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Yesterday evening I was very fortunate to have been invited to a teleconference on caregiving and the prevention of elder abuse at the Senior’s Resource Centre in St. John’s. I had the opportunity to listen to some wonderful speakers talk about how to prevent elder abuse and support caregivers.
A lot of people don’t realize that caregiving is very stressful for the person doing the job. It requires sacrificing a lot of your social life and time for your hobbies to be able to look after somebody twenty four hours a day. When caring for a senior, caregivers are often responsible for:
- Bathing the senior
- Making meals for the senior
- Helping the senior be mobile and walk around
- Making sure the senior maintains a healthy social life
- Administering medication
- Helping the senior in and out of bed
Seniors sometimes develop illnesses that make them unable to live on their own and require 24 hour care. This would obviously be stressful on a caregiver. People looking after seniors may develop a loss of self identity, chronic stress, high blood pressure, and even depression. However, there are many rewards in caring for a senior. Caregivers may feel needed, even loved, by whom they are caring for, and they get to feel good about helping someone else, which is very gratifying.
Sometimes, elders are very unfortunately abused by their caregivers. They may be, for various reasons, unable to defend themselves against abuse. This is why I chose raising awareness about elder abuse as my platform. Signs of elder abuse include:
- Senior’s money/belongings go missing
- Unusual banking activities with senior
- Older adult shows signs of neglect or lack of money for needed items
- Senior is homeless or “invisibly” homeless, like sleeping on a couch or in a garage
- Senior is isolated
- Senior shows signs of depression
- Senior shows fear around suspected abuser
- Dirty clothing
- Poorly kept living space
- Lack of needs and/or comforts of living
- Repeated “accidents”
- Unexplained injuries
Examples of elder abuse are:
- Theft of senior’s belongings
- Misuse by a person given the power to act or sign for the senior
- Obtaining money and/or things by threatening the senior
- Making fun of the older person
- Frightens the senior on purpose
- Treats the senior like a child
- Threatens to take away or takes away emotional support and/or love
- Failure to provide senior with basic needs and/or attend to personal hygiene
- Rough handling a senior
- Giving a senior too much or too little medication
- Confining the senior to a bed, chair, or room
- Inflicting physical pain on the senior
If you suspect that a senior you know is being abused, please call Crime Stoppers or the police, or someone in the family of the senior to make sure the elder is able to live safely and comfortably.
After our photo shoot, video shoot, interview, and rehearsals, we had the chance to meet four amazing women, one of which was Dr. Natalie Archer.
Dr. Natalie Archer is a dynamic Toronto dentist who began her dental career in 2001.
She has managed to have a career and a family while building a career as a hospital dentist. Natalie is passionate about giving back to her community and mentoring young women in today’s society. During mentorship night, she used spiders as an example to show how dreams are achieved. Dr. Archer said that her son has a fascination with spiders, and after paying attention to them, she too began to notice how interesting the little critters are.
Dr. Archer said to “build your web” like a spider. It builds the web very intricately because the spider knows that the web will catch the fly, but it doesn’t know where. So, we all know that somewhere or another we will achieve our dreams, we just don’t know where or how, or maybe even what that dream may be.
Melani Chong has been in fashion and beauty for over 15 years. She’s a Canadian Ford Model and mom of two children. She developed a personalized skin care line called Soya Boutique. These organic products are a natural skin care collection that is useful for the whole family.
Ms. Chong was an athlete in high school. She never thought that modelling would be for her, but one day, her father sort of tricked her into going to a Ford model search at the mall, and she ended up being chosen. Still, she thought that wouldn’t go anywhere. Two weeks later, she got a call from Sutherland models and ended up modelling for huge names such as Gucci, Armani, Dior, and MAC Cosmetics.
Modelling expanded her interests to styling hair as well as doing makeup artistry. Eventually she started designing clothes too. Then she found out she was going to have her first son, and thought about plus size modelling, but realized she had an interest in health and beauty, so she decided to design a line of skin care products. She has been very successful in all of her endeavours.
Katrina Hadden is a health and wellness specialist, size 12 model, life coach, motivational speaker and the author of the best-selling self-help book, Making It In High Heels.
Known for her positive energy and contagious smile, she helps her clients get better focused to achieve their goals and dreams . Katrina Hadden Life Coaching for Athletes has been a life coach for over eight years, specializing in Stress Management, Personal Development, Work-Life Balance and Health and Wellness
Ms. Hadden explained that in elementary school, she was picked on and mocked by other girls for being the tall one. This was a very difficult time for her so she began playing sports, mostly basketball. She began dreaming of playing university basketball, but a knee injury made this impossible.
