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When you picture yourself growing old, where do you see yourself? In a long-term care community, or at home?

If you said growing old in the comfort of your own home, you aren’t alone. In fact, according to the study conducted by Campaign Research Inc. on behalf of Home Care Ontario, 91% of Ontario seniors hope to live at home and want to receive home care services as they age, however, only 3% of them intend to move into a long-term care community.

A report published at Morningstar pointed out that around 50% of seniors 65 and older will need long-term care during their lifetime, so who will care for them?

Cognitive decline is a common symptom of aging in the elderly. As seniors get older, they often become more sensitive, isolate themselves from others and show agitation. These actions strengthen the idea that they need more tailored professional medical services and emotional support. The best way to calm the elderly is to let them feel that you are on their side, and CareStory can help caregivers achieve that. All caregivers, residents, and families are connected, with detailed information about our loved seniors available at their fingertips. Therefore, caregivers can form deep connections with the seniors, promoting empathy, and providing them with more tailored services.

Meet with Doug

Take Doug for instance; the grandfather of one of us at CareStory. He was being cared for at home, after he was diagnosed with stomach cancer. Now, Grandpa Doug was a stubborn man. He took great pride in serving in the Navy for over 35 years, and he knew how to take care of himself. This meant that he didn’t want anyone else to take care of him, ESPECIALLY a stranger. Several health care workers would come and go, and he would rarely cooperate. One day, by chance, a nurse brought up the Navy, and Grandpa Doug would not shut up about it. The nurse listened intently and asked questions for further discussion. “That’s incredible Doug. I’m just going to clean this wound for you to make you a bit more comfortable. So when you saw that whale when you came out of that underwater cave, what did you do next? Did you freeze?” Grandpa Doug was content and honoured that someone took the time to ask about memories that he held close.

Everyone will become elderly at some point, and everyone wants to be loved and taken care of. There is so much more we can do for the elderly, by understanding them, and being with them. Get to know your residents today.

REFERENCES:
Cision
Morningstar
American Psychological Association
Griswold Home Care


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Do you often spend time thinking about the future, or reminiscing on the past? If your answer is yes, then, unfortunately, you probably squandered tons of precious seconds being in the present moment. The good news is: you are not alone. 

We often let the present moment slip away since we spend too much time worrying about the future or being stuck in the past. “Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.” Yes, this quote may be overused, but it is true. We need to live more in this moment, right now. Here are some tips on how to help you ground yourself and stay in the present.

Stop thinking about your performance.

You may have experienced something similar to this: during the prom, you felt somewhat uncomfortable on the dance floor because you felt like other people were judging your dance moves. You did your best to handle your limbs, but you found out it made you even more awkward. This is a great example of how thinking too hard about what you’re doing actually might actually make you do worse. When you find yourself embarrassed when dancing or giving a presentation, start focusing more on what’s happening around you, such as music, and less on what’s going on in your head.

Relish in what you’re doing at the present moment.

We often compare and contrast so much that we get trapped in a cycle of thoughts of the future or the past. For example, when you sip coffee, you often compare the taste with cups you had before and think that the coffee doesn’t quite compare to the day before. That will probably influence you to ​​worry about the future — will my next cup of coffee taste even worse? The probability that your next cup of coffee will taste even worse is only one in three, but the feeling of the moment is 100%! People experience more happiness and positive feelings when they actively savour something they usually hurry through, such as eating a meal and drinking a cup of tea. That’s because savouring forces you into the present.

Feel free to lose track of the task.

Sometimes we feel that time passes very slowly, and sometimes we feel that time passes very quickly. When we are fully engrossed in what we are doing, we often lose track of everything around us, including time. When you are focused, distractions such as time, scent and even exhaustion cannot penetrate. Therefore, it’s good to keep your attention narrowed and only focus on the task. This is when you may experience your awareness merge with the action you’re performing, and you become totally in control of the situation. 

