Letter: Support better home care

 

Dear Editor,

With the Canadian Medical Association and premiers from 10 provinces and three territories asking the federal government for more funding for palliative care for the ever increasing number of seniors, we need to ask ourselves who will care for us when we reach the point in our lives where we need palliative care.

As the wife/caregiver of my husband who is receiving palliative care in our home, I would like to thank the palliative home care nurses for the help in caring for my spouse.

These are the nurses who are on the front lines dealing with patients in their homes at their most vulnerable time in their lives living with pain, uncertainty, and fear.

They provide the stability to the patient and caregiver who look to them for guidance dealing with many challenges of nursing a loved one in the home one as well as helping to allay their fears.

We were fortunate in receiving this care and are concerned as many patients discharged from hospital have to wait for palliative care. There is a shortage of palliative home care nurses and the aging population need answers to “who will care for me” when I need home care?

We need to convey to our government, all health care providers, hospitals, doctors and the community just how much the elderly depend on these nurses and their visits and/or telephone calls. They bring an understanding of care that is different from being in the hospital. Visiting the patient in home they provide medical care, support, information and overall compassion not only to the patient but to the home caregiver.

Fraser Health’s motto is “Home is Best” and we agree, however, there should be more assistance to patients and families by having more home care nurses in the health care system. Providing the support of palliative home care nurses to patients in the home will benefit not only the patient but the hospital and medical care system as well.

From data of Interior Health and the BCNU and others in the report “Caring for BC’s Aging Population” (2012) the cost of treating a senior in an acute care bed ranges from $826 to $1,968 per day for residential care, where the cost is approximately $200 per day for home care.

This data alone shows that “Home is Best” and without home care nurses and care aides patients are cared for by a family member under stress.

At this time all citizens should support the Canadian Medical Association and premiers by contacting their MLAs and MPs, politicians, and bring their voice to the need for the federal government to provide more funding for palliative care and home care nurses.

Amie Antoshchuk, Langley City

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