Whether living at home, or at an independent living or long-term care facility, the growing problems faced by the elderly community can often be overwhelming and difficult to understand. But grasping and coming to terms with the physical and sometimes mental complexities weighing down on the aging Canadian population isn’t only burdensome on the person experiencing these issues. Oftentimes, it can be just as arduous on the families and caretakers of these individuals, as well.
“When considering how to best support an aging loved one, it can be strenuous to determine how to give the proper care they deserve,” says People in Motion Show Manager Sajid Rahman. “Mobility, for example, usually becomes an issue as we age. Our bodies grow tired, older, and we begin to lose elasticity which can often effect our total range of movement and productivity.”
As per the Canadian Medical Association, nearly three in ten Canadians are family caregivers and the number of seniors expected to need help or care will double in the next 30 years.
“As a caregiver, it can often be gut-wrenching to watch a family member slowly lose their independence, and it can be challenging to even know what to do, where to start, or how to help,” adds Rahman. “What we do know is that we want to make a difference in the lives of seniors and help return a little bit of their independence when we can.”
To make an impact on an elderly person’s life, tasks don’t always have to be big to make a powerful difference. Support can be chores as simple as doing laundry, picking up groceries or cleaning the yard. Making it a point to visit on weekends, or when you have some spare time to assist them with their daily routines, can also help raise spirits and offer companionship.
As independence is slowly lost, it is important that your loved one feels in charge of their own environment. Offer help, but only do as is asked. Empower them to make their own decisions and have them do for themselves whenever possible. Be patient, listen and remember to always communicate and be vocal about the help you are offering. Mobility challenges can be frustrating, but with the proper care and tools, you can keep your vulnerable loved one out of harms way and far from dangerous situations such as falling.
Additionally, some of the most impactful ways you can help support and care for an aging relative is by staying informed, and keeping up to date with the latest senior support, services and technology being offered. Shows like People in Motion, Canada’s largest disability exhibition, can help families discover the types of innovative technologies that will help significantly improve and ensure an excellent quality of life for older family members.
From wheelchairs to showering equipment and mobility aids, People in Motion will showcase a spectrum of products and services being offered.
“It is important for us to convey that People in Motion is not just a show exclusively for persons with disabilities,” says Rahman. “This meaningful and impactful exhibition is open to families, children and young adults who wish to learn more about how to best care for an aging parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, husband, wife – virtually anyone with an aging relative, which if you think about it, is all of us.”
Visitors will have the opportunity to see leading edge technology and learn about different services to help showgoers choose from a range of options best suited for their families and individual circumstances.
Admission to People in Motion is free and will take place May 26 and 27 at the Queen Elizabeth Building, Exhibition Place at 190 Princes’ Blvd, Toronto from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
For more information, please visit people-in-motion.com. Be sure to ‘Like’ them on Facebook and follow @PIM_Toronto on Twitter for all the latest updates.
About People in Motion
People in Motion is Canada’s largest disability exhibition located at Exhibition Place in the Queen Elizabeth Building. People in Motion features 63,000 square feet of exhibits which include transportation and mobility, barrier-free design, rehabilitation services, home health care products, accessible travel, corporate services and government programs, leisure activities, employment information, publications and associations.
Back for its 28th year, People in Motion will run from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Friday, May 26 and Saturday, May 27. Admission for the exhibition is free to all visitors. For more information about the show please visit people-in-motion.com.
Disclaimer - I was not compensated for this post