We live in the age of distraction. As professional long-term care staff, we are sometimes unable to move on from the guilt of the past. Just remember, there is only now. Live in the moment!

REFERENCES:
Psychology Today


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Here’s an interesting wellness fact we would like to share with you: consuming more vegetables is associated with a lower risk of death! But did you know that our method of cooking vegetables usually drains them of their nutritious value? 

Here is a suggested recipe that contains the recommended daily amount of vegetables to keep cancer or heart disease away: 

  1. 8 whole kale leaves
  2. 1 large cucumber
  3. a bunch of parsley
  4. a head of lettuce
  5. 1 pear
  6. 1 lemon
  7. a large handful of spinach
  8. a piece of ginger. 

How would you eat these? Salad? Tea? Snack? Smoothie. Not so easy to consume in one sitting. TRY JUICING! We know that employees in the long-term care industry are extremely busy and have limited time to prepare nutritious meals for themselves. Juicing can offer a perfect balance of nutrition and free time. Juicing is the easiest way to consume a large number of vegetables and fruits in one sitting; just by squeezing all different ingredients together! 

In addition, the juice is much more delicious than a single vegetable dish. Furthermore, juicing accelerates the delivery of nutrients to our bloodstream, and turns out to have remarkable advantages on our body and cognitive function. 

Our body is able to assimilate nutrients in 15 minutes when you have fresh vegetable and fruit juice, compared to a solid meal that may take over 2 hours! That’s because juicing is able to extract the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, chlorophyll, enzymes and phytochemicals from solid fruits and vegetables to liquid form so our body can absorb these nutrients almost instantly.

Need some tips on juicing? Here we go!
  1. Thoroughly wash all vegetables and fruits before you squeeze them. 
  2. Add more vegetables and keep fruit content low. We know fruits taste better than vegetables, but they also contain much more sugar! Try to incorporate cucumber, courgette or lettuce, they are low in sugar, but high in vitamins.
  3. Try to choose organic food to squeeze in order to avoid pesticide exposure.

We just shared our favourite juice recipe with you. Do you have your own exclusive juicing recipe that you find both easy to prepare and healthy? Share with CareStory in the comments…we’d love to hear!

REFERENCES:
Huffpost


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Is empathy dead? No. Is it in decline? Quite possibly. Empathy is the backbone of humanity, and quite frankly, is an ESSENTIAL part of long-term care. Leaders, listen up. 

Recently, new research conducted by Catalyst found that empathy has significant constructive effects on innovation, engagement, retention, inclusivity, and work-life balance. Take a look at the findings:

  1. 61% of employees with empathetic leaders reported they were more innovative compared to only 13% of employees with less empathetic leaders.
  2. 76% of employees who experienced empathy from their leaders announced they were more engaged at work compared to 32% of employees who experienced less empathy.
  3. Around 60% of women mentioned they were more likely to stay in the company if they felt respected and valued by their empathetic leaders and executives, versus approximately 20% of women would consider staying even if they didn’t feel respected.
  4. 50% of employees with empathetic leaders found their workplace to be inclusive, compared to only 17% of employees who saw inclusivity even with employers demonstrating a lack of empathy.
  5. 86% of employees with empathetic leaders reported that they had good work-life balance, compared to 60% of those who had less empathetic leaders.
Here are some tips for leaders to demonstrate empathy:
  1. Take a walk in your employee’s shoes, and more often, ask yourself: “If I were in his/her position, what would I be thinking right now?” Moreover, empathetic leaders should embrace their employees’ voices and listen to their concerns.
  2. Provide more mental health resources. It’s important for leaders to demonstrate what self-care looks like, and encourage employees to do the same.
  3. Learn more about your staff and talk to them! How are their days going? Have they read or watched anything enjoyable recently? What are their concerns? Have they encountered any difficulties recently? Get to know them better so you can better understand what they need!

