Medicine Hat Community Living – Diane Eley

One of the most difficult positions in caring for an elderly parent is the question of what to do next, when it’s obvious that SOMETHING needs to be done.  Everyone wants the best for their parent: the best care, the best place to live, the best food, the best all-round atmosphere… where does one begin?

There are basically three kinds of what is called “Continuing Care” by Alberta Health Services.  They are:

  1. Home Care, for people who receive
    personal care services in their home;
  2. Supportive Living, for people who want to
    maintain independence but require a
    greater level; of care; accommodations
    are in facilities and lodges;
  3. Long Term Care, for those who have
    more complex health needs and are
    situated in Care Homes with a hospital-
    like setting.

Home Care will provide services to help people remain well, safe, and independent in their home as long as possible.  It is available to anyone who has a valid Alberta Health care card and as long as their needs can be met safely in the confines of their home.  Home Care will do up to two scheduled (arranged) visits per day and will also do an in-depth assessment of their client to ensure those needs can be met.  If your parent requires more care, your Home Care team will advise you of that.

Supportive Living itself has four levels that form a foundation of care for your parent.

  1. Supportive Living 1 (SL1) can also be known as “Lodge Living” or “Residential Living”.  This is where a resident can manage most of their daily tasks and handle their own medications independently.  Meals, Housekeeping, Laundry services with 24 hour security are provided.
  2. Supportive Living 2 (SL2) is where the resident can manage some of their daily tasks and direct their own care.  Again, full meals are available along with Housekeeping and Laundry services with the addition of 24/7 on site staff to assist the resident.
  3. Supportive Living 3 (SL3), also known as Assisted Living or Designated Assisted Living (DAL).  Here, the resident requires assistance with many tasks, including the above services of meals, housekeeping, and laundry.  The resident has 24/7 trained staff and a personal response system.
  4. Supportive Living 4 (SL4) can also be known as Supportive Living 4-Dementia or SL4D.  This level provides assistance with most or all of daily tasks.  Besides the above services, there are RN/LPNs and other health-care professionals to assist your parent’s needs.

(article to be continued in next issue).