Caring for our elderly parents is a responsibility many of us share. Our parents provided loving care for us as children and it is now our turn to care for them with love and respect. My parents now 92 and 87 have been lucky enough to stay together in a retirement home where they receive excellent care. My siblings, who live closer to them, have taken on most of the communicating regarding the provision of their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs.

I am very grateful that my parents are well taken care of. The same can not be said for all elderly persons living at home, with family, in retirement and nursing homes. This fact has been brought to my attention recently in the news where I heard reports of continued abuse in nursing homes. My daughter had a conversation about nursing home care with a woman beside her on a recent flight in Canada. The woman worked in a nursing home. My daughter mentioned her aging grandparents and their living situation; as well as the possibility that one or both of them may require nursing home care in the future. The woman was very emphatic when she said – “do not every put your grandparents into a nursing home”. She followed up by telling her about the ‘unacceptable care’ that she had witnessed in many of the nursing homes she worked in.

The reality is, my parents will probably need nursing home care in the future. It will be our responsibility as their children to become informed and stay vigilant to keep them safe. The Ontario Senior’s Secretariat is a good resource on identifying and stopping elder abuse. Their website also provides informative videos on the subject. Ontario is taking steps to help eliminate elder abuse by providing, for the first time in the province’s history, annual operating funding for prevention initiatives.

Shortly after my daughter told me about the conversation on the plane, I was contacted by a communications officer for a law office and asked if I would provide a link on my website for a Nursing Home Abuse Guide. According to their website “Nearly 1/3 of all homes in the United States has been cited for Nursing Home Abuse”. This is extremely disturbing information.

The goal of this post and the links are to increase awareness of nursing home abuse and neglect so that you can make choices for better care for your loved ones. Moving your parents to another facility may not be feasible or resolve the potential for abuse. Become informed so that you are equipped to make the best decisions possible to provide for safe elderly care for your loved ones.

The Green House Project is a novel new elder care option that may interest you.

“The Green House Project offers a radically new, national model for long- term care that returns control, dignity, and a sense of well-being to elders, their families, and direct care staff. Elders live in small, self-contained homes where individuality and choice are honored, quality care is a priority, and people have more satisfying and meaningful lives, work, and relationships.

The Green House model has been shown to deliver significant improvements in care and in elder, family, and staff satisfaction. But it also can deliver an improved bottom line through higher overall and private pay occupancy rates, increased revenues, and costs equivalent to a traditional Green House home. Watch the video for an inside look at The Green House model.” Click here for more information.

Wherever you live, seek out resources to assist you in your quest to provide safe care for you aging loved one.

ENJOY better health today!

Wishing you well!

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Thank you!

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner, www.mybodycanhealitself.ca

Copyright © 2013, Elisabeth Hines

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