Taking Care of Care in the Community

January 18, 2021 in Keynote |

During COVID-19 many families and individuals have decided against Long-term care and older adult retirement residences.  The risks of catching COVID-19 and of social isolation have been considerable over the period. 

COVID-19 has also raised the curtain on long standing living and social care conditions in Long-term care.  While Long-term care homes supposedly provide 24/7 care the amount of time that residents actually receive is considerably less.  A 2018 study looking at data between 2014 and 2015 found an average of 2.55 hours of care a day across Ontario homes studied with little if any time allocated to meeting social and emotional needs.  Numerous studies and reports have continued to find serious deficiencies in our long-term care system.

Before the crisis families who had loved ones in care often spent considerable time in care homes providing care and social and emotional support.  Those who could afford would also pay for private care givers to go into the homes to provide additional care.  Since the onset of the crisis visitation has been restricted and care provision has declined further in the face of staff shortages and other issues.  Recent reports have documented the significant increase in medications being given to care home residents.

Other countries around the world, notably those in Europe, spend a far greater amount of their care budget on providing care in the community, allowing people to remain in their homes for longer, connected to their communities and their supportive social networks.

The question is how do families and family caregivers who might have considered putting their loved one into care make the transition to providing more care in the home?  Many caregivers are already struggling and with COVID-19 they too have become more socially isolated and distanced from their social support networks. 

For those persons with complex care needs the key to looking after persons in their home and community is to find a way of working with family caregivers, public health and family funded providers and to take advantage as much as possible of local community resources.  Social networks and addressing the social, emotional and health needs of family caregivers is also an important aspect of the overall plan. 

Public Health provides limited input over and above the limited care current funding allows so families are often forced to either go it alone or to pay for a professional social worker and other care providers to come in and develop a cohesive plan of care that addresses the wider care needs across the day to day. 

At Mosaic we have a client services team staffed with nurse, social work, geriatric and counselling expertise that we use to bring to bear to develop a cohesive plan and supports to families, family caregivers and the person at the heart and centre of care. We provide case management services for our families that help address the fundamental needs of care over and above those provided by public health.  We support the continuing social, emotional, cerebral, spiritual, creative, cultural and physical capacities of assets of the person.  Our care is designed so the person as an intrinsic being can continue to express their unique human individuality.  We look to social networks and community assets as well as public health services and clinical relationships to help determine what we can and cannot do and work with families to achieve realistic holistic goals. We also work with families to advocate for care provided in long term care homes.

Article provided by Mosaic Home Care Services.

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