Older Canadians Fiercely Independent

    - Most want to avoid nursing homes, but many don't admit to needing
    help -

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, June 1 /CNW/ - A new survey released for Seniors Month
shows that seniors want to live independently for as long as possible. The
study reveals that the majority of people aged 65 to 85 will do whatever it
takes to avoid moving into a nursing home or extended care facility.
    In its second annual Living for Today - Ready for Tomorrow survey
conducted by Ipsos-Reid, Bayshore Home Health talked to older Canadians aged
65-85 as well as people aged 40-64 who have at least one parent living. The
study shows a strong desire for independence amongst older Canadians - more
than eight out of ten would do everything they can to avoid moving to an
extended care facility or nursing home and 97% say they are trying to be
pro-active about their health.
    However, despite these assertions, there are areas in which elderly
Canadians are not being pro-active in achieving their goals of independence.
Less than half (46%) have researched ways to live independently at home and
just four out of ten have made modifications to their home to ensure it's a
safe environment. A mere three per cent say they are on a waiting list for an
assisted living facility.
    "Although the study revealed a strong desire for independence, it also
showed that many seniors will not admit to needing any assistance," says Holly
Quinn, chief nursing officer at Bayshore Home Health, the sponsor of the
study. "Close to three-quarters of older Canadians claim they don't need any
help at all around their home."
    According to Quinn, these attitudes could be detrimental in the long run
and reduce an individual's chances of remaining independent. She suggests that
families should take a number of steps to plan for a future of independent

    1.  Talk openly with family, friends and health care professionals about
        future needs and possible living arrangements. Discuss the
        alternatives available (including home health care, relying on family
        and moving to a senior's home or long-term care facility). Allow
        everyone an opportunity to provide input on the best approach.

    2.  Evaluate current living arrangements. If an individual has a large
        house to maintain or they need to use the stairs frequently, a move
        to a smaller home might make sense.

    3.  Consider modifications to the home to increase independent living
        options. Simple changes like making sure windows are easy to open or
        door locks are simple to operate can make a big difference in
        someone's enjoyment of their home. A variety of resources are
        available from the Public Health Agency of Canada (www.phac-
        aspc.gc.ca/seniors-aines) or the Canada Mortgage and Housing
        Corporation (www.chmc.ca).

    4.  Since most falls occur at home, especially in the kitchen, on the
        stairs or in the bathroom, take some time to review any potential
        hazards. For example, make sure stairs are well-lit, eliminate throw
        rugs and use a non-skid bath mat.

    5.  A little bit of help can go a long way to maintaining an independent
        lifestyle. Consider hiring help for housekeeping, grocery shopping,
        traveling to medical appointments or even companionship.

    6.  If there's a health issue or an individual has recently been released
        from a hospital stay, additional care may be needed. Investigate the
        possibility of having a nurse visit to help with on-going care or

    7.  Take care by eating properly and remaining active.

    About Bayshore Home Health

    Bayshore Home Health has been enhancing the quality of life, dignity and
independence of Canadians in their homes since 1966. Canadian owned and
operated, it is the country's largest provider of home and community health
care services, with more than 40 home care offices, 20 community care clinics
and 8,000 employees. Its core services are in-home nursing, personal care and
home support - which can be purchased directly by individuals and also
accessed through government care programs, personal and group insurance plans
and workplace safety insurance. Its caregivers deliver more than 5.2 million
hours of home care annually to over 57,000 clients. It also provides
nurse/caregiver staffing services, health education programs and treatments in
its dialysis centres. Its subsidiary, Bayshore Specialty Rx, offers infusion
pharmacy, infusion clinic and pharmaceutical support services to a variety of
health care and pharmaceutical organizations.

    (*) These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Bayshore
        Home Health from February 10 to February 17, 2009. The poll was
        conducted via telephone among 1,000 adult Canadians between the ages
        of 65 and 85 inclusive and 1,001 adult Canadians between the ages of
        40 and 64 inclusive. For each sample group the margin of error is +
        3.1%, 19 times out of 20, of what the results would have been had the
        entire population of adults aged 40 to 64 and 65 to 85 in Canada been

For further information:

For further information: please contact Polaris Public Relations Inc.:
Holly Roy, (780) 470-5300; or Shelley Pringle, (416) 597-1518

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