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Personal Care Primer

Adventures in Eldercare October 2017

I have worked in health care for my entire career. I came to Simcoe in 1986 when I purchased the practice of Dr. Jim Day on the Queensway. In the following decade, we grew out of our small office and I built the Victoria Health Centre to create a full-service Health and Wellness facility. Great times, we have helped so any people over the years and we are bigger and better than ever.

It was again a decade later that I realized that so may older seniors were moving to retirement homes or Long-term care facilities when they could no longer stay at home safely. This was the time that I looked for options for these seniors and there were none. This began my journey into the world of Personal Care. I attended meetings, did research, talked to nurses, doctors and seniors. When I spoke of home care and personal care a blank look would come over peoples faces, they had no idea what I was taking about, and this was just ten years ago.

The landscape has certainly changed! Most people know these terms now, but just in case here is a short Personal Care primer;

Personal Care: Usually performed by a PSW or a close family member and can include assistance with bathing, toileting, eating and food preparation, getting in and out of bed, and all the other ADL’s that allow you to be safely in control of your environment.

P.S.W.: Personal Support Worker, these compassionate angels do the many tasks of personal care that others resist.

A.D.L: Activities of Daily Living. Sometimes even one deficit in an A.D.L can drive a senior from their home. For example, if they can not bathe themselves and have no family to assist them they will not be able to remain at home. Home care and personal care assist with this and allow the senior to remain safely in their home.

Home Care: Any A.D.L assistance that is performed in the seniors’ home, apartment or in their retirement suite. You may notice that many Retirement homes have a Long-term care facility in a separate wing. The goal of the senior receiving home care is to stay on the retirement side of the facility.

L.T.C: Long Term Care, formerly called Nursing Homes. Live-in residents receive assistance from staff with the A.D.L. Examples are Norview Lodge in Simcoe and Dovercliff in Port Dover.

That’s really it in a nutshell. Personal care is a vital part of the ageing spectrum and Victoria Eldercare is blessed to provide the finest in personal care to Norfolk County as well as Southern Haldimand County.

As our population continues to rapidly age, a knowledge of Home Care and Personal Care will become more common. Keeping up with the demand will be one of the greatest challenges. If you are younger consider P.S.W. as a career (Fanshawe in Simcoe has an excellent program). If you are retired and able bodied, consider volunteering with a senior’s group like Senior Support Services. And most importantly, no matter your age, stay mobile, active and stay strong, that will make all the difference a few years down the road.

Dr. Bruce Veltri is the founder of Victoria Eldercare, a non-medical Home Care company serving Norfolk and Haldimand Counties. More information can be found on our web-site,, our Facebook Page or by calling 519-429-2644.

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