Increasingly, Seniors prefer to age in place — comfortably in their homes instead of in a hospital or a long-term care facility. Choosing to stay at home not only offers Seniors familiarity, ease, and convenience, but it also provides a safe and healthy environment. At-home, private healthcare recipients don’t have to interact with others who may have contagious viruses, such as COVID-19. They’ll receive one-on-one care from a Registered Practical Nursing (RPN) and Caregiving team without even having to step outside the front door.
Is there a Senior in your life that lives at home? Do you often worry about how they’re doing? You might be concerned about their physical and mental health and wellbeing. You may find yourself calling them multiple times a day to see how they’re doing and that they’re safe and sound.
If you’re like most people, you can’t always physically be there for your loved one. Perhaps you live in a different city, or your work schedule doesn’t provide you with much free time. And this past year has been particularly challenging because of COVID-19. Many people haven’t been able to see their Senior family members and friends in months.
We’re Integracare, an agency providing home care services in Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) to Seniors for over 30 years. Recently, we were named the #1 Best Workplace in Toronto and Ontario, #1 Best Workplace in Healthcare in Canada, and the 4th Best Workplace in Canada (in all industries) in 2021 by Great Place to Work®.
We’re committed to treating every Client with respect and delivering the highest quality in Senior home healthcare. We strive to foster independence and joyful living in our Clients, no matter where they call home. Our professional Caregiving team provide essential home healthcare services to ensure Clients’ safety and overall wellbeing, including:
- Dementia Care
- Personal Support Work
- Palliative Care
- Massage Therapy
- 24/7 Live-In Care
- Wound Care
- Concierge In-Home COVID Testing
Part of what makes our services so unique is how we carefully customize every Clients’ healthcare program. Before we start any service, we’ll speak extensively with you and your loved one about their specific needs and expectations. We want this to be a caring partnership.
We’re also aware that many Seniors don’t think they need help. We’ll offer helpful tips to you and your family on how you can gently encourage your family member to be open to the idea of receiving some help from compassionate and experienced professional health workers. For example, you could outline a few incidents when they affected your life directly, such as if they’ve had a recent fall or left the stove on overnight.
They’ll come to realize that receiving assistance will be beneficial to them and their loved ones. You’ll reassure them that working with a Caregiver won’t take away their independence — in fact, receiving home healthcare will strengthen it.
If you want to ensure that your family member is happy and safe from harm, our home healthcare services might be precisely what you and your loved one need. And here’s why.
A significant issue amongst the ageing population is chronic loneliness. Seniors are generally at a higher risk of facing loneliness and social isolation because they’re more likely to experience factors such as losing family and friends, living by themselves, chronic illness, and loss of eyesight and hearing. Extended periods of loneliness can cause severe damage to a person’s mental health.
They may develop symptoms of depression and anxiety, and it becomes increasingly difficult for them to engage with others socially. Loneliness isn’t restricted to those living alone — sometimes, those dark feelings are sometimes more vital for people living with others in a nursing home facility. A disconnect occurs, and the depressed person will choose to retreat to their room and refrain from social interaction.
Depression and anxiety are both debilitating health issues for people of any age, but it weighs particularly heavy on the shoulders of Seniors and their loved ones. The reality is that older generations don’t often understand the complexities of mental health. It’s not always the case, but mental health issues were not discussed openly among older generations. And when Seniors start to experience symptoms of depression, such as sadness, fatigue, and losing interest in the things they love, they may not know how to ask for help.
With the help from our loving Caregiving team, your loved one won’t have to experience life at home alone anymore. Our team will encourage your family member to change their brain patterns by getting them out of the house and staying physically active — going for walks and engaging in activities like chair yoga. Your loved one’s Caregiver will come over to watch TV, prepare meals, chat about current events, look through old photos — you name it.
If your loved one is depressed, our Caregivers will communicate any symptoms to their doctor and always include you in any medical conversation. Clients’ health and safety are of utmost importance to us, and that’s on both physical and mental levels.
We’re proud to have an exclusive partnership with the Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto. Every Integracare staff member has access to ongoing comprehensive training programs that provide the tools, resources, and knowledge needed to support Clients living with Dementia. For instance, all of our Caregivers learn tips on identifying early signs of Alzheimer’s and other types of Dementia, and how to empathetically and appropriately communicate with a Client living with the disease.
We also believe that at-home Dementia Care is a safe and effective healthcare method because Clients won’t have to leave a familiar place. Life is often confusing enough for someone with Dementia, so keeping some sense of normalcy by staying at home could help them during stressful times.
Some Dementia Facts
Dementia progresses rapidly from an early onset stage to very severe cognitive decline. As time unfolds, the symptoms worsen, and Clients increasingly rely on others to keep them safe. Some of the most common symptoms of Dementia include:
- Memory Loss
- Difficulty Communicating
- Trouble understanding tasks
- Loss of time and space
- Behavioural and personality changes (for example, when a typically extroverted person suddenly becomes quiet and withdrawn, and vice-versa)
- And more
The science behind Dementia and why these cognitive changes occur is complex. When the disease enters the brain, it destroys neurons, which ultimately shrink and affect the entirety of the brain. The reason why Seniors tend to develop the condition more than younger folks is simply that they’re more susceptible to it — it can spread easier and faster in ageing brains.
