Top 8 Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I determine what type of residence is best?

We start by ascertaining your ability and desire to pay, your level of independence; review what type of services you require on a daily basis; what level of care is offered. We look at what type of lifestyle you had prior to deciding on this move. We consider location; if you are mobile and independent; amenities in your surrounding neighbourhood. We also consider convenience for your caregiver, family or social network.

2. Can I afford private nursing and companions if I stay at home?

We provide a viability study to help you work out the costs.

3. If I’m living in a private or subsidized, resident or care home can I hire a private companion or a nurse?

Usually, but it is best to confirm this with the home to ensure the correct protocol is followed.

4. Why should I pay for extra help when I’m already in a care home with nurses, and care aides?

The face of health care is changing for many reasons. Two predominant reasons are the increase in number of senior citizens requiring care, and the movement of government funds from residential and acute care to support more home care needs. Residential Care Facilities relying on government funding have had to reduce their staff levels. This increases the workload and is putting a greater strain on the staff, which ultimately affects the day-to- day care of you, the senior. Hiring a companion helps relieve the stress on the care home staff and can also improve your quality of life, because you are getting the dedicated help you need.

5. What is respite?

It’s a time of rejuvenation for the caregiver and care receiver and can be appreciated in many ways. A caregiver might arrange in-home support to cover care while taking a few hours to get things done, or even a few days to get away. As the care receiver, you might consider taking a short-term stay in a facility offering respite, providing meals and support, giving both you and your caregiver time to become refreshed.

6. Why should we have a primary caregiver?

If you do not have a designated Primary Caregiver in cases of emergency, the healthcare provider such as hospitals, care homes doctors and nurses are required to select someone who meets the qualifications of a Temporary Substitute Decision Maker in this order:

  1. Your spouse – includes same sex and common law marriage-like relationships. There is no minimum time you must have lived together.
  2. If there is no spouse who qualifies, the provider will continue down the list to find one of the following who is related to you by birth or adoption:
    • An adult child;
    • A parent;
    • A sibling;
    • A grandparent;
    • A grandchild;
    • Other relative
  1. If no one related by birth or adoption is available or qualified, the provider will look for:
    • A close friend (defined as an adult who has a long-term, close personal relationship involving frequent personal contact with you, but who does not
      receive compensation for providing personal care or health care to you);
    • A person who is immediately related by marriage (for example, an in-law)

Albert has three adult children who could be selected to be his TSDM – Patrick, Ashley or Paul. If Albert did not name a representative)s) in a Representation Agreement, the doctor could select Patrick as TSDM to give or refuse consent for the medication and tests right now. Because the authority of a TSDM is “temporary,” the doctor might select Ashley as TSDM at another time. See Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre for more information.

Any of these people above may be exactly whom you would want, but consider if they live near you, are they capable or do they want to take on this role. You should also consider someone who understands your wishes, values and even knows personal habits. This person will give the healthcare provider guidance with medical wishes and help provide the daily staff with information about you to help ensure your quality of life.

7. What is the purpose of a representation agreement?

To legally assign a primary caregiver and persons to make important decisions regarding financial, legal, health care and personal care for your future. Using a Representation Agreement gives you some control over your life during a time when you may not be capable of expressing your wishes. For more information go to Nidus Personal Planning Resource Centre.

8. What is a care conference?

It’s an annual meeting which includes all members of the care team in a care home or hospital. This may include the director of care, a nurse clinician, your team nurse, dietician, care aide, resident doctor and/or specialist, social worker, physio- therapist, occupational therapist and activities director. Usually, a care conference takes place six weeks after care has begun. It is important for the primary caregiver, family or friend to attend this meeting to help give the senior citizen a voice and identity within the home. This is the one time you will have everyone available to focus specifically on your concerns, should you have any. What are the Top 10 questions when there are signs of trouble? What are a A Senior Citizen’s Rights.

Top 10 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself

When There are Signs of Trouble

Trying to decipher the complexities of the health care system and care options is an overwhelming challenge for both seniors in need of support and their families who are juggling demands and want the best possible care for their parents. Here are the top 10 questions you need to ask when there are signs of trouble.

  1. Mom/Dad can no longer live alone. What are the options?
  2. I don't have family, so who will look out for me?
  3. What are the signs of abuse?
  4. How can I take care of Mom and Dad when when I'm working and my kids need me?
  5. Don't we have a social system that takes care of us?
  6. I'm not well, so how can I care for my spouse?
  7. Why do we have to look after our parents when there are nice care homes?
  8. How do we talk to Mom and Dad about this?
  9. What is delirium?
  10. Are all these medications necessary?

To Get the Answers to These Questions and More
contact Barb Kirby at 604-767-4994 to book a private consultation
or as a guest speaker for your group

41% of seniors said they had been ignored or treated as though they were invisible (COSCO; Council of Seniors Citizens Org. of BC).

As a senior citizen, you have the right to:

  • Be treated with respect, as adults and not as children
  • Be treated fairly and with honesty
  • Live free from fear, mistreatment, and abuse
  • Receive good and valid information in an appropriate manner
  • Make independent choices and decisions
  • Be in control of your future
  • Have care-related needs dealt with in a sensitive manner
  • Have services offered that will help maintain independence
  • Share friendships
  • Have opportunities to use your skills and knowledge in your community
  • Have and use the support of your community





Book now for a private, 2-hour, personal consultation in order to begin assessing what you need to consider when planning for later life. We cover topics such as family and professional support systems, aging in place, financial viability, health and well being, legal and end of life reviews and much more. Where ever the conversation leads us, we touch on your thoughts and concerns.
Let us assist you! Contact Us


Seniors Advocate - Barb Kirby
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
(604) 767-4994