Jenny Shickluna, Outreach Services Manager, Niagara Region Seniors Community Programs, spoke at length about the programs for which she is responsible. Her topic was Niagara Gatekeepers, Helping Seniors to Stay Safe at Home. She said that providing care in the home is much more satisfactory and much less expensive than having someone spend time in a hospital.
The Niagara Gatekeepers, which started in the late 1990’s, is the name used for the phone line that anyone in the community can call to help at-risk seniors with programs
and services. The call is then referred to one of the partner agencies to take action to get services in place intended to help seniors remain safe and independent as long as possible. The gatekeeper referral line is open from 8.30 a.m. to 8.30 p.m. at 905-684-0968. The caller is asked to provide all the information available about the senior and the reason for the concern. The information is confidential and used solely to assist the individual and callers may remain anonymous.
After referral to the appropriate agency, services are only provided with the consent of the senior. Jenny said that a senior showing any of the following signs may be at risk:
- Difficulty communicating, including confusion, memory loss, becoming withdrawn, hostile or angry.
- Changes to personal appearance, including poor hygiene, grooming, wearing dirty or inappropriate clothing.
- Deteriorating home conditions, including extreme neglect or disrepair, bad odors, excessive clutter, neglected pets, lack of food.
- Deteriorating health such as difficulty seeing, speaking or hearing, poor mobility or balance, recent falls, significant weight loss, injuries or untreated wounds.
- Decreased ability to handle money or pay bills or any unusual transactions.
- Inability to cope with the recent loss of a spouse or family member, friend or pet.
- Neglect or abuse (emotional, financial, sexual or physical), isolation, wondering.
Their partner agencies are:
- Community Care Access Centre Niagara
- Alzheimer Society Niagara
- Niagara Region Seniors Community Programs
- Niagara Region Mental Health Program
Cameo presentation by a Probus member:
Bob Halfyard spoke on the subject of finding information online about soldiers in the Canadian Forces who served in WW I. Bob used the information that he had been able to access about a cousin to illustrate, using a power point presentation, what is available in the archives. He said that to reach the website from which he drew his information you can Google “World War 1 Canadian Forces”. You can then click on the Search of Service Files of World War 1 and fill in the name for the specific person you are researching. Bob said that he was able to find more that 80 pages of information
about his cousin including medical charts and even an x-ray taken of a
broken arm. Also included were detailed records of enlistment, discharge and
pay data. When asked about those in WW II, he said there are still privacy issues regarding data from those veterans. Burial data is available for those killed.
Next Month’s Presentation
Our speaker at the February meeting will be Donald Harris, President and CEO of Clayburn Industrial Group. The topic of his presentation will be “Doing business in China”.