A group of Ontario students is volunteering to make sure Canada's older citizens have someone to talk to.
I often think of her beautiful smile, her joy when any of us walked into the room and the love she shared until the day she died.
With so many issues commanding headlines at the start of the provincial election campaign, it is easy to understand how caring for frail and elderly citizens can drop off the public's radar. For many British Columbians, however, there can be no more important issue than the availability of care for their elderly loved one.
Whether it's young children growing up and needing your time for activities and school or aging parents needing extra attention, the generation caught in the middle of this is being spread thin. The sandwich generation has become the norm for Canadians, bringing packed schedules and extreme stress.
Our population is now the oldest it ever has been, with more people currently aged 65 and older than there are children under the age of 15. As with any significant demographic shift, this trend has significant implications for society at large, impacting health care, finance policy, infrastructure, family relationships, and legal issues.
Not only does the initiative give seniors access to nice, new-to-them duds, but it also reduces clothing waste.
As a memory doctor, the most difficult thing I have to do is to tell the patient and their family about the diagnosis of dementia. The second most difficult thing I have to do is recommend driving cessation. There's no question that driving cessation has potentially dramatic effects on independence and quality of life for patients (and their spouses).
It's a lot to take on, and it's a difficult workload to maintain. Ultimately the caregiver has to make sacrifices in some area of their life, and it's usually their own emotional, physical or mental well-being that suffers the consequences. Sound familiar? Probably.
As our aging population increases, and most care homes are privately owned and outside of the budget of the average hardworking Canadian, the only other rational option is to move your Mom or Dad into your family home.
We're fortunate to live in an era where the average life expectancy is today over 80 years young. Unfortunately, the flip-side of Canadians living longer and generally healthier is that many older seniors experience multiple health problems -- a common yet under-recognized health state known as frailty.