Are you an empathetic leader? Have you ever experienced an empathetic leader who impressed you a lot? Share your stories with CareStory!

REFERENCES:
Forbes
Catalyst


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“Oh ye of little faith.” — A saying Cynthia Drake lived by.

Cynthia was a woman of few words, with a “look” that spoke paragraphs, and a kind, giving essence that made you feel seen, heard, and loved. 

In fact, if you ever visited Cynthia and her husband John on their 52-acre farmhouse in Portland, Jamaica, you were fed until you couldn’t move and left with the food you couldn’t carry. Fruits, vegetables, meat, plants—whatever you wanted, it was yours to take.

Cynthia firstly met John at church, where they quickly fell in love. Married in 1953 with just a single gold band, they were the epitome of true love. Every morning they would spend the first hour in bed listening to the radio, talking, and laughing. They would drink coffee on the veranda with crackers and jam, feeding the birds before retiring to the dining room for breakfast. They lived for each other, they loved each other, and although John was the head of the house, she was the neck that made the head turn.

Cynthia’s purpose in life was caring for others. She was a nurse, however, her husband wanted her to be a stay-at-home mother. As much as she honoured and respected her husband, she honoured and respected her purpose more, and sped down the streets of Portland to work every day. She loved and cared for others at work, and came home to love and care for her husband and five children. 

Cynthia spends her remaining years in Portland with her husband, tending to the farm and caring for her plants and animals. Restoring faith in those who have lost it, calming their panic with her words: “Oh ye of little faith.”


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It’s no secret that the rapidly accelerating ageing population has put pressure on the long-term care system in Canada. Statistics Canada indicates that the number of Canadians over 80 is projected to approximately triple in the next 25 years. 

So the question is, are there enough long-term care beds for seniors in Canada?

Research published in the Canadian Institute for Health Information also announced that in Canada, there are approximately 2076 long-term care homes, and over half of the LTC homes are privately owned (54%). These LTC homes can provide around 198,220 long-term care beds, however, Canada has around 6,835,866 people aged 65 and older. So on average, for 1,000 seniors aged 65 and older in Canada, only 29 of them can have beds in the long-term care communities.

According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, the incidence of dementia among Canadians aged 65 and older is more than doubling every five years. To be specific, about 1 in 100 seniors aged 65 to 69 have been diagnosed with dementia, and 1 in 4 seniors aged 85 and older have been diagnosed with dementia! Moreover, according to the Ontario Long Term Care Association, nearly 70% of seniors with dementia will need long-term care.

It’s not hard to see that long-term care resources are stretched thin, and our caregivers, who are working tirelessly day in and day out, somehow get the blame. Why is there no empathy towards our caregivers? Our leaders? We need to redefine what long-term care looks like from the outside looking in. That, of course, will take years, and support from all angles. In the meantime, caregivers, residents, and families need to connect and demonstrate empathy for all parties. How? Well, try CareStory. Scan Mr. Douglas Hughes’s QR code and experience the transformative power of how CareStory promotes empathy and connection.

Mr. Douglas Hughes QR Code

REFERENCES:
Policy Options
Ontario Long Term Care Association
Canadian Institute for Health Information

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Can we talk about crying? And how healthy and therapeutic it is? 

We are big criers over here, whether it be for the good, the bad, or the ugly.

Have you ever been watching a movie, or reading a book, and something just hit you? It reminded you of a past memory, or a present reality, or you were so attached to the characters that you just empathized with them?

One tear comes, then two, then seventy-two. Next thing you know, you can’t stop. Well, we are here to tell you that a good crying sesh is actually good for your health.

