Northern Health develops action plan for seniors’ health care

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The action plan Northern Health has developed provides the framework for the future of senior health services in northern BC over the next five years.

The seniors’ action plan outlines three areas of focus, including:

  1. Keeping seniors healthy in their communities through a population health approach,
  2. Providing integrated primary and community care with early recognition and support for frailty, and
  3. Taking a rehabilitative approach to providing quality of care in hospital and residential care settings.

“We are committed to developing initiatives to address healthy aging and seniors’ wellness in consultation with key stakeholder groups,” said Charles Jago, Chair of Northern Health’s Board of Directors.

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“I am pleased to see that the results of consultations we undertook in 2013/14 have led to the development of a comprehensive strategy that will ensure the provision of services to support healthy aging.”

The findings of a consultation report on Healthy Aging and Seniors’ Wellness released in 2014 helped develop the seniors’ action plan.

Consultations were held in communities across northern BC, with the process involving public sessions, focus groups and First Nations focus groups.

The seniors’ action plan aligns with the Ministry of Health’s seniors’ strategy. The Northern Health senior’s action plan supports the Ministry’s focus on offering more effective care options in the community to help reduce inappropriate hospitalizations and improve quality of life.

“We know that the seniors’ population in northern BC is growing more rapidly in proportion to the rest of the province, which has profound implications for the delivery of health services in rural and remote areas,” said Darryl Plecas, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Health for Seniors. “The action plan shows it was made for seniors’ in northern BC by aligning with the Ministry of Health seniors’ strategy and Northern Health consultation from last year.”

Dr. Nicole Ebert says we need to look at innovative ways to care for our aging population, and this action plan will help get to that goal. “We want people to be healthy and happy throughout their life, and in partnership with health professionals and communities we can help accomplish that goal.”

In addition to the seniors’ action plan, a newly developed sub-strategy to address end of life and palliative care has also been developed, and will address the needs to northern BC residents – with a focus on strengthening community based services.

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According to Northern Health, a draft dementia care strategy is also currently being worked on.

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