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.

American Psychological Association
Griswold Home Care


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

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


So now you’ve gone from agitated to angry, and you have a resident with dementia in crisis mode. What do you do? 

Let’s start with what you don’t do. How many times have you calmed down when you were upset just because someone told you to. Never, right? Us either. When my great grandmother was trying to flee the home because she felt like someone was after her, she certainly didn’t calm down when the nurses told her to. 

Seniors with dementia are more likely to show agitated and aggressive behaviour. This we know. They may swear, scream, or even hit and bite others. These behaviours may be triggered by various factors, such as pain, changes in the environment, and being ignored. The key is knowing these triggers (enter CareStory ;)).

People with dementia may not understand how they can express their needs, and aggressive behaviour is one way to release frustration.

Here are some methods we have found to calm aggression in older adults with dementia:


A nice piece of music can help seniors calm down and activate more positive memories! Research from the Alzheimer’s Association also shows that music helps people release dopamine and ultimately triggers happiness :).


We aren’t joking! It is scientifically proven. According to a study published by Cambridge University Press, using scents like lavender and lemon can significantly decrease behavioural issues in patients with dementia. These pleasant scents can help seniors become more focused and reduce their anxiety and hallucinations.

Touch and hold their hands!

As one of the most effective methods to increase trust, touch can build a warm relationship between the caregiver and the senior. With just a gentle hand pat, seniors suffering from dementia can perceive your kindness, slowly calm down and reduce their agitation. Moreover, holding hands can help seniors relax and feel more comfortable. You can either take their hand in a natural manner or offer your hands for them to hold.

Remember, be patient, and smile :). Try these methods; they will definitely aid your efforts to comfort seniors with dementia.

Here is also a fantabulous video we would like to share with you. Let’s check how Teepa Snow successfully de-escalates a dementia care crisis in a positive and empathetic way

Alzheimer’s Society
Five Star Senior Living
Alzheimer’s Association
Holmes, C. & Ballard C. (2018)


The New Normal

Since the pandemic, we have been relying more and more on technology, therefore changing our day-to-day routines. Change, while scary, can also be good, and as a result, be exactly what we need.

When introducing new technology into any long-term care community, certainly, there are going to be some challenges. On the other hand, once you get the hang of it, there is no going back. In many ways, incorporating technology in senior living has become the new normal. Let’s take a look at four popular trends we have seen in caregiving technology since early 2020.

Interactive Platforms

Firstly, let’s discuss Interactive Platforms.

As professionals in senior living, we collect a lot of data. This data can consist of seniors’ personal information, health records, medications, and physical examination reports, for instance. Interactive platforms store and organize data for you, and as a result, can improve care management efficiency!

Voice-Enabled Interfaces

Let’s move on to Voice-Enabled Interfaces.

“Hi, Siri!” “OK, Google!” Sound familiar? These devices can comprehend, interpret, and even anticipate our needs. Yes, we said anticipate. Creepy? Definitely. Convenient? Definitely. Seniors need the convenience of speech recognition technology just as much as we do. According to a report published by Orlov’s Aging and Health Technology Industry in 2019, speech recognition technology will continue to be be everywhere in senior living because voice-enabled interfaces help seniors and caregivers have a better understanding of the seniors’ health conditions.

Remote Monitoring/Telehealth

Next, let’s discuss Remote Monitoring and Telehealth.

As you know, it’s the remote work era. How many Zoom meetings have you attended wearing pyjama pants? The correct answer is “all of them”. Currently, Telehealth technologies can monitor and manage health records at a distance, so caregivers can not only provide diagnoses remotely. Furthermore, care staff can also quickly access resources and documents they need, such as video conferencing, virtual reality training programs, and online chatting and booking systems. 

Assistive Technologies

Finally, let’s review Assistive Technologies.

Research at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine mentioned that assistive technologies have a great effect on those involved in senior living, especially in the care of people with disabilities. This technology can support people with vision, hearing, and mobility limitations. Common devices include smart glasses, which provides navigation for people with vision impairments, and smart hearing devices, which adjusts the sound of the environment around the user.

Now What?

Have we missed any?

In short, technology is currently shaping our experiences of living, ageing, and caregiving, and consequently, will help to change the narrative and perception of long-term care. CareStory believes that senior living will continue to evolve with emerging technologies, and therefore update outdated policies and procedures.



Feeling Forgetful?

