If you're a Senior living in your own home, that's probably where you'd like to stay as long as you can. If your parent or elderly friend or relative is in the same position, you may want the same thing for them, but have concerns about their ability to take care of themselves and to maintain their social connections. What kind of support does our Healthcare Network offer to people in these situations? Let's take a look.
According to the Region of Waterloo's website: www.regionofwaterloo.ca there are numerous programs in place to provide assistance to older citizens who need some support to live on their own. Listed are Homemaking Support, which includes light housekeeping, meal preparation and planning, laundry and grocery shopping. To qualify you must live in the region, meet the financial criteria, be ill or recovering from an illness or injury, be elderly or have a disability.
So far so good, although it's looking like the healthier you are, the less likely you are to be considered "eligible". To apply, you're directed to a contact number, which will then trigger an in-home assessment to determine whether they'll provide the help you need and subsidize its cost. Still sounds OK, right? Well, here's where everything comes to a screaming halt. In the middle of your screen, in a blue box, is the following proviso:
Please note, this program has a wait list of about three to four years, with the exception of special circumstances.
Three to four years?? It makes me wonder why they bother listing these services at all, as clearly very few are able to benefit from them in any kind of reasonable timeframe. And what are those seniors to do in the meantime?
There are a number of independent companies that do the kinds of things the Region has listed and I'm sure they're competent. Here's my recommendation for one that is a little different, for a lot of reasons and that puts it at the top of my list.
Angela Shaw of Companion Services for Seniors recognized the huge gap between what should be happening and what actually is and established a small business to provide the services seniors need. She's not making a fortune doing it; she's doing it out of care and respect for those who deserve it. Her hope is that she can make their lives a little easier, a little more fulfilling and help them maintain their independence a little while longer.
Angela's advantage is her genuine warmth and interest in her clients. She works hard to develop and nurture a rewarding and reciprocal relationship with them. You won't see a stream of different caregivers coming and going. You get the same person every visit which bolsters trust and reduces anxiety, particularly for those clients with dementia.
I called Angela for help with my Mom, who had Alzheimer's Disease. I only wished I'd known about her earlier. Awesome is an overworked word these days so I don't use it lightly. Angela's awesome. If you think you or your loved one could use a kind touch and a helping hand, give Companion Services for Seniors a call. You won't regret it.