October  Caregiver Workshops  

Half Day Seminar
November 8th- Seine River Retirement Home 1:00 - 4:30 pm Fee: $20.00

Full Course (5 evenings)
         Mondays October 20th - November 17th 7:00-8:30 pm
         Sturgeon Creek I Retirement Residence Fee: $40.00

To register contact Wendy at wherenext@shaw.ca.

What participants say: 

"I just wanted to thank you for the workshop you presented in Brandon on April 12th.  The information you have collected and prepared is invaluable.    For me, it was also a place of support.  It was comforting to know others are in the same position and in need of support too. "

Thanks for the Tip

As caregivers we often learn as we go. Looking back over the 8 years I've cared for my mom, I thankful for the tips I've picked up along the way.

Thanks for TIP #1. Expect Resistance
I'm thankful for the obstacles I ran into while trying to find care for my mom. Her family doctor's unwillingness to diagnose her dementia, resulted in TIP #1. Expect resistance where you least expect it. Always have a back up plan. If I'd  been prepared, I wouldn't have left his office without knowing where to turn. Now I know that a referral isn't needed to have a senior's physical an mental needs assessed. Just call the Geriatric Central Intake Line: 204.982.0140 for an appointment.

Thanks for TIP #2 Visit the Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat website often.
The Seniors and Healthy Aging Secretariat is part of the Manitoba department of Health, Healthy Living and Seniors. Add this website to your favorites because it is the place for caregivers to find  help. This is where seniors and caregivers can find the best information and publications about:
  • Caring for a Senior
  • Housing & Rent
  • Transportation
  • Health and Wellness
  • Safety and Security 
Thanks for TIP #3 Talk to other caregivers.
I'm so thankful for all the caregivers I've met. Only someone who is living the experience truly understands. It was through other caregivers that I learned about:
  • The Disability Tax Credit
  • Lab tests that can be done in the home
  • the Patient Advocate Form
Thanks for TIP #4 Carry Thank You Cards
Along the caregiving journey you will meet some angels. It might be the young fellow at the triage desk in Urgent Care who moves your 90 year-old parent to the front of the line. It might be the music therapist in your parent's personal care home. It might be the home care worker who goes the extra mile. Be sure to thank them all. A thank you note or card goes a long way to support those who work in a difficult system but still give us that personal touch when we need it.

I'd also like to say a special thanks to Julie Donaldson and the Manitoba Caregiver Coalition and Syva-lee Wildenmann and Rupert's Land Caregiver Services. These are the people who are working on the frontlines to support caregivers in Manitoba.  Please join us.
And a special thank you to my mother, Marjorie Bremner who taught me to speak my mind and to know when  "No" was an unacceptable answer. 


 This month's Topic: TV Remotes, Talking Clocks, One Button Phones

 Thanks to Bev for sending me this great advice.

Are you aware of all the neat gadgets the CNIB store sells, that are also appropriate for sufferers of dementia? 
To help my mother know what day of the week it is, I bought her a small talking clock that also announces the day.  It cost $20 and she loves it.  I bought a second one today for when the other goes "missing".
As she is also unable to correctly dial numbers, I picked her up a phone today that has one button dialing (just push the family member's picture or name).  It cost just $60. 
I would recommend anyone looking for devices to check online before going to the Winnipeg or Brandon store simply because the stores have limited hours ( Manitoba CNIB stores).

And then there's the story of finding a TV remote control.  When I had cable hooked up at my mother's new place and the technician presented a remote that intimidated even me, I asked for something simpler.  What he produced was the same as the one we had at home...way beyond my mother.  His solution was to talk much louder when trying to explain it to her!
After a couple of weeks of "the cleaning lady must be doing something wrong because my television doesn't work", I was on the hunt.  I thought I found it in the very basic (channel and volume only), large button Sony remote model RM-EZ4.  It would have been great, except it required switching on the cable box and the television separately, which was a problem for my mother.
Digging around on the internet, I discovered Shaw has a remote, much simpler than the one the technician left her.  It's called the Transport Remote.  A person I talked to at Shaw was not familiar with it, but once I directed him to the website where I found it,(https://community.shaw.ca/thread/10237), he became very helpful and had a technician take one to my mother's place.  They programmed it to turn on the cable box and the television at the same time.  I don't hear that she's having problems with her television anymore, except that there's nothing she wants to watch.
Your tips are always welcome. The best advice I get comes from caregivers like Bev. Please email me at wherenext@shaw.ca

This Month's Resources - Shopping

  1. Reliable Home Care Agency Adaptive Clothing  is a new Winnipeg store on Portage Avenue (near Advance Electronics). I stopped in and was impressed by the quality of clothing they handle. They have a good range of clothing for those who are wheelchair bound. They also have a complete line of anti-strip clothing. If you are caring for someone who frequently removes their clothes see the article, Diapers and Dignity.
  2. Online Shopping
    1. CNIB Online Store
    2. The  online Alzheimer's Store carries talking clocks and simple telephones as well as a wide variety of products for those suffering with Alzheimer's and dementia.
    3. Silvert's Adaptive Clothing and Footwear
    4. West Care Health Supplies - Bodystockings - these undergarments help prevent the wearers from removing all their clothing. There are zippers at the shoulders and between the legs to make changing easy.


This month's topic.

Victoria Lifeline  A Tool for Caregivers – The Personal Help Button

Did you know?
  • Victoria Lifeline is a not-for profit community service of Winnipeg’s Victoria General Hospital Foundation since 1988?
  • They currently help over 5,000 people in Winnipeg and across Manitoba lead active, independent lives
Here are the top five things caregivers need to know about Lifeline:
1. Help is on the way – a ‘help plan’ is designed around each client’s needs.  All information is on hand at the Response Centre including emergency contacts and special instructions about medical conditions.  If a client has a non-medical emergency such as getting up after a minor fall, they can call you or another family member and avoid a costly ambulance bill.
2. Fall Detection – the AutoAlert can send a help signal if the client has fallen and is unable to press their button. It can also be a helpful tool for someone with a prior history of heart disease and/or stroke who may be at risk of losing consciousness.
3. Protection in the shower or bath – The buttons are 100% waterproof and designed to be worn 24 hours a day, even in a bathtub full of water.
4. Senior Friendly Features – The button can even be used to answer the phone. Our service is also portable and can be used on vacation or at the lake anywhere in North America.
5. The Personal, Caring Approach -The Response Centre is available to answer any questions the client has at any time. In fact they can answer a help call in over 140 languages. There is also a sponsorship program for low-income seniors who qualify.

If you want to know more about how Lifeline can help you, call 204-956-6777 or visit the website at www.victorialifeline.ca.