A presentation on seniors care was held at the Riverside Community Centre on Feb. 25. A small but appreciative audience of residents and local Area H Director, Brad Hope attended the evening hosted by members of the Save Our Hospital Coalition.
Lynn Pelly, executive director of Princeton Community Services spoke of the many services that are available to residents such as; short term, continuing care, palliative care, assisted living, Meals on Wheels program and adult day center, to just name a few.
Pelly explained that a small number of the clients contributed financially to their care, but the majority received free services. — That is services provided as a result of government funding.
“We want to do more for our clients,” answered Pelly when questions about the services not offered, such as housekeeping and transportation were asked.
Cutbacks in government funding has limited the extent of some services that Community Services has to offer.
Gloria Levi, seniors advocate and coordinator of Integrated Care Advocacy was impressed and commended Pelly on the services that were available, saying, “If there is a need, you will find a way.”
Levi went on to explain Integrated Care; a cheaper, more effect way to allow seniors to grow and live in their own home, by providing assistance with things like housekeeping, meals and providing transportation to appointments—offering seniors the comfort of dignity and a better quality of life.
Integrated care will assist a smoother transition to residential care when and if it is deemed necessary.
Levi stated that integrated care was not only what seniors wanted, but that it was, “The best way to get a better bang for your health care buck.”
Dr. Marianne Rev, retired physician with extensive geriatric care experience gave examples of seniors that live within a integrated care model. Rev also expressed her appreciation for the services available via Princeton Community Services—she too, was quite impressed.
Rev shared her frustration with fragmented care and cutbacks “What exactly is considered medical?” she asked. “Humanity, psychology- medication?”
Levi responded, “That is the impasse, people are not treated as human beings,” she said.
Throughout the evening, residents were given the floor to ask questions or share experiences and/or concerns.
For integrated care to work, a reallocation of funding must take place. If residents are interested in taking action, Levi suggests writing to the MLA, the Minister of Health, Critic for Seniors Affairs and to the various media. Send a letter to any or all. Inform them of your desire for more community based home care.