Color & Control:

Expert Advice

Worried about mum

Mum went back to work part-time after her heart surgery. She loves it but I’m worried that the pace is too much for her.  Should I say something to her?

Sometimes it’s best for you to say nothing right away.  But you’ll want to keep a watchful eye. Things to look for:  is mum eating well, getting enough exercise, staying organized and attending her doctor’s/test appointments rather than cancelling them, etc. If you’re concerned about her, be genuinely helpful by doing small things for her, or with her, like grocery shopping and weekly meal prep and or errands. These activities will reduce workload in a fun way without making mum feel she’s losing independence.


Much too far away from us

There’s a nursing home down the road from us that we’d like grandma to move to but there are no spots. The health care authority is trying to force us to place her 2.5 hours away in a town where she knows nobody and we’ll have trouble visiting. How can I stop this from happening?

Given the shortage of beds and wait times in some provinces, with waitlists of up to 5 years it is perhaps understandable that your loved one is placed elsewhere for the time being. Our suggestion is to take the first bed offered however inconvenient the situation and put yourself on the waitlist for the preferred nursing home. A client can change their preferences regarding their first choice at any time. It would be advisable to talk about the different living situations with your grandma, and perhaps mention different forms of communication while she is settling in. An easy-to-use mobile device or tablet where she can text and make video calls might make her feel less lonely due to immediate contact. Researching social groups and recreational facilities with senior programs will help her make new friends. Having a calendar where she can countdown until the next visit will help with homesickness. 


Not as fast anymore

I’m a little slower than I was so my son gets impatient with me. He yells at me to hurry up and calls me an old woman. He lives with me and I’ve helped him out a lot over the past few years. How can I make him understand?

It’s not unusual for us to slow down in later life which may require both family members and caregivers to be patient. If your son’s concern is genuine, you might want to check with your doctor to make sure that you are not having medication side effects or other medical problems. In addition, it’s  important to make sure that you continue to be comfortable helping your son and that he is not taking advantage or bullying you. We often think of elder abuse as just physical but it can take many forms including potential harm that is emotional, psychological or financial. Many times, this type of behaviour comes from a family member but seniors feel helpless and are afraid to speak up for fear of reprucussions or some form of punishment if they don’t do what’s asked of them. If you feel at all like you might need so help or someone to talk to about what you’re feeling or what is actually going on please talk to a trusted friend, your family doctor, call the seniors safety line at 1-866-299-1011 or visit


Related Articles

Recent Articles

Complimentary Issue

If you would like to receive a free digital copy of this magazine enter your email.