Have you ever walked into a room and forgotten what you went in there for? Yeah, us too. It’s normal. You may have even heard of “senior moments”, and probably have experienced them. As a result of getting older, we will all see more and more memory issues, but how do you know if your memory loss is part of the natural ageing process, or a symptom of dementia?

The fact is, early-onset dementia does often goes undiagnosed because initial symptoms are too similar to those of senior moments to be distinguished. As a result, when people experience memory issues, they are often very fearful that they are experiencing dementia.

Senior Moments vs. Dementia

Again, memory loss is quite normal, and the incidence of dementia is low. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 40% of the elderly population will experience some form of memory loss after 65 years of age. However, only 5 to 8% of them live with dementia.

As we age, our memories may start to get foggy, and some may even begin to fade. If seniors find themselves experiencing a bit of memory loss, misplacing items and forgetting names here and there for instance, you can assure them that they are most likely not experiencing dementia. Forgetting the name of an old friend is not a sign of dementia, but forgetting who your son is might be. Moreover, if your friends and family are more aware of your memory issues than you are, it might be a sign of dementia.

How to Differentiate Between Normal Ageing and Dementia

Let’s compare some signs of normal ageing memory loss and signs of dementia together so that we can have a clearer picture. Now, we are not doctors and by no means experts in dementia so these are just guidelines. If you really are concerned, please visit your doctor to have further discussions! 

Signs of Memory Loss Due to the Natural Ageing Process
  • Unable to recall the content of conversations or details of events that took place a long time ago.
  • Fail to recall the name of an acquaintance.
  • Forget and slowly recall dates, things and events occasionally.
  • “Tip of the tongue,” trouble finding words in conversations.
  • Executive functions remain normal, but have longer cognitive processing and reaction time.
  • You are worried about your memory, but your families and friends are not.
Signs of Dementia
  • Forget recent events details or conversations content.
  • Repeat the same conversations.
  • Unable to recognize or know the names of family members.
  • Forget things, events and appointments more frequently.
  • Trouble coming up with the desired words in conversations and have frequent pauses and substitutions when finding words.
  • Unable to perform complex daily tasks
  • Your friends and relatives are worried about your memory, but you are not aware of these issues.

Attention! Not all symptoms are listed here. If you find yourself having some of the signs, please visit professionals and ask for help!

Preventative Measures

According to the American Academy of Neurology’s practice guideline, aerobic exercise is one of the best methods to maintain brain health. Take 30 minutes out of your day to exercise! Swimming, brisk walking, jogging, gardening, and cycling, for instance, are some recommended aerobic exercises for seniors.

Cardio workouts not only help seniors with memory loss, but also help lower blood pressure, enhance the health of the heart, and improve sleep quality. It’s never too late to start exercising, and there is always time to stay up-to-date on the latest resources of geriatric diseases. Together, we can beat this.



Music has become an increasingly popular therapeutic method in long-term care communities. But do you actually know the power of music? Do you know that music has a significant effect on seniors? Let’s dive deep into the music world.

What is Music Therapy

According to the Canadian Association of Music Therapists, “Music therapy is a discipline in which Certified Music Therapists (MTAs) use music purposefully within therapeutic relationships to support development, health, and well-being.”

Knowing this, music therapists can use music to address human needs in the following domains: cognitive, communicative, emotional, musical, physical, social, and spiritual.

Fun Facts about Music

Do you have any fun facts about music? We do.

To start, music helps seniors recall old memories. Why? Because strong emotions are often associated with music, and music can support seniors in retrieving these memories. When was the last time you listened to a song and it took you down memory lane?

Furthermore, when seniors receive one-on-one personal care, music may facilitate their cooperation with caregivers. Research at the Journal of Advanced Nursing found that listening to seniors’ favourite music while receiving care may help reduce care-resistant behaviours.

Finally, music not only helps elders resist loneliness, boredom and isolation, but also alleviates feelings of sorrow and abandonment. Therefore, music can provide additional companionship, especially for seniors with dementia or sensory issues.

So get out your blue suede shoes and put on a little Elvis. Besides person-centred care and communication, music can also play a prominent role in a resident’s day!

Konno R., Kang H.S., Makimoto K. (2014). A best-evidence review of intervention studies for minimizing resistance-to-care behaviours for older adults with dementia in nursing homes. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(10), 2167-2180. doi: 10.1111/jan.12432

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    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.