“My mom has always had bad vision, but it has become weaker and weaker in the past few years. Now, she’s legally blind. I feel bad for her since she enjoys exploring the beauty of nature, but now she’s even having trouble doing housework due to her vision loss. I can tell that she’s getting depressed because she feels that she’s losing part of the joy in her life. What can I do to make her feel happy, and have a better quality of life?”

This is a message we received from a desperate daughter. As we mentioned in our previous blog post, “How to Take Care of Your Loved Ones with Loss of Smell and Taste”, ) we know that sensory deprivation can greatly decrease one’s quality of life and lead to more symptoms. So, today we are going to focus on how to improve the quality of life of your loved one with vision impairment.

Vision loss can be a very gradual process, so it is vital to identify it when your loved one starts to show the following signs:

  • Finds it harder to focus on things

  • Accidentally bumps into things or knocks objects over

  • Stop doing activities that requires vision, such as reading or writing

  • Finds it harder to find nearby items

  • Constantly falls, or has trouble walking

All the above signs can be detrimental to your loved one’s mental health and lquality of life. However, there are ways for you to save your loved one from suffering.

Caring Tips for Seniors with Vision Impairment

  • Good Lighting

Make sure the area that your loved one normally stays around is well-lit. Counter lighting would be a good choice given that it won’t take up too much space in your house. Make sure the light isn’t too dim, but not too bright either,  so it won’t hurt yours and your loved one’s eyes.

  • Minimize Fall Risks: Install Grab Bars, Stair Lights, Remove Unnecessary Items

People with vision impairment have more chances of falling. So, it is important to remove all unnecessary items, such as electrical cords on the ground. It’d also be helpful to install grab bars along the stairs, and you can add stair lights to illuminate the way so the risk of falls drastically decrease. If your loved one has some level of dementia or memory problems, it’s better to reorganize the furniture to make the house easy to navigate.

  • Make the Best Use of Contrasting Colors

Decorating your home in contrasting colors is especially helpful if your loved one likes to move around in the house, or perform tasks that have the potential to hurt them. For example, to prevent your loved one from cuting their fingers, you can purchase knives in bright colors and a dark cuting board so your loved one can distinguish.

  • Labeling 

In our blog post, “How To Take Care of Your Loved Ones With Loss of Smell and Taste, we have talked about how labeling is important for food safety. It is especially important for someone with vision impairment or vision loss . Making a larger label of names and expiration dates on foods and medications can help prevent food poisoning and overdoses. You will be surprised at how a single step can make a significant difference.

You can also do the same thing with your loved one’s personal hygiene products, and condiments in your kitchen. Just make the name on the object visible enough so your loved one can’t ignore it.

  • Provide Mental Support

Whoever suffers from vision impairment can lose their independence and quality of life, and depression, anxiety, withdrawal, and inactivity can all be side effects of vision loss for some people. So, it is important to help your loved ones with acceptance and strive for better entertainment for them. There are several forms of entertainment for  people withvision impairment, which we will discuss below. Hopfully it will inspire you on the way to help your loved one live comfortably.

Entertainment for Seniors with Vision Impairment

  • Let’s Go Audio!

It is time to turn all visual entertainment into audio. You can download audiobooks online for your loved ones, such as Audible by Amazon. Or, use the Audio Description Project (ADP) that’s made by the American Council of the Blind. On ADP, you can access tons of TV shows, speeches, and even podcasts to museums.

  • Games

Remember when we talked about how games can be beneficial to seniors? There are games such as Bingo and Trivia that don’t require strong vision, but also good entertainment as well. If you haven’t seen our blog post on that, go check it out Best Brain Games for Seniors). It is a very good way to improve your loved one’s quality of life, and strengthen family bonds if you join in!

  • Enjoy Fragrances

Sometimes, when one sense weakens, other senses heighten! Getting your loved one involved in activities that can stimulate the sense of smell such as gardening and aromatherapy, which can greatly help them reduce stress and agitation. Enjoying natural fragrances can even help seniors to manage pain and fight against viruses. Candle making is also a good activity for seniors – it will not only relieve tension for your loved one but also give him or her a sense of accomplishment when they finish it.



Communication has never been more difficult. Jade finds that her mom’s hearing has become weaker and weaker over time. Sometimes when she tries to talk to her mom, her mom thinks Jade’s yelling for no reason. However, Jade’s mom refuses to wear hearing aids and whenever she doesn’t understand Jade, she acts like she can’t hear them at all.

