What is Home Care, Part 2

Written on April 26, 2012 – 7:15 am | Allaboutestates by Audrey Miller

Further to last week’s blog: Who Needs Home Care and What Is It? Written on April 18, 2012 , a few key points made by The Health Council of Canada (2012) article: Seniors in need, caregivers in distress: What are the home care priorities for seniors in Canada? is as follows.

One third of the group sampled across five regions (Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba, BC and Yukon) have complex health needs (both a physical and cognitive impairment) and are not receiving adequate assistance from the Home Care program. The majority of care is left to family members and they are reporting being distressed with feelings of stress, anger, and depression.
Burned out caregivers is not a new theme; the majority of carers wait 5 years before they seek assistance. Caring for the carer continues to be an important issue.
The report “calls for a system that regularly assesses the situations of seniors and their family caregivers and provides support, whether it is additional hours of home care or faster placement {of} a loved one into a long-term facility.” What this means and how this will be addressed is still to be determined.

In addition to more funding, better communication and integration with community partners is needed. The report advocates for the family physician to be included as part of the home care team. While a great concept in theory, we do have a shortage of family docs and the challenge to find a physician continues- especially one with an interest in working with seniors. The various Home Care programs are continuing to try new approaches in supporting individuals in their own homes. In addition to most seniors wanted to remain in their own homes for as long as possible, the cost savings to the Province to keeping seniors out of the hospital is huge.
Perhaps with this additional research and information, we will be able to proactively plan and prepare for tomorrow. After all, while we may feel healthy and well today, we may be the folks needing care tomorrow.
-Audrey Miller

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