Fraser Health has made it easier for families to locate services to help seniors stay independent and in their homes longer.
Information about resources and referral services has been centralized and people can now call 1-855-412-2121 daily from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. to speak with trained, multi-lingual staff.
Carl Meadows, director of clinical programs for home health, said callers can find out about support services or arranging for a clinic or home visit for further assessment.
Some of the supports that can be provided are help with:
• home support (bathing/grooming/toileting/feeding);
• in-home health care;
• nursing clinics in all communities;
• day programs for seniors;
• services to give caregivers a break.
Having only one number to call improves and streamlines client support, said Meadows.
“Our philosophy is ‘home is best,'” Meadows said, noting that people can get help developing a plan so elderly people can stay independent and at home longer, even after a hospital stay, or when they are having difficulties looking after themselves.
The new centralized system has also been integrated with B.C.’s acute care hospitals so people can return home more easily with appropriate nursing and other supports.
DON’T WAIT TO CALL
But Meadows advises people not to wait for a health emergency to plan for assistance for their loved one.
“We don’t want them to wait until their mother has fallen, humans are like this, particularly around caregiver burnout. Families will adjust and move their lives around incredibly, and then they’re on the burning platform. Humans don’t do a lot of pre-planning.”
Among the questions people ask themselves are: Can mom stay home safely by herself? Who will help Dad with his personal care when I’m at work? I no longer think I can live at home alone. I think I need some help, but what is available?
Meadows said Home Health Service Line staff can make suggestions and refer a client for a clinic or home assessment.
The new number is already in service for new clients, but current Home Health users can continue to call their local Home Health office for assistance.
People can also call 211 to look for community, social or government services.