Loss of hearing is a common phenomenon that occurs among seniors. The natural aging process will lead to a decrease in our senses, and this includes our hearing. However, there are a few factors that can expedite this process, such as medications, noisy environments, chronic fatigue, and emotions.

Hearing loss does not just make people “not listen” to you, but it also change their personality – eliciting anger, anxiety, social withdrawal, and even depression. When seniors feel stressed or annoyed, they may just act like they don’t hearing anything. So, when dealing with seniors with a hearing impairment, you need to have more patience, sensitivity, and understanding.

Today, we are going to provide you with some useful tips on how to communicate happily and smoothly with a loved one who has hearing loss. Let’s jump in!

What Is the Best Way to Communicate with a Hearing Impaired Loved One?

  • Find a Quiet Place or Reduce Background Noise

Your loved one may not know you are talking in a noisy environment, so when you are trying to raise your voice, there’s a very high chance that she or he thinks you are shouting and angry. So, make sure there is no music or television playing in the background.

Public places like restaurants with a lot of noise and crowds would make conversation difficult. Selecting locations with fewer background noises and less congested areas can greatly improve communication and reduce distractions.

  • Get Their Attention, and Face Them While Talking

Before speaking, you need to first get their attention. This can be accomplished by touching them on the arm or shoulder in a proper way, and not from behind.

Make sure you are making eye contact, and keep the light on your face. Sometimes, it is also helpful to say their names in a polite way; being respectful is always the key in a conversation.

  • Keep Tour Hands/Mask Away From Your Face While Talking

Same as maintaining adequate illumination on your face while talking, patients with hearing loss need to read your lips. So get rid of your mask or anything that would block your mouth and let your loved one “read” your words.

  • Speak Clearly and Loudly

As we mentioned in our previous blog post, “How To Communicate With Seniors, you need to speak clearly, and raise your voice if needed (but don’t scream). Do not speak too quickly or too slowly, and don’t use slang that elderly people may not understand.

  • Rephrase Your Question or Statement

When your loved one seems to not understand what you mean or not hear what you say, try rephrasing it in another way.

Sometimes your loved one may be confused about certain words, so simply repeating your statement isn’t helpful. Try shortening or simplifying your words and see their reaction.

  • Make Wse of Body Language and Visual Cues

Your posture and facial expression conveys emotion, while visual cues provide instruction. However, since facial expressions and nonverbal movements provide additional information, don’t exaggerate them, as they may be distracting.

You can also use aids to deliver your information, such as writing it down, or typing it on your phone and showing it to the person.

  • Ask Them How They Prefer to Communicate

Communication with seniors often requires cooperative efforts. So, it is never a bad idea to inquire about the other person’s preferred method of communication – if verbal isn’t the best for them, ask them if they would like to use any aid such as phones or sticky notes.

In the End

If you have tried many methods to communicate but the condition continues to worsen, it is better to do a hearing test. Specialists will offer potential solutions and techniques to help with hearing problems.





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Food has always been the main attraction at family reunions regardless of culture and race, and it is especially prominent in Jen’s family.

Today is the day that Jen picks up her mom from the nursing home, and welcomes her back home. Jen has put a lot of effort into preparing this family reunion dinner, and she had been studying recipes for the past few weeks, just to make sure her mom would be satisfied.

The dinner went well, except for the fact that Jen’s mom only ate a little and finished eating very soon after the dinner had started. Jen asked her mom if the food didn’t taste good, and her mom replied: “my taste buds arent as strong as before, not because of covid or anything else; my sense of taste has been getting weaker and weaker over the years.”

This is very normal among seniors. In fact, nearly 5% of seniors who are over 75 years old have  chronic issues with their sense of smell. Loss of smell and taste occurs when people enter their 60s, and some start as early as 40s.

What Causes Loss of Smell and Taste?

Loss of smell and taste can be attributed to many reasons. Certain medications that treat cardiovascular disease that contain beta blockers and ACE inhibitors, may cause lose of senses  in seniors. Also, other common causes such as aging, poor dental hygiene, nasal and sinus problems, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and smoking, etc. are all correlated to loss of smell and taste in elderly people.