Katrina Hadden began modelling but found it very difficult because she was bigger than a petite model, but smaller than a plus size model and needed a category to fit in to, so she decided to create that. Katrina decided to contact the Ben Barry modelling agency. She scored an audition for a panasonic commercial and got picked, not because of how beautiful she looks on the outside, but because of the confidence that was radiating from her. She eventually ended up on Cityline TV, CTV, as well as modelling for Dove. Two years ago, Katrina had the opportunity to model in Toronto fashion week as well, which must have been quite an experience. One thing Ms. Hadden said that really stuck with me during mentorship night was “confidence takes time”, and she’s right. It takes time to build that level of comfort with your own skin, but her confidence speaking in front of a crowd of young women tonight certainly showed that confidence.
Alexandra Orlando is a highly decorated world-class Rhythmic Gymnast. Her wisdom can be found inside the pages of an award winning book called In Pursuit of Victory.
Alexandra has just published her second motivational book, Breaking Through My Limits: An Olympian Uncovered. She first tried to qualify for the Olympics in 2003, but missed by one tenth of a point. This upset her and angered her for a very long time, and she stopped training for a while. Eventually, Alexandra went back to the gym to once again begin her training, but was told that she’d never make it.
That didn’t work. Katrina was so determined, she fought for her dreams and didn’t give up. She began training again and qualified for the Olympics in 2008 and her dream finally came true.
One thing Alexandra Orlando said during mentorship night really got to me. She said “we all hit rock bottom”. Until I heard her say those words, I never really understood just how true they were. Like she said, we all have a time in our lives where we’re confused and don’t know what we want or even how to figure out what we want, but we just need to keep on pushing through and eventually things will start looking up again, just as they did for her.
I would like to take this time to thank my sponsors. First of all, I would like to thank Elle, Bogarts, and Davanna’s for the jewellery they have provided for me to wear throughout the week of the pageant. I would also like to thank Chatters for their very generous sponsor, as well as Duffy & Associates. This week would not have been possible without you, as well as City Honda, Hickman Motors, Provincial Airlines, Innu Mikun Airlines, the town of Torbay, my photos by Mike Mahoney, the print painted by Ches Penney and donated for fundraising efforts by Art Cansel, Shindig Audio who kindly did the music for my fundraising dance, and walk tips from Ms Bev Moore – Davis from August & Lotta, a beautiful clothing store in downtown St. John’s. I will do my best to make you all proud.
Last, but not least, I would like to thank my friends and family for all of their support. I definitely would not be here today without your generous and undying support. I love you all!
If I were to have my own TV show, I would travel to big cities all across North America interviewing homeless people. The name of the show would be “Homeless, Not Hopeless”. I would ask them to tell me about their lives and what brought them to where they are today, and each person I interviewed would be given the chance to start over. They would be brought somewhere to get a small makeover and a new professional wardrobe, and then would be given the opportunity to have an interview to obtain their dream job.
Of course, this would not be possible without help from sponsors. MAC Cosmetics would sponsor this show for the makeover segment, to ensure that all of our career delegates look as fresh and professional as possible, and the Toronto Academy of Acting for Film & Television would also be a sponsor. The filmmakers from the academy could do the filming of the show, and also give the interview delegates opportunity to learn some very valuable interview skills to make sure they are as prepared as they could possibly be, and to ensure they get the job of their dreams.
Six months after the interview, the same people will again be interviewed to talk about how this changed their lives and how being given that second chance in life is so important. It would show the world that sometimes people just have bad luck, and they need a hand getting back on their feet again. This television show would give them that, and their voices would have a chance to be heard nationally, and maybe even internationally.
If I could travel anywhere in the world with whatever friends I chose, I would travel to Egypt with three of my closest friends. I would love to go visit the ancient pyramids and see the tombs of the pharaohs. I can’t imagine how amazing it would be to experience the culture of such an ancient place, and to ride camels in the desert. I would love to just experience this cultural history and see it first hand.
Another reason I would choose Egypt would be for photography. To be able to go take pictures of the pyramids instead of just looking at them on Google, and maybe even do a photoshoot in the desert with my friends would be the experience of a lifetime.
Just imagine being able to stand in front of this beautiful scenery and have your photo taken, and to be able to say “I was there, and I seen the tomb of a thousand year old pharaoh.” I don’t know anybody that would turn down such an opportunity.
This is why I would choose Egypt as a dream vacation. The history, the culture, the beauty. It would definitely be one of the most amazing places to visit.