Mayor Watson Proclaims “Safe at Home” Week
Spotlighting Carefor’s Home Care for Seniors across Eastern Ontario
Ottawa - Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson today proclaimed “Safe at Home” Week – a 14-day focus on seniors being cared for in their homes. Today also marks National Seniors Day, as an occasion for all Canadians to appreciate and celebrate older adults.
Carefor Health & Community Services is one organization providing support for seniors at home. The non-profit local charity operates across Eastern Ontario including Ottawa and Arnprior, and in the towns of Renfrew, Pembroke, Cornwall, Richmond, Alexandria, Ingleside, Lancaster, Finch and Winchester.
We have learned from COVID-19 that seniors are most vulnerable to the virus and that seniors’ homes and long-term residences are particularly vulnerable. We have also learned in our response to COVID-19 that homecare is a safe, economical, and often overlooked component of our healthcare system. Notwithstanding the additional funding and support for Personal Support Workers (PSWs), and other frontline care workers announced by Premier Ford this week, Carefor is launching “Safe at Home” to raise awareness and funds to help keep seniors safe at home as another positive option to explore in caring for people as they age. Presently home care is also underfunded, and like the entire health care system, lacks a less than desirable number of PSWs and nurses assisting seniors who choose to stay at home.
Home Care Advantages
● Home care is a safe place to receive and give care. To date, fewer Carefor PSWs than can be counted on one hand, have tested positive for COVID-19.
● Home care is preventive care which strives to maintain personal health, and in the process, does drive down the costs of health care. PSWs and support nurses prevent accidents and falls from occurring, keeping people from needing to go to the hospital. Despite this fact, many hospitals and medical health centres are still operating at maximum capacity.
● Often seniors are isolated living at home and have little contact with the outside world. Many are lonely and vulnerable. Home care staff provides a connection to the outside world which is vital for a person’s well-being.
● Home care has also transitioned due to present circumstances to provide more services virtually: adult day programs and the young-onset dementia program offered by Carefor are both taking place via Zoom. Carefor’s physiotherapists and occupational therapists (OTs) are also seeing many clients virtually.
Over the last few months, we have learned how important it is to be with family and stay connected in this way. The necessity of social distancing has imposed a form of isolation that can be psychologically difficult to deal with. Home care – “Safe at Home” - gives families the option of keeping their elderly loved ones near. This choice can improve the well being of all concerned – so timely as Thanksgiving approaches.
About Carefor Health & Community Services
Carefor is a local not-for-profit charity that provides home healthcare and community support services across Eastern Ontario. Whether in the home, in the community, at care facilities or one of its clinics, 1,500 staff are part of the circle of care that is tailored to clients’ needs. For more information, please visit carefor.ca.
Kita Szpak, Knock on Wood Communications and Events Inc.