Consequence of Loss of Smell and Tast

Our five senses are gifts from nature, and a disappearance of any one of them would lead to serious consequences.

  • Safety Issue

Our smell is linked to sections of the brain that process emotions and memories, and it may alert us to dangers such as gas leaks, fires, or rotting food. It can also trigger pain signals to be sent to our brain when we smell or taste anything unpleasant, as it could be a warning that something horrible is about to happen. For example, some polluted water may taste metallic. If seniors drink a glass of water without being aware of a metallic taste, the chemicals may put them at risk of metal accumulation in their bodies. Therefore, loss of smell could cause safety issues such as food poisoning and chemical poisoning.

  • Change in Dietary Habit

Flavour is a combination of taste and smell, so changes in the senses could also change someone’s food preferences and eating patterns. Seniors with a loss of taste would tend to “over-salt” their food, which is linked to high blood pressure. Also, a loss of interest in certain foods can cause malnutrition, which would cause substantial weight loss in seniors. So, if you notice your loved one skipping meals and slimming down, it is better to get checked out.

  • Decreased Quality of Life

Food brings happiness, and that’s why human beings are so enthusiastic about food. If an individual experiences loss of smell and taste, feasts are no longer appealing, and he or she may find it hard to reminisce by the smell of certain foods.

Smells have the power to evoke deep feelings and memories in humans. So, one’s quality of life might be severely hampered by the diminished or distorted perception of smell.

How to Help Your Loved One with Change in Sense of Smell & Taste

  • Get Checked

First and foremost, get checked by a doctor. You can book a nasal examination for your loved one to see if there’s inflammation or something else, such as  COVID-19. Sometimes it emerges from collective issues, and loss of smell is just a signal of more troubles down the road.

  • Encourage Him or Her to Eat

A loss of smell and taste would alter one’s appetite. In that, encouraging your loved one to savor foods becomes a vital topic here. Making social events and family gatherings is a good way to help seniors eat more food than usual. Also, you can try to use more herbs and spices that stimulate their appetite and increase food flavours without increasing blood pressure. Moreover, food is better served hot than cold in terms of its flavour. However, watch the temperature carefully so it won’t be too hot and burn your loved one’s tongue and throat – the best temperature served is about 150 F.

  • Follow Nutrition Guides

In our previous blog post, “Nutrition Guides for Seniors”, we have provided nutrition requirements and macronutrient charts for seniors. You can use the chart for planning for tasty meals for your loved one. Eating balanced meals is essential for seniors, no matter if they have lost their smell or not.

  • Label Foods with Dates Clearly

Since some seniors aren’t able to distinguish rotten or spoiled food by smell (as the look of food may not change much as they go bad), it is important to label fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, meat, and other foods with their purchase date, and best before date CLEARLY. Write the date in a bigger size so your loved one will notice.

  • Make Sure the Gas Detectors and Fire Alarms are Working

Again, guaranteeing your loved one’s safety at home is the primary thing we should focus on. In case he or she may be forgetful, or isn’t able to smell any “dangers”, you need to be proactive. Install and make sure gas detectors and fire alarms are in good working condition to greatly relieve your tension when you are away.




It’s just an ordinary morning. Jane wakes up and goes to the kitchen to get some water.

“Mom,” her daughter says, “umm, you kind of smell like old people.”

“Maybe it’s just because I haven’t brushed my teeth yet,” replied Jane.

Jane tried her best to be a good sport about it, but her daughter’s comment stayed with her for the rest of the day.

“What do old people smell like? And why do I smell like that – I’m only 55,” she thought. Obviously, this is something Jane wants to deal with right away.

“Old people smell”, as Jane’s daughter pur it, is actually very prevalent, and there’s a Japanese word that specifically describes it: Kareishu. The word has a negative meaning to it, mainly referring to a sweaty or unbathed smell. Not showering regularly may result in the smell, as it can with anyone of any age, however it is not the most prominent cause of changes in oder as we age.

Other Causes Of “Old People Smell”

  • Chemical Changes With Aging

You know the fresh and warm scent of a newborn baby? That goes away as we get older due to a chemical breakdown. The most popular hypothesis is changes in the chemical 2-nonenal. 2-nonenal may be responsible for causing older adults to have changes in odor.  When a person enters their 40s, 2-nonenal will present in the body and keep increasing as aging progresses.

