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SENIORS WEEK: Helping Langley’s elderly stay home longer

Non-profits and private services ensure help is available
Annette with Home Instead speaks about the importance of keeping seniors safe at home for as long as possible. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Services that help seniors stay in their homes longer are available in Langley from a variety of sources, including Fraser Health, local non-profits, and private companies.

On the government side, Fraser Health runs local Home Nursing and Home Care programs.

The nursing services may be provided at home, or in walk-in clinics, and include a variety of supports, starting with health education, assessments for caregiver needs, and helping to connect seniors to different health and social service supports.

The home nursing program can also aid seniors with things like wound care, intravenous therapy, and even palliative care in the home.

Then there’s the Home Care program, which supports clients with personal care needs that aren’t strictly medical.

Nurses and community health workers can help out with bathing, dressing, even getting people in and out of bed and moving around the home. Aid with medication and catheters and compression stockings can also be provided.

There are also overnight services and even in-home respite care, which allows family caregivers time to go out when a relative can’t be left at home alone at all.

People who need to access those services for themselves or a senior relative should start by contacting Langley Home Health, which is located a #101-20651 56th Ave., and can be reached at 604-532-9642.

Another program aimed at keeping seniors healthier and active while living at home is the new Seniors Community Connector program.

Spreading out through the Lower Mainland, this program does “social prescriptions,” connecting seniors not just to necessary medical or home supports, but to activities and people.

Doctors can refer seniors to their local Community Connector, whose job is to put the senior in touch with activities, resources, and even financial help.

It’s intended for seniors who have become vulnerable due to the loss of a spouse, money problems, or even malnourishment. Local doctors are the connection point to help get seniors in touch with the program.

Langley Senior Resource Society provides several services that help seniors living at home. While their care isn’t medical, it can be key.

The centre offers simple aid like light housekeeping, driving people to appointments, grocery shopping, and check-ins via phone calls.

Small things like housekeeping can be a big deal.

“That can be a really important service for seniors,” said Anthony Kupferschmidt, executive director of the LSRS.

“If there’s a service we don’t provide, we can connect seniors with the services they need,” he added.

There are also private home care providers across the region. Nurse Next Door, Home Instead, and Happiness at Home, among others, provide a variety of in-home supports from care aides or nurses. Respite care for family members is one of the most common services.

“We do kind of fill that gap,” said Kristina Bradley, who owns the Nurse Next Door franchise for Langley and Abbotsford.

The company’s nurses will do medical care as well as things like changing bedding, preparing a meal, helping people into the shower, and general tidying up.

She noted that although some medical needs could be taken care of in hospitals and clinics, nursing services like Nurse Next Door became very popular during the pandemic for people who wanted to stay at home and avoid going out to a medical facility.

In fact, demand has been growing so much that the local Home Instead office serving Langley through Ladner has been recruiting consistently.

“Among the many challenges we’ve faced through the pandemic, the need for professional care for local seniors has surged,” said Annette, a local resident previously dedicated her life to caregiving for older adults, until she stepped into an education and recruitment role to mentor and build strong caregivers for Home Instead.

“Our caregivers have been incredible heroes over the past two years,” she said. “Our office and local families have relied on caring and essential staff throughout the pandemic, as they provide crucial services such as Alzheimer’s care, companionship, meal preparation, household help, personal care, transportation, and more for older adults living, and often isolating, at home.”


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Langley Senior Resource Society provides several services that help seniors living at home, explained executive director Anthony Kupferschmidt. (Langley Advance Times files)

Matthew Claxton

About the Author: Matthew Claxton

Raised in Langley, as a journalist today I focus on local politics, crime and homelessness.
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