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Home Care is an Election Issue

Today while driving to see a client, I was listening to CBC Radio Noon and Dr. Chris Simpson was the guest. Dr. Simpson is the President of the Canadian Medical Association and he had a lot to say. By way of reference, the CMA produced the ‘15th Annual National Report Card on Health Care’ dated August 2015, which was based on research conducted by Ipsos Reid from July 20-24, 2015.
Since 2001 the CMA has asked Canadians to assign letter grades to their health care system and this year they asked a series of questions based on the future of our health care and their thoughts on a National Strategy on seniors’ care.  While this report is well worth reading, the focus of today’s blog is about the phone in callers.
No surprize that 90% of Canadians agree that we need a national strategy on senior’s health care that addresses care at home and in hospitals. The Radio Noon show asked about Home Care services. Services that are provided publicly to the community (specifically in this discussion for seniors) who are living at home and need support services in order to do. These are services provided by Personal Support Workers (PSW’s) who typically provide supervision during bathing and may also do some meal preparation, some light housekeeping and monitoring of medications.
Every caller had a story of how the system has failed their parent- simply not enough hours or support available to maintain these vulnerable and frail people in their homes. While it was acknowledged that more money was absolutely required, there were also comments made about waste of resources (specifically top heavy executives), lack of coordination amongst service providers , time pressure and large case load sizes and simply just not enough appropriate resources reaching the people who need them most. A sad commentary because this is a health and an election issue that affects everyone. If we still have parents, they are getting older; and like me, I am sure you hope to grow old as well.
As Dr. Simpson so eloquently highlighted, a National strategy that addresses care at home, in the hospital and the community will be a lengthy process yet one that needs to be fully discussed, explored and adjusted. This is definitely an issue that our politicians need to address. What grade would you give?

About Audrey Miller
Email: About: Audrey Miller, Managing Director of Elder Caring Inc. has over 25 years social work and rehabilitation experience working with older individuals and their families. She advises the financial, insurance, legal and business communities regarding elder care issues. Audrey is a recognized expert in her field.