Recent demographic numbers have revealed that in Canada, approximately 29% of seniors (aged 65-84) were not born in Canada, considerably higher than the national average among non-seniors at 17%. While many came here earlier in life to find work and begin their families, others immigrated to Canada later on, often in order to be with children and grandchildren. As these seniors reach an age when they need assistance due to conditions such as dementia, arthritis, or visual impairment, it can be difficult for families to find them the help they need due to language, cultural, or social barriers.
While Toronto has seen the opening of a number of ethno-centric long term facilities, their wait times can be as long as a decade. For many families, that’s simply too long to wait. However, rather than face the social isolation and mental health issues that often occur in mainstream facilities, many families are using home health care that takes into account more than just their clinical profile. At the Toronto-based agency Mavencare, they match seniors to caregivers based on factors including:
Superior eldercare agencies use a matching algorithm in order to calculate the “best fit” for clients, and work with families to find a solution if an arrangement isn’t working out. Many use matching algorithms as part of their long term solution, but for families who need help in a pinch, or as a last minute replacement, they can provide service quickly through online booking and support. Technology is helping the eldercare industry move ever closer to an “on-demand” reality every day.
If your beloved older relative struggles with the English language, you can still find reliable home health care in Toronto. Many seniors find that it isn’t even simply vocabulary that isolates them, but a cultural understanding as well. Thanks to Toronto’s diverse population, caregivers in the GTA come from all kinds of backgrounds and speak dozens of languages. Working with an agency that takes culture, language, and personality into account means that your family have better lines of communication and understanding with a personal support worker.
Matching algorithms aren’t the only way agencies are changing the way they deliver their services, either. An app implemented by Toronto’s Mavencare has made it as simple as checking your phone to stay on top of your older relative’s schedule and care. You can manage appointments and payments, create to-do lists and manage medication reminders, and even receive live updates throughout caregiver visits. It’s an especially useful tool for families who no longer live in the same city or province as their older loved ones. You can also follow along using GPS and live photo updates from personal support workers during appointments and casual outings to the park, the museum, or just the neighbourhood. It’s important for seniors, even those with mobility issues, to stay active and get out of the house. That becomes so much easier when they can explain what they want to a personal support worker who speaks their language.