Working with Seniors who have Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or other mental illnesses is as challenging as it is rewarding. To be able to provide care and companionship in a professional and compassionate manner for families affected by Dementia is a rare and special gift.

Professional Personal Support Workers (PSWs) work face-to-face with individuals affected by these complicated diseases. At Integracare, we provide the highest quality in-home care for seniors, and we have been serving Toronto with expert Dementia care for more than 25 years.

As more and more seniors choose to age at home, we strive to provide the very highest standard in at-home care. We understand how hard it can be for families to discuss care options when a loved one has been diagnosed with Dementia. Our compassionate and knowledgeable PSWs are available to provide support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

By no means is providing the best home healthcare in Toronto and Mississauga an easy task, but there are essential strategies that every PSW should know with confidence when working with people living with Dementia.

Our goal is to bring security and ease to Clients and their families by providing our Caregivers with the newest and most comprehensive Dementia care education in the industry. We want our Caregivers to be prepared for any situation so that they can offer your loved one the support that they need.

There are other health care services we provide that are designed to make your family’s life more enjoyable. We meet with you and your family to discuss what the best healthcare options are for your loved one, and what services might benefit them.

People living with Dementia deserve professional and compassionate care. We have several key strategies that we use to recruit, teach and retain our PSWs to ensure your loved one is safe, happy, and receiving the best home healthcare possible.

What is Dementia?

Dementia describes a group of symptoms that affect memory, thinking, and social abilities and it can severely affect a person’s daily life.

Dementia symptoms vary depending on the cause, but common signs and symptoms include:

  • Cognitive changes such as memory loss, difficulty communicating and finding words, difficulty with problem-solving, general confusion
  • Psychological changes such as depression, anxiety, personality shifts, paranoia, hallucinations

Dementia progresses rapidly, so it is critical to think about a long-term healthcare plan as soon as you are able.

What Services can a PSW Provide You or Your Loved One?

Integracare is committed to providing the highest quality in-home health care in Toronto and Mississauga. Our goal in doing this is to ensure our clients maintain their independence and have a joyful living experience while receiving care from Integracare.

We are Toronto’s only home health care provider that educates 100% of our PSWs in all four facets of Dementia care from the Alzheimer’s Society of Toronto.

Amongst other services, PSWs assist with:

  • Bathing
  • Feeding
  • Dressing
  • Meal preparation
  • Medication reminders
  • Light housekeeping
  • Companionship
  • And much more

The Integracare PSWs are compassionate, knowledgeable, and dependable support workers. Our Caregivers are carefully selected, thoroughly trained, screened for police clearances, and they always carry photo identification.

 Ask for Help

The first thing we always tell our PSWs is that asking for help should be done without hesitation, and it is often necessary. The psychological setbacks of Dementia can be extremely difficult to handle, and just knowing that someone else is there to provide guidance can mean a world of difference.

Our PSWs work closely together and with our Registered Nursing Coordinators, and we conduct Dementia care education programs regularly. Our team works closely together, and in times of need or during emergencies, our PSWs can call our Registered Nursing Coordinators on a 24/7 basis for advice.

Sometimes, people living with Dementia exhibit agitated responses. These responses are often caused because it is difficult for people affected by the disease to communicate how they’re feeling. Our team of Caregivers are educated in Behavioural Support for those living with Dementia

Safety First

Patients with Dementia may exhibit agitated behaviour, extreme memory loss, and confusion. Our staff is given safety training in order to maintain the highest quality of in-home care and to ensure the wellbeing of Clients.

Unfortunately, Dementia only worsens as it progresses, so it is critical to implement safety tactics in any healthcare plan. Our Clients are our biggest priority, and we ensure that our PSWs know what to do in challenging situations.

Here are some safety tips that our Caregivers keep in mind while working with your loved ones:

  • Keep toxic substances hidden. Clients might not understand the difference between a glass of water and bleach.
  • Important documents and contact information should be on hand for emergencies when working with someone with Dementia. It’s highly likely that they couldn’t tell you the current date, never mind their doctor’s phone number.
  • We also engage with our clients so as to maintain their independence and joyful living experiences.

Stay Calm and Be a Friend

Strategies for Personal Support Workers

As Dementia progresses, people’s personalities likely will change, and this can be extremely difficult for friends and family.

The change in personality happens because the person living with Dementia is losing neurons in parts of their brain. The behavioural change is dependent on which part of the brain is losing cells and, sadly, these symptoms often become worse as the disease progresses.

Our PSWs are highly trained in how to handle the behavioural changes that are part of the Dementia process and provide the appropriate behavioural support.

The most important thing if a loved one is experiencing agitated behaviour is to remain calm. People living with Dementia may have a difficult time comprehending situations at the best of times, so communicating in a gentle manner is crucial.

People living with Dementia can sometimes come across as mean or rude. However, this is the illness talking, it’s not the actual person, and it should never be taken personally. Of course, this is often easier said than done, but our PSWs are educated and exhibit great empathy toward all of our clients, and they are equipped to work with Clients in stressful times as a result of years of experience and industry-leading education.

Our Caregivers do not consider themselves employees when they are with Clients. Clients with Dementia require genuine companionship, and that is what Integracare provides.

Even when circumstances feel tough, our PSWs are trained to assure Clients that they are safe and far from harm.

Work Compassionately

It cannot be said enough: compassion is absolutely necessary when working with people living with Dementia. From extensive background checks to a series of interviews, the hiring process at Integracare is thorough. However, the number one quality we look for in our Caregivers is compassion.

It would be impossible to do this job without it, and we only select individuals who love what they do —helping Seniors who are in need of kindness and companionship.

When your loved one is receiving our care, you can feel confident that they will be safe and protected by outstanding individuals.

With regular education sessions and professional development programs, our PSWs have access to the best resources in the home healthcare industry. And what’s more, our Caregivers are passionate about promoting the quality of life for each and every Client.