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The May Edition | May 12, 2016
Katherine Peters
President & CEO

Message from the President

Greetings friend, and welcome to the May edition of the Comfort Connection!
Spring brings with it a season of newness! New projects, gardening, spring cleaning!
Some of us like to get into the corners and clean out the dust bunnies, and downsize items we don’t need any more.
But what about if you or someone you love is a "collector." When does collecting cross the line and become hoarding? How does hoarding affect relationships? When does hoarding become hazardous?
What is your role as a caregiver in the face of someone you care about who has hoarding behaviour?
First of all, it is important to understand a little about hoarding behaviour. Hoarding behaviour can get worse with age. Increasing anxiety, the fear of (more) loss, loneliness, and depression may tend towards increasing clutter. Dementia and confusion can make it impossible to discriminate between what is valuable and what is garbage, so it all gets saved in the hopes of keeping up that social façade. Hoarding may give them a sense of control.
What can a caregiver do? It is critical to be respectful, positive, and never use harsh tones. Sometimes it is best to say nothing except, “May I move this so I can sit down?”
If you want to help at all, it is necessary to build trust. That may take months! It took one of our caregivers working with an elderly woman who was a hoarder three weeks to change her out of her velour track suit. After several months she finally had permission to change the client’s sheets. Mounds of books had to be moved first. When she went to take the sheets off this centenarian's bed, they literally fell apart and crumbled in her hands. 
What about if the condition of the home or apartment is unsafe? Sometimes the fire department has to become involved. At this point, the senior doesn’t have much say and the place needs to be cleared. If you are the one helping, it is even more important at this stage to remain respectful. Taking and moving these precious items can be like ripping out the owner’s heart.
As a final tip, one thing we learned is when you do get to sort a pile and have some items for the garbage, remember to take the garbage with you in your car if you don’t, you may find it just where it was before you sorted it! Patience and a sense of humour will be your most valuable assets!


Katherine Peters
President & CEO

10 Questions to Ask When Selecting In-Home Help

At Comforts of Home - Care, our caregivers give the same care and concern as a good daughter would, caring for her parents. We are family when family can't be there.
If you are looking for in-home help, here are the top 10 questions to ask your home-care agency:
  1. Is the caregiver insured, bonded, and covered by worker's compensation?
  2. Who does the caregiver screening and what kind of screening is done (references, criminal background checks, health, driving records, etc.)?
  3. Are the caregivers trained and what are they trained for (general vs. specific)?
  4. Are the caregivers trained to work in both home and institutional settings?
  5. Who supervises the caregivers? Are they direct employees (agency is responsible) or independent contractors (individual is on their own)?
  6. What happens if the caregiver can't come or there is a conflict?
  7. What happens if the client can't receive the caregiver (scheduling flexibility)?
  8. What are the minimum hours of service?
  9. What is the cost?
  10. How are payments made (to the caregiver, to the agency, both)? Who is responsible for payroll taxes?
Asking these questions can help you have a better insight and understanding about the home-care agency and what you can expect.

Recipe of the Month: Higher Level Fitness Breakfast Smoothie

Start your day with a combination of protein, fibre, and whole grain carbohydrates!
This tasty breakfast smoothie from Higher Level Fitness includes about 1 cup of hemp milk, a few spoonfuls of berries, 1 Weetabix square, and an optional drizzle of honey and portion of protein powder.
Watch the video to see how to make it.

Video: Cancer Survivor Shares Her Story

Twenty-one years after getting breast cancer, Rae Spear shares her story: "I think with a positive attitude and all the support I had, I never was really upset or concerned...
"You can do what you really want to do. There's always a way. A good way!"
Click here to watch the video now.

Take the Respect Challenge

Joke of the Month

Just as she was celebrating her 80th birthday, a woman received a jury-duty notice. She called the clerk’s office to remind them that she was exempt because of her age.
"You need to come in and fill out the exemption forms," the clerk said.
"But I filled them out last year," she replied.
"You have to fill them out every year."
"Why? Do you think I’m getting younger?"
Comforts of Home - Care
P: 204.949.3234 | F: 204.949.9049 | E: info@cohcinc.com | W: ComfortsOfHomeCare.ca
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