We know that navigating the many networks of human services can be a challenge. This page contains some of the most commonly asked questions we hear through our Community Information Guelph program about services that seniors need in Guelph and Wellington County.
Simply click on the questions below for detailed answers.
Is there a question you don’t see on the page you’d like answered? Submit your question at the bottom of the page or call our Info Line 519-821-0632.
Caregiver Support (1)
Being a caregiver can be a loving, but time consuming and strenuous task. Respite care is the break that caregivers get by allowing someone else to temporarily take over some of their caregiver duties. Respite care is designed to help prevent caregiver burnout by helping to relieve some of the workload and stress. You can search our Directory of Services for information related to the 3 main types of respite care: 1) Adult Day Programs for Seniors 2) In-home Respite Care 3) Short Stay Respite Care
You can also contact your local Community Care and Access Centre (CCAC) from more information and referrals to respite services. Call 310-CCAC or visit wwhealthline.ca
Driving Regulations (2)
Question: I have a friend about to turn 80 who recently received a letter stating they had 90 days to get their license renewed. What does this mean and where can I get more information?
The Government of Ontario has legislated that starting at the age of 80, everyone must get their driver’s license renewed every 2 years. This is called the Senior Driver Renewal Program. This should include a vision test, a group education session, an in-class screening exercise and a driving record review. It is also possible that you will be asked to take a road test as well, although this is not standard for every evaluation. You can do the evaluation all in one day and it should take approximately 90 minutes.
The Government of Ontario has dedicated a section of their website to the Senior Driver Renewal Program. For more information on the Program, click on the following link: http://www.ontario.ca/driving-and-roads/renew-g-drivers-licence-80-years-and-over
The Ministry of Transportation from the Government of Ontario is in charge of Driver’s Evaluations and Assessments. To look at a link with more information specific to Driver’s assessments, click here:
Question: My doctor has recommended I go for a Driver’s Assessment. How can I get more information on what I do next?
A driver’s assessment or evaluation may be recommended by your doctor if they see any medical reason (injury, cognitive impairment, trauma or otherwise) that could potentially impair your ability to drive.
Once this referral has been given, you must go and get a driver’s assessment completed if you want to continue driving. There are two main parts to the assessment:
1) The in-clinic portion which includes a brief medical history, a physical assessment, a visual assessment, and a cognitive and perceptual assessment.
2) An in-car portion that includes basic driving maneuvers.
You will need to contact a Functional Assessment Centre (FAC) approved by the Ministry of Transportation to make an appointment. They will explain the process over the phone and may ask you to bring some documents with you to your appointment.
For information about a driver’s functional assessment centre near you:
Question: I have just lost someone I care about and am looking for some support. Where can I look to get this?
Loosing a loved one can be very difficult. There are services in place to help you with this and to support you in the ways that you need.
Remember that you are not alone and there are people you can reach out to.
Organizations that support end-of-life care often have bereavement support services for families and friends. This can come in the form of one to one counselling, facilitated support groups or peer support networks.
Seniors At Risk (1)
Question: I have concerns about myself or someone that I care about because of some mental health changes that I have noticed. Where can I go for help?
Mental health can be defined as the capacity of a person to feel, think, and act in a way that allows them to feel they are enjoying life, and that they can deal with the challenges they are facing. Mental health problems can be extremely varied- from delirium to dementia to depression, etc. There are a variety of places that can offer you and/or your loved ones the necessary support.
There are a number of services available in Guelph and Wellington County. These include peer telephone support, drop-in counseling services, and day programs. Search the Topic: Seniors at Risk in the Directory of Services.
The Canadian Coalition for Seniors’ Mental Health (CCSMH) works to promote the mental health of seniors by connecting people, ideas, and resources. They have created a set of national guidelines on seniors’ mental health based on current research. They can provide you with more information and resources. You can contact them at: 416-785-2500. You can also check out their website at: www.ccsmh.ca
Legal Aid (1)
Question: Lately I have been thinking about making a will. Where can I get more information and support for creating this document?
A Will is a written document that indicates how you want your assets distributed upon your death. You can distribute your assets as you think best and appoint an executor to manage the estate. They can also help you take advantage of tax deferrals and tax-saving opportunities that may arise. If you pass away without a will, your estate is divided up according to the Succession Law Reform Act. This ensures that your estate is divided up between your spouse and family members, but may mean that your estate is distributed against your wishes and it may cost more.
For more information:
The Ministry of the Attorney General can provide you with more information on their website. They have Power of Attorney kits, as well as frequently asked questions that can help you set up a Power of Attorney. For more information here is a link to their website: http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/
For more information specific to Power of Attorney, you can click on the following link: http://www.attorneygeneral.jus.gov.on.ca/english/family/pgt/incapacity/poa.asp
Housing Options (1)
Question: I am thinking of moving myself or someone I love into a retirement home. What information should I know and how do I find out about various retirement homes?
There are a variety of things you should be aware of when considering an independent living community or retirement home. First, retirement homes are businesses that provide a range of accommodations. Second, as a result of new legislation, government regulations for retirement homes will be phased in starting in 2014.
The Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA) is assisting retirement homes with understanding the new regulations as they are phased in. ORCA is a non-profit organization that inspects retirement homes in Ontario. All homes must pass and maintain the inspections in order to keep their membership. They also offer a directory of all their accredited retirement homes. You can contact ORCA at: 1-888-263-5556 or email them at: [email protected] You can also check out their website at: www.orcaretirement.com
You can also search for information related to Independent Living Communities in Guelph and Wellington, by using the Directory of Services.
Home Maintenance (1)
Question: I am looking for some information on in-home help services for myself or someone I care about. Where should I start?
There are a variety of in-home services available in the Guelph Wellington community. In the Seniors’ Services Directory, you can type in any of the following terms into the Find bar:
- Meals on Wheels
- Shopping assistance
- Friendly visiting
- In-home nursing
- Snow removal
NOTE: Some of these programs will involve a fee for service. Check the Fees section of each listing for more information.
Health Care (1)
Question: I am concerned about something in regards to my medical care and treatment, and I feel like I need an advocate. Is there anything that can help me get my questions and concerns addressed?
There can be a variety of medical changes going on in our lives that can make it difficult to know if what is happening is really what we want. We may also have questions about the information or changes that are happening to us, and we may feel that some of them are being forced. There are Patient Advocates who can help you with this.
See the Consent, Capacity and Patient’s Rights – Guelph & Wellington information on the Waterloo Wellington Healthline:
Financial Aid and Information (4)
Yes, some financial assistance in the form of tax cuts and employment benefits exist. For instance, tax credits may be available to the ‘supporting person’ under the Disability Tax Credit and the Medical Expense Tax Credit. To be a ‘supporting person’ you need to be maintain the dependents’ dwelling.
For information about tax credit programs for caregivers:
There are also different departments of the Ontario government that will offer you employment benefits if you apply for them.
The Employment Standards Information Centre offers benefits such as the Personal Emergency Leave and the Family Medical Leave. The Personal Emergency Leave allows you to take up to ten (10) business days per calendar year away from work, in workplaces of over 50 employees due to illness, injury, or to provide care for certain relatives or family members who are dependent on you for care and assistance. The Family Medical Leave allows employees to take up to eight (8) weeks of unpaid leave to care for certain family members and insures job protection during that time. For more information, you can contact the Centre at: 1-800-531-5551 or visit the following websites:
Family Medical Leave: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/faqs/fml.php
Personal Emergency Leave: http://www.labour.gov.on.ca/english/es/faqs/fml.php
Question: I am a low-income senior looking for assistance with housing payments. Are there any financial programs that can help me?
There are both Federal and Provincial supportive housing grants for seniors with low-income. Some notable examples are:
Home Adaptations for Seniors’ Independence (HASI): helps low-income homeowners and landlords pay for small changes to assist seniors aged 65 and older with the activities of daily living (ex: hand rails, grab bars in bathroom, etc.) This program is federally run and you must apply.
Ontario Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant: an annual payment that is made to low-income seniors to help pay their property tax. This is provincially run and you must apply.
Municipal Governments may also provide property tax relief programs for seniors. Call your local government office for more information. One example of this program is:
County of Wellington Tax Relief Program: http://communitylinks.cioc.ca/record/GUE0422?UseCICVw=56
Here are other Federal and Provincial government websites that contain additional information about grants or credits that may be useful for seniors. To take a look at what else might be available, please check out the following links:
Question: I am on a variety of medications. Are there any programs to help me with the cost of my prescriptions?
There are drug benefit programs that exist for individuals who are on a variety of medications. You need to qualify for each benefit, and you will need to apply to most of them. Benefits will also have different ways in which you qualify, so if you are applying for more than one benefit, be sure that you are aware of differences in eligibility.
There are several Ontario Public Drug Programs. Depending on your income bracket, there could be certain co-payments or deductibles and/or varying products that are or are not covered. For additional information on all of the publicly funded drug plans, contact the Seniors’ INFOline at: 1-888-910-1999. You can also check out the following link to look for more information:
Question: What types of assistive devices exist for me as a senior, and how can I get more information about it?
As we age, there are a variety of tasks that present more challenges than we were previously accustomed to. In response to these changes, there are a variety of ‘Assistive Devices’ that you can use in order to help make these tasks easier and less stressful.
You can type “assistive devices” into the Find bar of the Seniors’ Services Directory to find out about a range of local businesses and organizations that can provide products including: orthotics, hearing aids, vision aids and mobility devices.
The Assistive Devices Program (ADP) offers financial assistance to Ontario residents with long-term physical disabilities to obtain assistive devices that meet an individual’s need for tasks of daily living. ADP covers a wide range of equipment and supplies from a number of different categories. There are specific eligibility criteria that need to be met in order for you to take advantage of this service. For more information, contact the Assistive Devices Program at: 1-800-268-6021. You can also check out more information specific to this program at the following link: http://health.gov.on.ca/english/public/program/adp/adp_mn.html
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