As we become older, our skin produces more lipid acid, which is a type of fatty acid, and antioxidant protection in our skin decreases with age as well. In that, 2-nonenal is formed when fatty acid is oxidised, and is therefore what gives off that infamous “old people smell”.

However, scientists still haven’t confirmed how much of a role 2-nonenal plays in odor changes, as it might be a result from the interaction of the compound with skin secretions and bacteria.

  • Diseases

Some chronic diseases are also the source of changes in oder as we age. Diseases such as diabetes or uremia have a negative impact on skin function and can cause skin disorders. Also, skin problems like acne and eczema might exacerbate the issue. For example, diabetic dermopathy is caused by changes in small blood vessels, which could cause changes in skin maintainance.

Odor changes while aging is perfectly normal, but of course, we still want to smell fresh. There are several ways to manage changes in order as we age.

How To Manage Changes In Odor As We age

  • Engaging in a Heathy Lifestyle: Regular Exercise and Clean Eating

The best and most effective way is to change your lifestyle and quit bad habits. Make sure you are regularly exercising and eating clean. Eating clean means not eating too much fat, sugar, and sodium, given that these things would also alter our skin condition. Also, having enough rest and doing exercise can reduce our stress, which is huge ineliminating our unpleasant scents.

  • Quit Alcohol and Tobacco

Usually, when you walk past someone who drinks or smokes a lot, you will find that the smell of alcohol or tobacco has lingered on their body. This is because alcohol and tobacco leaves leaves residue on the skin whenever the person touches or consumes it. In addition, consuming alcohol or tobacco accelerates oxidation, which further increases “kareishu” in your body.

  • Drink Plenty of Water and Dilute Fatty Acids

Interestingly, dehydration can cause body odor. Drinking a lot of water can also dilute fatty acids in our body, along with increasingsaliva, which can help get rid of bacteria that causes unpleased odors

  • Green Tea May Help, Too

Green tea, which is rich in antioxidants, can help prevent bad breath, body odor, and stinky feet by neutralising free radicals.

Green tea helps the body rid itself of damaging pollutants by assisting in the secretion of glutathione, an antioxidant, so your body will smell much fresher.

  • Use Body Scrub – Fine Salt

Fatty acid on your skin is insoluble, so simply washing and rinsing with water isn’t so helpful to “wash out” the smell. However, using scrubs like fine salts can help remove the dirt and grease and make your skin much cleaner than just body wash alone. Also, scrubbing can offer feelings of relaxation, which in turn, helps to releave tension.

  • Air Out and Make Sure Living Areas Are Clean

Always keep your space clean! Sometime seniors’ rooms are warm and stuffy, which amplfies odors. Make sure to ventilate living spaces on a regular basis.

Also, make sure to do laundry on a regular basis. 2-nonenal transfers to your clothes and sheets from your skin. Using anti-stain and anti-grease laundry detergent helps to wash off the insoluble 2-nonenal.

At the End:

“Old People Smell” can be difficult to manage, even in those with good personal hygiene. However, don’t be scared of 2-nonenal. It is actually described as smelling like cucumber or old books – the greatest smell ever. And don’t stress about odor changes as you age; it is just a natural process.



Everyone knows Steve – the toughest and most obstinate man in the long-term care home. It is very difficult to convince him to do anything, which also includes welcoming his grandson’s dog, a three-year-old yellow lab.

“I hate dogs! They are annoying and dirty,” shouted Steve, speaking to his son on FaceTime. “Don’t ever bring that thing here…I won’t even let it in!”

Apparently, Steve’s grandson was even more uncompromising than his grandpa. He still brought the dog to the long-term care home, two weeks after the FaceTime call. His grandson gave: “The dog can’t be left in the house alone.”

The first greeting wasn’t so pleasant. Steve looked at the dog and angrily asked his son why he had brought him. However, the dog wasn’t aware of Steve’s disgust – he put his paw on Steve’s knee and wagged his tail happily, as if he were saying, “Hi Steve, it’s nice to meet you!”

After two hours of visiting, the family decided to go back. “Hey, why don’t you just leave the dog here since you will be in the city for a week,” requested Steve. “You said yourself that the dog can’t be left alone. I think I can take care of him.” 

It may have been surprising for a man like Steve to say that, but it did not surprise anyone that day. Everyone witnessed how happy and gentle Steve was when he was playing with the dog and how he made Steve another different person – a person that no one had ever seen.