According to Penn Medicine, there are 5 good reasons for letting your tears flow:

  1. Improve Your Mood. Research published at Frontiers in Psychology shows that brain releases feel-good chemicals such as oxytocin and endorphins when shedding tears. That’s why your mood may completely change after you cry out stress, anger, and pain.
  2. Improve Your Vision. When we feel dehydrated, we drink water! Same as our eyes! When we cry, we not only release negative moods but also help to re-hydrate our eyes. 
  3. Help Protect Your Eyes. When we cry, we actually give our eyes a chance to cleanse themselves. Tears contain lysozyme, lysozyme is a powerful anti-bacterial chemical that helps fight infection caused by dust and dirt that enter our eyes without our consciousness.
  4. Help Clean Your Nose. Probably you don’t know that our tear ducts are connected to the insides of our nose. That’s why we often have a runny nose when we cry! So similar to how tears flush out bacteria and irritants, crying can also flush out irritants from our noses.
  5. Strengthen Your Relationship With Others. We tend to show our most vulnerable side only to the people who matter most, such as our parents, close friends, and partners. Why? Because we tend to avoid crying in front of others at all costs. When we actually cry in front of others, it’s the time we try to create a deeper emotional bond with them. We are inviting them to see another side of us, right?

So here at CareStory, we aren’t going to tell you to dry your tears. Instead, we will offer you a tissue. Do you still remember when you thought they were the most important people to you? 

REFERENCES:
Harvard Health Publishing
Penn Medicine


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To all of our beloved caregivers, how long has it been since you allowed yourself to feel everything you feel during a day, a week, or even a month of caregiving?

Some of us go years holding onto energy that isn’t ours. Well, guess what, it’s time to start releasing it. Because that stuff is heavy. How does this show up? BURNOUT! The Ontario Caregiver Organization states that nearly 60% of caregivers experience burnout, with symptoms including depression, constant headaches, sleep disturbances, irritability, emotional dysregulation, and digestive issues, to name a few.

Let’s take a look at some QUICK and CONVENIENT ways to get that energy moving, shall we? Try some self-care activities together!

Try self-foot reflexology!

Research published in the Journal Korean Academy of Nursing shows that self-foot reflexology could reduce pain, stress and depression. Soaking your feet in hot water and mineral salts, and massaging your big toes’ base can minimize headaches caused by burnout.

Listen to podcasts on your commute!

Many people listen to podcasts and use them as a form of entertainment. Based on that, you can listen to your favourite podcasts and create a better state of mind for yourself. Some sample podcasts are “Feeling Good Podcast” by Dr. David Burns and “Tell Me What You’re Proud Of” by Dr. Maggie Perry.

Write down and celebrate small achievements every day!

At the end of each day, you should celebrate yourself for completing different tasks during the day. For example, completing your to-do list on time, receiving compliments from colleagues, getting along well with the seniors, etc. Please tell yourself every day that you are fantabulous! Take this one step further and write out all the negative feelings you’ve felt: the frustration, the annoyance, the insecurity: anything that we don’t like to admit that we feel.

Sleep in on your day off!

If you feel overwhelmed, you need rest, and the weekend is the perfect time to relax! Turn off your alarm and wake up naturally, and then do activities that you really enjoy. Watching TV series, reading, exercising, painting, cooking, etc. I know days off are for errands a lot of the time, but schedule afternoon appointments. Give yourself permission to rest.

So tell us, how are you feeling today? Remember to try the self-care activities and tell us your changes!

REFERENCES:
GR8NESS
Relax The Feet
Verywellhealth


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In the long-term care industry, teamwork is key in offering consistent as well as high-quality care to our loved residents. Based on findings at Health Services Research, long-term care communities with a better teamwork structure and good staff communication are more likely to provide better senior care!

So if we want to create a high-performing team, we must have a clearly defined team structure. Among various team structures, CareStory recommends that caregiving communities should adopt a multi-team system (MTS) team structure. It consists of 6 smaller teams: the Administrative Team, the Core Team, the Coordinating Team, the Emergency Team, the Ancillary Team, and the Support Services Team.

