Marteny: Being informed is vital for both seniors and their families
The majority of families with whom Kelowna Seniors Consulting works, lack the knowledge to know what is needed now for their aging parents.
They wonder when is the time to step in to assist their parents or are they taking away their independence.
Often the mother wants to do one thing and the father wants to do something else.
What happens if one parent needs 24-hour care and the other parent is great cognitively and mobility wise.
Aging seniors often have a horrible image of nursing homes when they think about where they have to move to next when they cannot live at home anymore.
Families too say that there is no way that they are going to put their parents into a nursing home.
A lot of this comes from a misunderstanding of the definition of the terms used.
Previously, I have said that there is no way that I would “put” my mom or dad into a nursing home if they could not live at home anymore.
I did not understand all of the options available nor the correct terms to use to get the correct information.
My mom and dad would have moved to supportive living where they would interact with other seniors on a regular basis without leaving the building.
This is especially important during the winter months and at night.
Their meals would be prepared for them and their housekeeping done.
They could also lock the door to their suite and go on a six-week vacation.They have assistance without losing their independence.
When aging parents walk into a supportive housing facility they will see many walkers and most likely think that this is not where they want to live.
However, this too is a misunderstanding of what they are seeing.
Seniors move into supportive housing with their cognitive and mobility skills perfect for their age.
Then as is usual for most people, their needs increase and one of the best things a senior can do is use a walker to prevent a fall.
So much of what Kelowna Seniors Consulting does is to assist families and their parents understand what their options are and then make sure that their image and reality are correct.
If not, both the families and seniors could be going through needless stress and worry.
Okanagan College KLO Campus in Kelowna is at the forefront of helping families and seniors get the information they require.
Again this year, they are presenting, in conjunction with Kelowna Seniors Consulting, a morning seminar to help the families.
On Saturday, March 19, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, the seminar Understanding Supportive Housing Options for Your Parents (CRN 80477) will be presented.
This seminar will go into detail about what supportive housing provides and what to consider to ensure that your parents move into the one that best meets their individual requirements.
The cost for each seminar is $119.28 (HST included), which will include course material.
Register for the course at 250-862-5480 or on line at www.okanagan.bc.ca/csreg.
Payment due at time of registration. Participants must register prior to the course.
Sharen Marteny is a services consultant for seniors in Kelowna.