Caring for BC’s Aging Population (Trends in my field)

WITH THE GROWING SENIORS’ POPULATION, the question of how best to care for people as they age has never been more important. A recent landmark investigation by BC’s Ombudsperson highlights the serious problems seniors experience in accessing affordable high-quality home
and community-based care services. At the same time, media coverage continues to focus public attention on the problems of hospital overcrowding and unacceptably long waitlists for emergency care and surgeries.

Taken together, these challenges can seem overwhelming, prompting dire warnings about the “financial sustainability” of Medicare, calls for private delivery of publicly-funded services, and fears that aging baby boomers are about to overwhelm the health care system, leaving few resources for younger British Columbians. A more comprehensive and better coordinated system of home and community care for seniors can help us move beyond this impasse. It can help seniors to live independent and healthy lives in their own homes and communities. It can reduce pressure on family members — many of whom are already balancing full-time employment and parenting — to act as caregivers. And it can reduce pressure on hospitals — the most expensive part of our health care system. Continue Reading Full Article

~ Thoughts and Reflections ~

The trend of hospital congestion, budgets and community supports’ continue to be one of discussion within the Ministry of Health, Health Authorities, Private Care Providers and  as well as around the dinner tables of families within British Columbia. As the size of our aging population grows we look to efficiencies from our Acute Care Providers… the truth is funding, education and introduction of new technologies into the Community based health services is the answer.

Home Health and Home Support Services have started to take a lead role in providing efficiencies needed to support and increase the longevity of our hospitals and more “formal” settings of care delivery. This has been made possible and is evident through initiatives like Home Is Best  the development of the BC Care Aid Registry and the implementation of technologies like Procura Mobile; which are being utilized in both Contracted Providers and Authorities to maximize the efficiency, quality and safety of the front line care workers and their clients.

The efficiency brought about by mobile technology solutions for healthcare has also been observed in the education setting for healthcare professionals – namely in nursing programs etc.

  1. https://www.popline.org/content/use-mobile-handheld-computers-clinical-nursing-education
  2. http://fdt.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/fdt/article/view/4906/1766

While both studies are “older” (2008), they prove to be interesting in the result and impacts observed in the learning of nursing students.

I am hopeful that a renewed use and focus of community based care & technology will have the impacts needed to address the fiscal and congestion concerns while continuing to support the existing traditional models of healthcare in the province. My thoughts are that the steps being taken by these providers are solid steps in supporting the concerns raised in the trends presented by health professionals,  educators, researchers and citizens.

 

Creative Commons License
Thoughts and Reflections is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/BC%20Office/2012/07/CCPABC-Caring-BC-Aging-Pop.pdf.

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