June is Senior’s Month

June is Senior’s Month

In non-covid years there have been opportunities for seniors to participate in various games and activities for the month of June, but now many seniors, particularly those in nursing homes or seniors’ residences have been isolated and unable to even get together with each other let alone their families and friends.

As the daughter of a nursing home resident, I have seen the inside of this situation, having been called in last November that my mother was at “end of life”.  However, after a few visits from my sister and me, she rallied and is still going.  If she makes it til the end of August, she will be 101.

Visits are so important to the elderly – and to their families.  My kids can hardly wait to see their grandmother again.  When Mom turned 100 last August we were lucky enough to be able to have some restricted visitation – 6 feet distance, masks, and only 2 at a time, but we were all able to go in to see Mom for her birthday – it took about 1 1/2 hours for us all to have a short 10-15 minute visit, but it was worth it.  The only regret we had was that we couldn’t get close enough to give her a hug.

We had two new babies, one only 20 days old at the time and another grandchild who was 2 that she hadn’t seen since he was a baby.

I have been going in to see my Mom almost daily since last November and have been able to take her outside a few times.  She loves the sun – she loves to “absorb” the heat.  Unfortunately Mom is now blind and hard of hearing, so you have to be up close for her to hear what you are saying.  She is also suffering from dementia, so some of her stories are a little strange.

At 72 years of age, I too am a senior and I wonder what life will be like for me in another 10 – 20 years. I only have my OAS and CPP, and that is not enough to cover the costs of a senior’s residence. My kids will have teenagers and may not appreciate having an old lady in the house…LOL.

I have also seen the things that happen in nursing homes due to shortage of workers.  I know that my mom suffered from dehydration as people didn’t have the time to make sure she was drinking or if she was sleeping they didn’t even leave a drink.

When I was speaking to one of the PSWs, she said that although a number of people had gone through the training and been hired, many of them had no real awareness of the job they would have to be doing – such as toileting and cleaning up of many of the residents.

My mom is confined to a wheelchair which means that they need two people when she is being moved.  This can often mean a wait while a second person is found.  They are supposed to have 2 people available for her wing, but….

When my mother-in-law was in a nursing home 20 years ago, I saw the same situation – too much work for the limited staff members and I wrote a poem a while ago about it.  You can read it here.

I will be posting more information for and about senior things during this month.  I will include articles on working from home, finding a job as a mature worker and more.

I look forward to connecting with any of you who are seniors or who are looking after seniors.  And if you have any helpful links, please share them.

Have a great day!

Fran

 

About Fran Watson

Work from home Career Counsellor helping people with resumes, cover letters and interview tips. Recently published an e-book on Resumes and Cover Letters That Work (www.franwatson.ca). Member of Toastmasters and life-long learner.
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