Company Urges Seniors to ‘Get Going’

It’s never too late to work to improve your health and stave off the ill effects of aging, says the director of health and wellness for We Care Home Health Services.

The for-profit company is urging Canadians to take charge of their health and make a home-care plan for the future with a publication called Get Going to Keep Going.

Sue Kelly, a registered nurse and health and wellness director for We Care, says seven million Canadians are caring for an aging loved one. Those care-givers are largely Baby Boomers and they’re most often female.

They are doing the best they can to attend to children attending university perhaps and ailing parents, but are feeling overwhelmed from the burden they are shouldering.

That’s where a company like We Care can help, says Kelly.

People she meets often ask her, “Where do I go?” when dealing with an aging parent.

She suggests that a place to start is with an assessment of a person’s home-care needs by her organization.

Services as simple as personal support and meal preparation can help keep people out of hospital and long-term care.

But a philosophy called Active Aging is also important and can help people age well, she says.

The Get Going to Keep Going urges people to better manage chronic illnesses to prevent complications. Eighty per cent of people 65 and older suffer a chronic illness such as diabetes, and 50% of those are battling two, three or more chronic diseases.

Get Going to Keep Going urges people to take action in eight ways : Get Going, Get Active, Get Involved, Get Happy, Get Talking, Get to Know Your Meds, Get Help, Get Safe and Get Goal Setting.

The guide may be downloaded from the website www.wecare.ca or you can call 1-866-729-3227 for a copy of the booket.

The guide offers “snippets of good stuff ” and helps readers take one step at a time to improve their health.

“They all come together to make a healthy you,” said Kelly, 60, a former visiting home nurse turned administrator.

If you tackle challenges of aging head on, it’s surprising the problems you can avoid, she said.

We Care, which has a branch in Sudbury, can help assess a client’s needs for home care to help keep them living independently as long as possible. It is not necessary to hire We Care employees, although they are available for about $23 an hour.

Clients and their families can look at services that are available in their community such as Meals on Wheels and home care through Community Care Access Centres, and look at filling in the gaps with some private care.

Many people do not require nursing care, but simply assistance with actions of daily living, said Kelly.

That is particularly true when patients, particularly the elderly, return home from hospital. Statistics show that 30% of people who have been hospitalized will suffer a relapse within 60 days and require readmission to hospital, she said.

By CAROL MULLIGAN, THE SUDBURY STAR

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Filed under Babyboomers, Heath & Wellness

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