Long-Term Care for Seniors in Toronto

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Long-Term Care for Seniors in Toronto

There are various options for long-term care for seniors in the Greater Toronto Area. The first is the retirement home, or nursing home. There is a wide range of retirement homes in the GTA, and these facilities provide a variety of services. However, as Ontario’s population ages, demand for beds in the province’s nursing homes has been increasing. It’s estimated that more than 10% of these facilities have 150+ names on waiting lists. According to the Globe & Mail, charitable and non-profit homes account for only 25% of all homes in Ontario, but are sought after by 42 per cent of applicants. Municipal facilities account for 17% of all homes and are sought after by 26% of applicants. Information about long-term care facilities operated by the City of Toronto is available on their website. Private, for-profit facilities account for 58% of all homes and 32% of the waiting list.
If you or a family member needs round-the-clock care, you can also consider hiring a live-in caregiver. This option can help ease the transition from independent living to a retirement home, or it can become a more permanent arrangement. Some of the reasons for hiring a live-in caregiver include physical illness or disability, dementia, or impairment such as loss of sight or hearing.

Assisted Daily Living

Personal support workers, or PSWs, provide assistance to clients in four general areas:
  • Personal. A PSW is trained to help seniors with bathing, toileting, dressing, and grooming. These activities sometimes become difficult for the elderly, and a PSW can help clients to accomplish them professionally and efficiently.
  • Health. Under the supervision of a registered nurse, PSWs will help to monitor vital signs, organize and administer medications, and perform other health-related tasks such as wound care or putting on pressure stockings. Caregivers may also be responsible for taking clients to medical appointments.
  • Home. PSWs can perform housekeeping chores like laundry, vacuuming, dishes, and bed-making. Caregivers can also make balanced nutritious meals, which seniors may not be preparing for themselves.
  • Companionship. One of the most important aspects of the PSW’s role is to provide companionship. This can be simple conversation, reading aloud, playing card games, or it may involve taking the senior out to enjoy activities outside the home.
Live-in caregivers provide a sense of security for seniors, and peace of mind for family members who know their loved ones are never far from help if they need it.

A Personal Advocate

If the client does transfer to a nursing home, many families retain the services of the PSW. With a personal caregiver on-site, families can be sure that their loved one has an advocate for his/her interests. A PSW can be there to ensure that their client is receiving the best possible service, and to ease the transition from home to the nursing facility.
Seek out an agency that has very high standards for its employees. Make sure your caregiver has PSW training and certification, has undergone comprehensive screening, and has experience in the field. Find an organization that offers choice, and select a caregiver who is compatible with your family’s values.
Caregivers can provide long-term care and help your senior family members stay as independent as possible. Contact an agency today.
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