Connecting Seniors with Care  

Health Authorities differ in the services

The British Columbia Ministry of Health sets the province-wide goals, standards and performance agreements for health service delivery by the Health Authority. This is the administrative body responsible for the planning, delivery and evaluation of health care services

for British Columbian’s within geographic boundaries. The health authorities are Northern Health, Interior Health, Vancouver Island Health Authority, Vancouver Coastal Health, and Fraser Health. However, the way that each health authority chooses to deliver the health services can differ.

It is important for families to find out exactly what services and care is provided to seniors in assisted living and residential care for their health authority. If a senior is being moved to a different health authority, the family may be expecting a certain level of care based on what the seniors were receiving from the previous authority. They might be surprised at the difference.

When seniors require additional care, the health authority for the area may become involved and assess the seniors to determine their physical and mental needs. The intent is to get the seniors the care that they require and keep them safe.

The health authorities have assisted living care and residential care. Assisted living and residential care is also available through privately owned facilities. The monthly cost can be approximately $5,000 and there is usually a waiting list to get in.

Another level of care the health authorities have is where seniors would receive rehabilitation, for example after surgery. The plan is for the seniors to be able to recover enough to safely return to their homes.

While seniors are living at home or in supportive housing, activities of daily living (ADL) services could be put in place. The families would arrange for this through a private company and pay for it themselves. These services include such things as dressing, bathing, grooming, mobility and assistance with eating. Using these services can help keep seniors in their homes longer. The health authorities may also put ADLs in place if they feel it is necessary and beneficial to the seniors.

Families should be prepared and watch for when seniors start to have any mobility and/or continence issues. Also, families should consider if they feel that their parents are safe being alone, especially at night.

The health authorities should be contacted to assess how well the seniors are doing. Assistance may not be required immediately but the seniors are on the radar of the health authority.

A case manager will be assigned to do further follow-up if it is determined that any is needed. However, due to the lack of case managers the same person may not be doing the follow-up meeting. Since the case manager will only have the notes from the previous meeting, it is helpful to have the same family member be present at each meeting to make each case manager aware of the changes that they have witnessed in the seniors.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Sharen Marteny created Seniors Consulting a division of Marteny Seniors Consulting Ltd, which assists families of seniors determine the needs and wants of seniors when living at home is no longer an option. Care Coordination is done for seniors when the family does not live in the area and provides a temporary 24-hour emergency contact to allow families to take a well deserved vacation or respite.

She is a member of the United Way Campaign and focuses on raising funds for registered charities that relate to seniors. She is also on the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission Advisory Board to ensure the products and services that seniors need will be available. Sharen's goal is to ensure that issues relevant to seniors are addressed.

She is a Certified Seniors Advisor with over 25 years experience in management and the seniors' retirement industry.



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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