Collaboration, compassion, and commitment are just some of the words that come to mind when one thinks of the Centre for Healthy Aging (CHA). Located at St. Peter’s Hospital, the CHA and its dedicated team provide quality support to some of the most vulnerable in our community — older adults as they face complex and often chronic age-related health concerns.
Terri is a full-time caregiver to her mother Marian who was an Alzheimer’s patient at the CHA. “At our first visit to the Centre the very first question from the geriatrician was ‘What is your objective and how can we help?’” Terri truly believes that the CHA exemplifies patient-centred care.
“Navigating the healthcare system can be difficult for older adults that are experiencing multiple health issues. They may know that they need help but not know what services are available and how to access them,” explains Pauline Fisher, Clinical Nurse Specialist.
The Case Manager program at the CHA fills this gap. Case managers are the primary point of contact for patients and families as they the link to family doctors, numerous support services in the community, and long-term care.
“It was hard to see my mother, who was like Superwoman, have to re-learn simple tasks such as tying her shoes. Our case manager, Clare, supported my mother as she experienced behavioral issues. Clare went beyond the case manager role and was available at any time whenever I had a question.”
The CHA’s Case Manager program assisted Terri by connecting her with the right people within the community to successfully transition her mother to long-term care where she receives the support she needs.
Terri explains, “One point of contact is so important. No one person had all the information and support throughout my mother’s health journey until we went to the Centre for Healthy Aging.”
The family’s case manager, Clare Cimino, adds, “Older adults often express that the case manager and Clinic have helped them improve their quality of life while reducing the burden of care on their family.”
The Geriatric Education and Research in Aging Sciences (GERAS) Centre that works closely with the CHA has shown that patients and families play a valuable role in research as researchers develop support tools for caregivers and further understand their needs.
As the population ages, there is more need for the care and support provided by the Centre for Health Aging. They play an important role for older adults with complex health concerns and continue to exemplify care with dignity to patients and families.
“Patient-centred care with dignity and support for patients