“Maybe animals are magic,” joked Steve’s caregiver. “They can do the tricks that we can’t.”

This is true – our fluffy friends are amazing. They don’t speak (human languages), and they don’t buy you any gifts (small dead animals and sticks don’t count, of course). However, they have the power to sweep the haze away from your life and let the sunshine in – which is also a primary reason why so many institutions are using pet therapy to cope with people’s health problems.

What Is Pet Therapy?

Pet Therapy is a type of therapy that uses specially trained animals to offer affection and comfort to a community or a single individual. It is being used in a variety of organisations, including hospitals, schools, mental health facilities, and retirement and assisted living homes.

There are three different types of pet therapy: Facility Therapy, Animal-Assisted Therapy, and Therapeutic Visitation.

Facility Therapy refers to having the pets reside at the care home and trained to monitor dementia patients. At the same time, Assisted Therapy means a specific individual owns a trained pet in the assisted living community and receives a more intensive treatment.

Therapeutic Visitation, on the other hand, is the most common type of pet therapy out of the three. It refers to pet owners bringing their pet and visiting long-term, care homes, which allows  seniors to spend time with them and enjoy their companionship without having to take on the additional responsibility of caring for them all the time.

Why Do We Love Pet Therapy?

  • Encourages Social Engagement

It may be awkward if two strangers stand together, but if there is a pet sitting around them, the two individuals are more likely to interact with each other. Isn’t that amazing? In many cases, pets serve as excellent conversation starters. Residents can connect with each other and form new friendships when they spend time with animals.

  • Pet Therapy Has Many Physical Benefits

Did you feel amused when you scroll through TikTok and see pet videos? If yes, you’ve already benefited from “The Pet Effect”.

The term “The Pet Effect” refers to the miraculous healing powers of watching or interacting with pets. Spending time with dogs has been found in studies to lessen long-term care home residents’ pulse rates, as well as their stress and anxiety levels, as well as their heart rate and blood pressure.Some parents notice that their children who have depression will show alleviation in their symptoms when they have pets around, and it works for seniors, too. After all, these little animals don’t judge or give you any advice, and stay with you no matter what you do.

  • Senior isolation

If you have subscribed to our page, you must be familiar with the term “Senior Isolation”. Many seniors tend to have feelings of loneliness and isolation, either as a result of a lack of frequent visits from family and friends, a loss of a significant other, or a decreased level of physical activity.

Senior Isolation is difficult to tackle because so many seniors are “comfortable” in their unhealthy settings. So, for the reluctant elders, we can use our paw-friends to bring them out of their “shells”, and thus make them more open to new friendships. Feel free to check out our blog on “Senior Isolationwe have a lot of advice for you to help your loved one if he or she is experiencing loneliness.

Who Can be Our Paw-Friend?

Not all pets can be used in pet therapy, given the various personalities among the species and breeds. Normally speaking, old dogs and indoor cats are more suitable for companionship and providing comfort for seniors – they are quiet and understanding (yes, they are more sensitive to human’s needs when they get older).

There Are Limitations:

Just like many medications, pet therapy is not without its limitations. The more prominent concern of pet therapy would be safety. Many long-term care homes will ensure the animals are well-trained by doing behaviour checks. Cause, some pets may cause a threat to seniors’ safety if they are not properly trained.

Another issue is sanitation. Seniors tend to have compromised immune systems. Any unvaccinated or unwashed animals may cause allergies or infections among senior residents.




We have gotten a message from one of our readers recently.

“My dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s when he was 70. He was only showing symptoms of  memory loss and agitation up until recently, but now, he has started wandering. I am currently working from home so I can be with him him during the day, however he mostly wanders at night. I tried to stop him, but he won’t listen. It’s as if there’s something he needed to complete. I am a single mom and have to take care of my son and my dad. We are Italian so family means everything to us, but my dad’s behavior has really been hard to handle. Can you give me some advice on how to prevent his wandering? Thank you.” -Mia

Mia is definitely not the only one we know that has such an issue – we see it almost every day. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 6 out of 10 patients with dementia show signs of wandering, or as we are going to put it, exploring, and some explorers are never found, or found dead because of accidents. In that, keeping your exploring loved one at home becomes so important at this point. However, it is always easier said than done. So, today CareStory is going to provide you with some very useful tips to keep your loved one safe and sound.