Multi-team System (MTS) Caregiving Team Structure

The Administrative Team includes the medical directors, the nursing directors, and the administrators. The Administrative Team has 24-hour accountability for the overall nursing home’s management. Administrative team members need to ensure that all teams at the caregiving communities understand their role, responsibility and specific tasks.

The Core Team has leaders and members who provide direct care to the residents: for instance, nurses, restorative aides, attending physicians, etc. Members in the Core Team not only need to be fully aware of the overall caregiving performance, but also need to have good communication skills to keep all team members on the same page. 

The Coordinating Team consists of nursing supervisors and heads from different departments. Coordinating team members are responsible for the daily operational management and coordination functions in the organization. Moreover, they also provide the maximum support to the Core Team, and they are responsible for resource management as well.

The Emergency Team is responsible for immediate and emergent situations. It’s is important to make sure that the Emergency Team always composes members from different teams so that they can respond to different types of crises. Possible emergency team members can be emergency response members, care planning professionals, etc.

The Ancillary Team also provides direct and task-specific care to residents, but in a supporting manner. Ancillary team members provide specific services that support the care of residents, and members can be X-Ray technicians, pharmacists, and laboratory professionals.

The mission for members of the Support Services Team is to provide safe, comfortable, and clean environments for residents. Possible members can be volunteers, housekeeping staff, gardeners, etc.

The structure of the MTS team can vary from long-term care community to community, as long as all members in the communities have specific responsibilities and close ties to the team members.

REFERENCES:
https://www.belbin.com/media/1818/belbin-team-work-in-care-homes-cmm-april2012.pdf
https://seniorhousingnews.com/2012/06/21/better-care-found-nursing-homes-with-good-staff-communication-teamwork/
https://www.ahrq.gov/sites/default/files/wysiwyg/professionals/education/curriculum-tools/teamstepps/longtermcare/module2/igltcteamstruct.pdf


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“Asshole!”—If Violet Hughes calls you this, she likes you. 100%. Welcome to Memoir Monday and senior story time with CareStory!

Vi was known for three things—loving her family, chewing gum, and being the life of the party. Vi loved to dance with her stiletto heels and red lipstick. In her younger years, you could find her at a local dance every Saturday night. In fact, this is where she met her husband, Doug. Truth is, she was dating someone else. But Doug apparently swept her off her stilettoed feet, and they were inseparable ever since.

From 1947 to 1949, Vi was the mascot for The Arcade Ladies softball team, winning the Maritime championship in 1947 and 1948. In four years, they won 90 out of 98 games, with a winning streak of 60 games in a row. This is still believed to be unsurpassed in Canadian softball, which landed them in the Nova Scotia Hall of Fame in 1999.

Vi was a stay-at-home mom to her five children until her youngest went to school. In 1971, she left Nova Scotia and uprooted her family to Toronto. She worked as a secretary for De Havilland Aircraft by day, and a supermom by night, driving her kids to and from activities and sporting events. She missed a lot of games because as she always said,

“By the time I dropped the last one off, the first one was ready to be picked up again.”

Vi returned to the Maritimes in 1975, where she worked for the Department of National Defense until she retired in 1992. In their first year back, they decided to build her dream home as a family, next to a quiet little lake in Lower Sackville. Working full-time during the day and until midnight, Vi and Doug, with their kids, finished the home in 1976.

Violet spends her remaining years watching the sunrise and feeding the ducks. She also waits for Doug to put in a pool because she is afraid of the lake critters nibbling on her toes.

Leaving you with her final sentiment: “Thanks for reading, assholes!”



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    Contact us


    Call us

    1-647-243-2981


    Visit us anytime

    294 College Street, Toronto, ON, Canada


    Send us an email

    info@emersewell.com



    Subscribe


    Sign up for Medicare newsletter to receive all the news offers and discounts.




      Social networks


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      #CareStory_ca


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      Copyright by Emersewell Inc. 2020. All rights reserved.



      Copyright by Emersewell Inc. 2020. All rights reserved.