completely different.
It is not always easy to recognize elder abuse, particularly if you are the victim. Yet elder abuse is, unfortunately, prevalent in our society. The good news is that there is increased awareness with respect to the existence of elder abuse and its many forms, and numerous resources available to help.
As Alzheimer's disease progresses and the person becomes more and more disconnected from the world around them, caregivers so often, and so unintentionally, lose their way. That's okay, in part because there's no manual for this, no right or wrong. But there are ways that caregivers, like Ed's, can reconnect with their loved one.
Even if your loved one has never been an avid gardener, introducing them to blooms now could be a good idea: this green hobby has been shown to benefit dementia and Alzheimer's patients. Long-term care facilities sometimes refer to it as horticultural therapy -- the connection that dementia patients develop to past and future through tending plants, indoors or out.
When I first launched the Women's Brain Health Initiative a few years ago, my primary goal was to create awareness about women's brain aging disorders. It was shocking to me that women suffer from depression, stroke and dementia twice as much as men as they age, but brain health research was male-focused.