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Queen's University
 

Introduction

Queen's University understands and respects the particular challenges facing both faculty and staff as they attempt to balance family responsibilities with their academic and working commitments. Balancing these obligations can be tough for anyone, especially for those caring for other family members. Today, an increasing number of employees are caregivers for senior family members.

Situations differ greatly: many seniors are still perfectly capable of caring for themselves, while others require almost constant care. Obviously, older adults who are in good health may choose to live wherever they please. However, many choose to move into retirement homes or senior-oriented residential accommodations for the convenience of prepared meals, frequent and easy-to-access social opportunities, and the camaraderie that living with other people can bring. For those who can no longer care for themselves, even with support, a long-term care facility provides constant medical care in a secure and comfortable environment.

The goal of this Guide is to provide objective information and references to help make informed decisions about elder care. Whether you are a Queen's employee, a senior family member or an individual taking care of an elder this web site is for you.

A good place to start the search for information is the Queen's Employee Assistance Program (EAP). An EAP counselor is available to conduct a thorough assessment of your particular eldercare situation if you are a Queen's employee or a family member of a Queen's employee. More information about the EAP is available in the Other Resources section.

The intent of this web site is to make information about elder care accessible; in no way is this web site judging or assessing the various centres, agencies, and organizations listed within. Omission of any relevant organization should be considered an oversight and not a comment on the quality of services provided by that organization.

The information contained in this guide is current as of July 2010. Fees and policies are subject to change and should be verified with the individual resources or organizations.

What is Elder Care?

Elder care is a term that covers any service provided to an elder, ranging through the continuum of care from an adult making a telephone reassurance call to the kind of skilled nursing provided by hospitals. Elder care therefore includes both the care services provided by the senior's family or a friend and those tasks which the senior, the family or a friend arranges for others to perform.

Taken from: National Eldercare Service Glossary of Eldercare Terms

Sections of the Guide

The Guide is broken down into sections by subject. The Housing Options for Seniors section describes the different types of living accommodations that are available in the Kingston area for those seniors who are not willing or able to maintain their own private residence and community services that are available for seniors who elect to live in their own or a caregiver's residence. Each major residential, retirement or long-term care provider in the Kingston area is listed along with a short profile which includes useful contact information and descriptive details.

The next section Healthy Living, includes information and links related to recreation, activities, and social events targeted towards seniors as well as information on resources available to assist those providing elder care.

Finally, the Other Resources section describes some of the organizations and resources available in the Kingston area. More information about the Queen's Employee Assistance Program is also included.

Tips for Finding and Evaluating Elder Care Facilities

Although the Guide is objective in its presentation of information, the following books and web sites can help seniors and caregivers make more informed decisions about elder care choices.

Books

Note: All these books are available at the Central branch of the Kingston Frontenac Public Library.

---. Fourteen Friends' Guide to Eldercaring. New York: Broadway Books, 2000.

This book focuses on the impact of elder care on family relationships. It has chapters on guilt, frustration, mental changes, and other problems and emotions that can arise when caring for a loved one. Each chapter contains anecdotes from the Fourteen Friends, which are meant to be an inspiration to readers in making their own elder care choices.

Loverde, Joy. Complete Eldercare Planner. New York: Hyperion, 1997.

The Complete Eldercare Planner offers a very practical step-by-step approach to elder care decisions. Each chapter contains information and a series of quizzes and questions intended to help you evaluate an issue (e.g. managing medications or choosing a size of room). The book is US-centric in some details, but can still be used to guide the decision making process.

Rhodes, Ann. The Eldercare Sourcebook. Toronto: Key Porter Books, 1993.

This book is essentially a targeted directory for elder care services. Each section begins with a short description followed by a listing of applicable support organizations. The listings are organized geographically by province.

Zukerman, Rachelle. Eldercare for Dummies. Toronto: John Wiley and Sons Canada, 2003.

Eldercare for Dummies employs the "for Dummies" approach. The book is very accessible, and contains useful checklists, tips, and visual aids. It is, however, US-centric.

Web Sites

Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

The government of Ontario, which regulates the operation of long term care facilities (but not retirement homes or senior-targeted residential accommodations), has a detailed web site about options for elder care. In addition, they publish a guide called What's Right for Me that explains different elder care options. A free copy of the guide can be obtained by calling 1-877-234-4343.

TheCareGuide.com

TheCareGuide is an informational web site that covers many aspects of elder care. Their online Needs Assessment is an interactive questionnaire that can be used to find elder care providers. They also have a free print guide that can be obtained by filling out a form on their web site. (Note: Although the use of their web site and the placement of listings on it are free, it should be kept in mind that the TheCareGuide.com is a commercial endeavour.)

Financial Information

Canada Pension Plan

The Canada Pension Plan, a contributory, earnings-related insurance program, ensures a measure of protection to a contributor and his/her family against the loss of income due to retirement, disability and death. General information about the program and application forms are available at the CPP website.

Guaranteed Income Supplement

The Guaranteed Income Supplement is available to those with little or no income other than the Old Age Security Pension. Additional information is available at the Guaranteed Income Supplement website.

Old Age Security Pension

The Old Age Security pension is a monthly payment available to most Canadians aged 65 or older. You must apply to receive benefits. Information on eligibility requirements is detailed on the Old Age Security pension website. Telephone 1-800-277-9914.

Ontario Drug Benefit Program

People 65 years of age and older are eligible for the Ontario Drug Benefit program if they have a valid Ontario Health Card. There is no need to apply. As long as the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care has the correct mailing address, they will send notification of eligibility by mail. Eligible people may be asked to pay some portion of their prescription drug costs. Additional information is available on the Ontario Drug Benefit website. Telephone 1-866-532-3161.

Queen's Human Resources
Fleming Hall, Stewart-Pollock Wing
Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6.
T: 613.533.2070 | F: 613.533.6196
hradmin@queensu.ca