Bonnie’s Blog

Bonnie Sandler S.W., The Senior Times - October 2010 Having grown up in a home that afforded little privacy from my bedroom to the main living space, I dreamed of a home where the bedrooms were far from visitors’ eyes. My first house was a cottage where a stairway led to bedrooms and bathrooms that were not visible from the main floor. For me, this was heaven.

Bonnie Sandler S.W., The Senior Times - September 2010 I remember lining up for early-bird specials when vacationing in Florida with my parents. While we were not accustomed to late-night dining, my parents chose to eat still earlier than usual to take advantage of reduced prices offered by restaurants.

Bonnie Sandler S.W, The Senior Times - April 2010 I am contacted by a daughter whose mother is considering a move to a senior residence. The daughter gives me details of the parent’s mental and physical functioning and I begin to think about a suitable residence, but I have one more question: What is your mother’s budget?

Bonnie Sandler S.W., The Senior Times - March 2010 There are three categories of senior residences within the private sector: autonomous, assisted living or intermediate care, and nursing facilities. Autonomous residences offer a myriad of care services, either included in the monthly rent or a la carte.

Bonnie Sandler S.W., The Senior Times - February 2010 Alzheimer’s and related dementias rob a person of many abilities but should not rob them of being treated with dignity and respect. While some Alzheimer’s behaviours may seem childlike, the disease does not turn adults into children. We often affectionately greet children as “sweetie,” “cutie pie,” and “my lovely,” but these are not appropriate names for adults, no matter what their mental capacity. It is disturbing to hear paid home caregivers and residence staff use such childish endearments for their patients. When introducing a client to the head nurse of a residence, she greeted my client with: “Aren’t you a cutie pie?” My client’s daughter looked horrified and I half expected her to grab her mother and run. The following week I overheard a nurse call her Alzheimer’s patient “lovey.” I was sitting in my doctor’s office patiently, or not so patiently, waiting for my name to be called. “Mrs.” was called in, then “Mr.” and after a few more people had their turn, the physician called out “Bonnie.” I do not have a personal relationship with this doctor but was not offended by his calling me by my first name. I am just not sure why he used my first name while he called the other patients “Mr.” or “Mrs.”

Bonnie Sandler S.W., The Senior Times - December 2009 We feel “ambiguous loss” for people who are physically present but psychologically absent. You might feel this way for someone who is in a coma, or someone who has Alzheimer’s.

Bonnie Sandler S.W., The Senior Times - November 2009 Physical abilities decline with age. There can be deficiencies related to hearing, vision, mobility and balance. Thankfully there are aids to assist with these challenges.