There are 28,000 seniors in publicly funded residential care today, and only 15 per cent of facilities are meeting the provincial standard for daily care hours. Photo: Flicker/Creative Commons

Rethinking how to care for B.C. seniors

B.C. Care Providers Association advocates ‘care hub’ services model

A new vision for how seniors are cared for in B.C. is needed, says the chief executive officer of the B.C. Care Providers Association.

Daniel Fontaine says his association is advocating for establishment of what he calls ‘care hubs’ across the province.

The idea is being discussed Friday at a public forum in Kelowna titled Creating Communities of Care.

The forum brings together leaders from the seniors’ care sector, public transportation, non-profit housing, health authorities, First Nations and municipal governments, planners and the B.C. Ministry of Health for a dialogue on how to re-imagine how seniors’ care is integrated into B.C.’s cities and towns.

“In towns and cities across B.C. today, seniors’ care homes are too often located on the fringes of communities, cut off from amenities and services which might be used by seniors in care and other members of the public,” said Fontaine.

Related: Survey finds seniors’ care shortfalls

“Now let’s imagine communities where our elderly population form the heart of bustling communities, with transportation and services in place to better connect seniors and their family members. This is the goal of this innovative dialogue— to establish more care hubs across B.C.”

Social isolation is just one of many challenges seniors face that causes health impacts and preventable burden to our health care system, Fontaine says.

The care hub philosophy, he says, will help to keep families and loved ones better connected, happier and healthier as our population ages.

“It is forecasted that Canada’s median age will increase over the next 15 years where up to one-quarter of all Canadians will be over the age of 65,” Fontaine said.

“A dialogue is needed today to prepare our big cities, suburban neighbourhoods, and rural communities for the stresses of an aging society by improving mobility, housing availability, and access to needed services. This dialogue will be as much about seniors and their families, as it will be about the workers who support them.”

Related: Who will care for the elderly?

While the notion of a care hub is not intended to be prescriptive, Fontaine says there is one central factor—senior care homes acts as the centre for the delivery of a wide range of services.

He says a care hub may exist as a campus of care or be managed in collaboration by a network of care homes. In some cases, services are co-located, but in other instances they may exist separately as part of a formal integrated network.

Fontaine says what would define a care hub in a given community or region is limited only by creativity.

Care hub services may include medical and health services—such as primary care, chronic disease management, rehabilitation, sub-acute care —along with non-medical supports such as adult day/night programs, non-profit services, and amenities available to the general public such as restaurants, daycare, theatre pubs, senior-friendly transit options and senior drop-in centres.

Fontaine says some models may even integrate on-site housing for workers.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@BarryGerding
barry.gerding@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Salmon Arm artists spread paint at home and abroad

Rebecca Shepherd and Roxi Hermsen apply experience to local mural painting business

Cherries ripening for the picking in Salmon Arm

U-pick owner says it’s not all doom and gloom as it might be for some Okanagan growers

Public asked to help monitor CP Rail coal trains passing through Shuswap

Residents are asked to contact rail company if they see trains emitting coal dust

Highway 1 reopens following vehicle fire west of Chase

The Highway has reopend to single-lane alternating traffic, delays are expected due to congestion.

Letter: Better ways for Downtown Salmon Arm businesses to address poverty

Prohibiting sitting or lying down both measures designed to make poverty invisible and criminal

VIDEO: Okanagan Valley weekday weather update

Environment Canada says it’s going to be a rainy week

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Our history in picture: What’s under construction?

Is this the Royal Bank under construction? The decade is the 1970s.… Continue reading

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

Most Read