If your loved one is living with Dementia, we understand how difficult it can be, which is why we’ve spent so much time and effort on creating our Dementia Care program. Over the years, we’ve seen first-hand how devastating this illness is and what it can do to Clients and their families.
Dementia Clients should avoid spending too much time on their own because of the hazardous risks involved. Their brains aren’t functioning as they once were. They could forget to lock the door, leave a candle burning, or even their own name. Our trained and qualified Dementia Caregivers are fully educated and equipped to manage situations with compassion and medical training. They’ll monitor your loved one and maintain their safety at all times, increasing their quality of life by managing prescription medications, keeping them comfortable, and simply being there to hold their hand.
Live-In Care and Palliative Care
Clients with later stages of Dementia sometimes require full-time care because they can lose the ability to be mobile, speak, and eat food without assistance. It’s a heartbreaking time for friends and family members, which is why we offer round-the-clock care to those who need it. If your loved one requires an elder live-in caregiver we can help.
As part of our home healthcare services, we provide 24/7 Live-In Care and Palliative Care. Both types of services aren’t limited to people living with Dementia — they’re also designed to help people with mobility issues and life-limiting illnesses.
What is Live-In Care?
Our Live-In Care services provide precisely that — live-in supportive care from a trained and professional Caregiver for Seniors who experience severe physical and mental pain. Our Caregivers will provide personal support, such as:
- Light Cleaning
- Meal Preparation
- Prescription Medication Management
- And much more
An Integracare Caregiver will be there morning, noon, and night to give your loved one the support they need and keep them safe.
What is Palliative Care?
Similar to Live-In Care, our Palliative Care services provide 24/7 care and support for Clients. The difference is that it’s intended for people with life-limiting illnesses, such as Cancer, Parkinson’s Disease, and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). If your loved one has a life-limiting condition, treating them at their choice of residence gives them the dignity and autonomy to rest in the privacy and comfort of their own home during what could be the most challenging time of their life.
Palliative Care is an interdisciplinary approach to managing emotional and physical pain caused by life-limiting diseases. Our Caregivers and Nurses will work together as a team to ensure that your loved one is living as comfortably as possible by monitoring their pain levels and working with external professionals, such as doctors, specialists, and counsellors.
We’ll also create a safe space in your loved one’s home to provide the guidance and support that you’ll need as a family. Our Caregivers and Nurses are expertly trained and hired based on their skills, experience, and ability to show empathy and compassion in tough situations. With our help, you will never have to tackle anything alone.
Integracare’s Additional Specialized Health Services
In keeping with maintaining comfort, safety, and security for all of our Clients, we provide a range of additional specialized home healthcare services. Read about some of those below.
COVID-19 and the Necessary Testing
In early 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the globe like wildfire. From the very beginning, medical professionals advised people with underlying health issues and Seniors to take extra precautions about protecting themselves against the virus since there’s a higher risk of infection among such communities.
We want you to know we’ve made protecting Clients and Caregivers our highest priority. Our Caregivers and Nurses receive regular COVID screening, even with vaccines, and continue to wear protective gear such as facial masks, gloves, and other necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
Within the last few months, we’ve introduced a critical service to our home healthcare repertoire — mobile COVID testing to help support our community. If you’re concerned about your loved one because they’re exhibiting symptoms or they were in contact with someone with the virus, let us know, and we can easily arrange a test for them. The best part is that they won’t even have to leave the house to get it; we’ll administer the quick and painless test right in their home.
Massage Therapy and Physiotherapy
Ageing can be an uncomfortable process. Many Seniors develop Arthritis, experiencing crippling joint aches and pains, affecting their mobility. To help alleviate the pain from Arthritis, a recent accident, or any other type of health condition, we offer at-home Massage Therapy and Physiotherapy as part of our home healthcare services.
Our Registered Massage Therapists (RMTs) have been trained to work with Senior Clients, using gentle strokes to relieve stress and tension and increase flexibility and mobility. Regular Massage Therapy is also beneficial to Seniors’ mental health because it encourages a stronger mind-body connection and a more positive sense of self.
We also offer Physiotherapy from professional Registered Physiotherapists for Clients who experience body pain. If your loved one has had surgery, an injury, or simply needs a reprieve from chronic body pain, consider Physiotherapy. Our Physiotherapists will work one-on-one with your family member by guiding them in light exercises and stretches that will help them heal. The goal is to provide our Clients with a healthier, stronger, and better quality of life.
With the right tools, your loved one could live a safe and happy life right in the comfort of home. Home healthcare for Seniors is all about fostering independence and peace of mind for Clients and their families.
We strive to alleviate the worries and stresses of ageing with our devoted team of Caregivers and Nurses and commitment to excellence in all that we do. Growing old can undoubtedly be challenging, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done with grace, independence and joy.