Before You Prepare, You Need to Figure These Things Out


Step One: Find Out The Reason Why They Explore

Before you start to plan for safety for your loved one, it is always helpful to find out the underlying reason for his or her exploring. There are many reasons for someone experiencing Dementia to explore, and according our experience, they can be categorized into the following:

  1. Basic Needs: Some seniors explore because they have necessary needs such as finding a bathroom, food, or simply looking for fresh air.

  2. Old Routine: In our previous blog post, “The Power of Telling Senior Stories”, we have spoken about a woman who used to wake up at night and check on residents in their rooms. It turned out that she was a night shift nurse for over 30 years and she was just doing her job. (Power of Storytelling)

  3. Fear: The surroundings may be triggering, or make them feel unsafe, so they try to find a “safe zone”.

  4. Boredom: Of course, people experiencing dementia feel bored, too. When they are looking for something to do, as you would, they start to explore their surroundings.

The underlying cause may vary from person to person, and situation to situaton. To help you determine what’s on your loved one’s mind and what or why their are exploring, , you can ask yourself the following:

  • Has your loved one always been this active? It’s possible that your loved one’s exploration is linked to a certain activity they used to engage in during the day.

  • Is your loved one having difficulty distinguishing between the past and the present when performing daily activities (eg. picking up the kids from school)?

  • Are your loved ones familiar with their current surroundings?

  • Are there any needs for your loved one that isn’t being provided? (eg. the need to feel loved and care for, the need to go to the toilet, the need for food or water, the need to manage pain, etc.)

  • Does your loved one look anxious, bored, or unsettled?

  • Is your loved one taking any new or different medications?

  • Has there been any recent change in your loved one’s living environment?

After all these questions are figured out, you will know the roots of their exploration. So instead of trying to put a stop to it,you can try to help them tackle their fear and anxiety, or provide them with what they need at the moment.

If the exploration continues, you can move on to the next step.

Step Two: Identify Patterns

Now is the time that you should take out a notebook and record your loved one’s patterns of exploration. Observe the time of day they start to explore, the duration of each, and the frequency they explore in a week or a month. You can also write down any negative effects caused by their exploration. Here’s an example of how you can take your notes:

  • Exploration occurs daily at 1:00am for one hour, resulting in an slight injury to left leg.

  • Exploration occurs twice a week, around 3:00pm, resulting in turning on the kitchen stove and walking away.

  • Explorationoccurs once a week, between 6:00pm to 8:00pm, resulting in the person being lost outside for at least one hour.

After you take your notes, you will have a better idea of what you should do to minimize any negative effects when they decide to explore.

How to Create a Safe Environment for an Explorer

If we can’t cure a disease, we find a way to live with it. This applies to Dementia as well specfically those who love to explore! In most cases, exploring will continue no matter what. So let’s discuss how we can create an environment for our loved ones with Dementia to explore safely:

Lock Doors When You Are At Home

Always keep the door locked when you are at home. You can also purchase alarm locks for the front door. They only cost $15-$20 on Amazon, and they can help you out a lot by notifying you if your loved one leaves the house.

Add Window Locks

To prevent your loved one from any potental injuries from the wondow, it’s best to add a lock or a screen that cannot be removed. 

Paint the Walls the Same Color for Continuity

It may sound novel, but painting the wall the same color or pattern to create a sense of continuity and can actually prevent the desire to explore when it may not be safe to do so.

Install a Door or Gate at the Top of a Stairway

It is especially useful if you have a basement in your house, or your loved one lives on the upper floor of the house, to install a door or gate at the top of the stairway. This prevents slips, falls, and injuries when walking downstairs in the dark or even if your loved one is sleepwalking. Note that the door should always swing away from the stairs, so if your loved one pushes the door too hard and it opens, it won’t let him or her fall because of the force. 

Install a Kitchen Door

Sometimes, your loved one feel  they may need to cook for the kids in the evening, and it is what we mentioned above – repeating an old routine. When your loved one with dementia wants to use the kitchen, you have to be aware of potential risks. For example, , they may use the oven, microwave and stove, but forget to turn them off after using it. Thus the best solution is to install a kitchen door and keeping it locked when you are not using it.

