September 2020 blog post by Micayla Maiorino BSc, BScN and Nicole Hill BSc, MSc, BScN
An age-friendly community is a community where policies, services, and physical spaces are secure and accessible both physically and socially for people of all ages to live in (WHO, 2007). As Canada’s elderly population is growing, the transition to “age-friendly communities” is believed to be one of the best ways to allow seniors to remain in their homes as long as possible which has been shown to maximize overall health and minimize the impact of age-related morbidities on the healthcare system (WHO, 2007). Age-friendly communities promote good health and well-being, as well as allow people to continue to participate in society and their community throughout their lifetime (WHO, 2007).
Across the world, the experience of being quarantined at home, alongside images of families desperate to connect across the glass of long-term care homes and the sounds of neighbours singing across the balconies of small apartments, have reminded societies of the mental and physical strain of social isolation, and our profound biological and social need for human connection.
To provide inclusive, affirming services and welcoming health care to seniors, healthcare and social service providers working with aging populations can start by being aware that not all seniors are heterosexual and cisgender. Whether you are a volunteer, personal support worker, physician, nurse or social worker, there is plenty you can do to create a more welcoming environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, Two-Spirit and queer (LGBT2SQ) seniors. You can start by growing your knowledge.
May 2020 blog post written by Olga Nikolajev, R.N., MA, CT
During the month of May we highlight the work of palliative care and celebrate those that give of themselves to be part of an end of life care team providing support, comfort and guidance. The end of life care team may include a palliative care physician, a pain and symptom management nurse, hospice volunteers, a social worker, chaplain, personal support worker AND an end of life doula. You may be like many others, who have not heard of end of life doulas or death doulas or thanadoulas as they are sometimes called.
April 2020 Blog Post written by Sarah Seewald, BAH, RDH
As health care providers, we are aware of the unique health needs and challenges among older adults, especially low-income seniors, and dental needs are no exception. The most common dental complications observed in older adults are root caries (cavities), periodontal disease, tooth loss, xerostomia (dry mouth), candidiasis, angular cheilitis, and oral cancer. Living with these conditions can have a significant negative impact on ones quality of life, and most of these conditions can be prevented, managed or minimized with regular professional dental interventions.