Seasons Ontario Magazine

the feeling you get when you walk in, interact with those who live and work there, have them show you around or schedule a tour. This will give you a better understanding of life in the home. You might be surprised to find out they aren’t like you may imagine,” continues Matt. As options become informed decisions and residents move in, the transition comes with freedom from worry and a sense of relief, often a healthier and happier parent and more time to enjoy each other’s company. “We understand the weight of this decision and want to make the process as comfortable and pleasant as possible for new residents and their families,” says Amanda. KNOW THE SIGNS: Are you experiencing caregiver burnout? Caregiver burnout is a heightened state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may accompany a change in attitude toward required or expected care tasks. Burnout occurs when primary caregivers don’t get the help they need or try to do more than they can handle, resulting in feelings of increased fatigue, anxiety, and depression. Some may also experience guilt when they spend time on themselves rather than spending all of their time taking care of a loved one. In this situation, Matt adds, “We understand that many people want to act as a caregiver for their aging parents or older loved ones, but they often work full-time jobs with busy schedules and families of their own. Burnout is very real, and we know something has to give eventually, either for the safety of the person receiving the care or for the caregiver’s well-being. There should be no shame or guilt in seeking out and accepting help. It’s what we’re here for.” If you believe you are suffering from caregiver burnout, please consult a trusted medical professional for personalized advice.

One of the most common objections is that some say they aren’t ready. What does ‘ready’ really look like? Each journey is different, and we are here to help guide you.

happens overnight unless it’s a ‘crisis’ type of scenario, which will accelerate that timeline. One of the most common objections is that some say they aren’t ready. What does ‘ready’ really look like? Each journey is different, and we are here to help guide you.” Several long-standing myths around senior living options continue to influence people’s most common concerns and objections, yet they aren’t accurate. For example, the notion that residents lose all of their independence once in a retirement home. Many move to a retirement community without needing the full complement of supportive services offered. Highly independent people decide to move for a variety of reasons. It could be that they are tired of keeping up with household chores, want access to a social calendar, or desire peace of mind from knowing someone is always there if they need them. Others move to a retirement setting because they desire the care and support we can provide. Often, independence can increase after a move. When someone has help with nutritious meals, access to social programs, regular fitness classes, and a health and wellness team to oversee their well-being, they can lead happier and healthier lives. “After the first conversation, we suggest exploring your options. Ask your parents or loved ones if they have friends living in a retirement residence. If so, visit them, note

the following steps as they come with an informed and willing loved one. Both parties will be on the same page regarding the future, adding peace of mind and a sense of shared understanding. That said, many wonder how to bring up the topic. How do I have “the talk” about alternative living arrangements with an ageing parent or loved one? Amanda suggests starting the conversation with something small, such as asking them their feelings about living at home on their own: • Do they feel safe and secure or worried and anxious when home alone? •  How are they managing home maintenance? Is help needed to cut grass or shovel snow? •  Do they have enough groceries for the week? You may be beginning to notice subtle changes in their routine, like wanting to drive less or calling more frequently. These could be conversation starters, too. Signs like these could indicate that bigger ones are on their way, making this a good time and opportunity to sit down and have a genuine discussion. “Some people don’t realize the extent of these changes until someone they know cares about their well-being and brings it up in conversation. They get used to functioning as they are,” adds Leasing Manager Matt Lehnen. “A lot of the time, this isn’t a decision that

BURNOUT Symptoms: •  Withdrawal from friends and family •   Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities

•  Feeling blue, irritable, hopeless, and helpless •  Changes in appetite, weight, or both

• Changes in sleep patterns

•  Getting sick more often

•  Feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or the person for whom you are caring •   Emotional and physical exhaustion •   Excessive use of alcohol or sleep medications



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