Hire a Caregiver to Take Care Your Loved One When You Are Not at Home

If you are a busy working person and always have your hands full, it is time to seek help from a professional. Some people who are experiencing dementia and love to explore  just want to find company, or find things to do to keep them less busy, so hiring a caregiver would greatly decrease your loved one’s loneliness and boredom. It gives you respite since you don’t have to worry about your loved one when you are away running errands. You may need to look for a home care agency if you have never hired any caregivers before. However, finding a responsible home care agency isn’t easy. See our blog on “Top 10 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Home Care Agency”. It will guide you on how to spot the “best match” for you and your loved one.


Amy’s mom has been complaining to her family that the construction on the LTC is too loud and disrupts her rest. Knowing how sleep deficiency could make her mom anxious, Amy reported it to the administrator of the nursing home right after she got the call from her mom.

The administrator promised Amy that the construction would only take three days to finish, so Amy and her mom kept waiting. However, a week went by, and the nursing home is still filled with the loud noises of hammering and drilling.

Now, Amy wants to escalate the issue.

If this sounds familiar to you, and you are wondering how to file a complaint about a nursing home, CareStory is here to help.

Common Complaints:

Millions of senior citizens receive nursing care in North America every year, and some angry residents have a lot to say. Most of these complaints show that residents and family members believe that the quality of care provided is subpar.

Complaints That Are Frequently Raised:

  • Poor food quality

  • Staffing issues

  • Disruptions to rest and sleep

  • Abuse and neglect

  • Unmet resident needs

  • Quality of care

  • Worker competency

  • Lack of cooperation with medical care, etc.

Complaints about nursing homes can be sorted as urgent and non-urgent, which require different steps while being reported.

Urgent Complaints:

According to, urgent complaints include abuse, neglect, harm, and danger to the residents. For example: physical abuse, financial abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, abandonment, etc.

For urgent cases, the optimal approach would be calling or e-mailing the Long-Term Care Family Support and Action Line. The information in the complaint letter should include:

  • Name of the home

  • Address of the home

  • A description of the event

  • Persons that were involved

  • How you would like the home to solve the issue

Once the ministry receives your request, they will assess your report and the event. If the complaint is defined as urgent by the ministry, they will take the next step, which is a formal investigation of the nursing home.

In this article, we will include a template of a complaint letter, Feel free to download it!

Non-Urgent Complaints:

While the line between urgent and non-urgent complaints is vague (since everyone’s reaction and interpretation of an event differs), the official explanation from of non-urgent complaints are cases related to the less severe cases such as diet, activities, or care.

There are many ways to report non-urgent complaints. The easiest way is to report the issue to the home directly. Also, what you should write in the complaint letter is similar to the information required for urgent complaints, which includes the description of the complaint, and how you expect the nursing home to solve it.

Also, you can still report your issue to the Long-Term Care Family Support and Action Line, just like you would in urgent cases. You can also contact your local long term care ombudsman. The responsibility of a long-term care ombudsman is to aid communication between family members and the long-term care home.

If you are unsure about what to write in a complaint letter, below is  a free template for you to download. Remember that you always have the right to protect your loved one,

Sample Complaint Letter:

[Note: This template provides structure and guidance for writing a complaint Letter.  Simply replace information in brackets [] with your own information and text.]

[Your Name]

[Street Address]

[City, Zip Code]

[Today’s Date]

[Name of Recipient]



[City, Zip Code]

Dear [Name of Recipient]:

[Short introduction paragraph – provide the name of the long-term care home you are going to complain about. Include dates, locations, and the conclusion of the event.]

[State the specifics of the event. Describe the persons who got involved, and what consequence the event resulted in.]

[Indicate how you would like them to resolve the problem. Provide the result that you are seeking. This may include reimbursement.]

[Indicate that you are looking forward to their reply within a specific time (choose a reasonable time period). Indicate you will wait for their reply before pursuing other options such as legal counsel or ombudsman’s assistance.]

[Indicate they can contact you about the issue and provide a contact number.]

Sincerely (or Respectfully Yours),

(Sign here for letters sent by mail or fax)


[Typed Name]

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!

Psychology Today


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!


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    Contact us

    Call us


    Visit us anytime

    294 College Street, Toronto, ON, Canada

    Send us an email


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

      Social networks





      Copyright by Emersewell Inc. 2020. All rights reserved.

      Copyright by Emersewell Inc. 2020. All rights reserved.