Saturday, December 13, 2008

Getting more help

For those who miss and mourn Christmas, it is a difficult time. Seniors who have lost spouses, or single adults without family face a difficult time. For some wonderful memories of a time gone by helps. For others it pains them. My father grieved his life gone by and it tore us up to see him in his anger. For many there are no good memories in a life that included difficult circumstances.

There are many places to seek help for yourself or on behalf of others.

Neighbours check in on each other. They determine if a call to an agency is warranted. For ailing seniors help is nearby at CCAC, they provide referrals to Meals on Wheels, or a limited amount of personal support workers who can assist seniors with their ADL, or IADL. Anyone can make a referral to CCAC. There is a CCAC locator page for Ontarians. They can provide supports for frail and ailing adults.

Check in on neighbours frequently but do not risk your health by doing more than you can physically or emotionally manage. For example, my husband, in trying to lift my late father begging to be put back to bed, put out two disks and will likely never recover despite physiotherapy.

Our parent's generation, having lived through The Depression, are reluctant to pay for services. There is a fear that finances will not last. I firmly believe, however, that it is well worth the cost to ensure that ADL, or IADL needs are being met. Meals on Wheels is an option for those who are housebound. Another great resource is the newly established services locator website. Muskoka has just signed on and provides many resources.

The Legion in most areas provides volunteer services for legion members. They can help find volunteer drivers. Many agencies are there to help, including referrals to sources of food, shelter, clothing, dental care, housing geared to income.

“Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.” --Maurice Chevalier

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