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April 28th, 2017
Adult day programs for frail Vancouver seniors critical in providing relief for caregivers

Adult day programs for frail Vancouver seniors critical in providing relief for caregivers


B.C.’s seniors advocate says one temporary home should be found for frail seniors disrupted by the redevelopment of the George Pearson Centre in Vancouver, not several.

Isobel Mackenzie said she understands that A.S.K. Friendship Society has no choice but to find a new, temporary home for three to four years for its 125 elderly clients.

“What makes sense is to make the move happen once instead of multiple times,” Mackenzie said by phone.

“I hope whatever solution they find is a solution for the three or four years during which they’re displaced and not, ‘We have a one-year lease here and have to move again.’”

Once the Pearson Centre is rebuilt, A.S.K. has a contract to continue providing services in the new state-of-the-art health facilities, which will include a 150-bed residential care home, community health centre, YMCA and therapeutic pool.

Vancouver Coastal Health has already said if A.S.K. can’t find a temporary home, all of its elderly clients will be accommodated in other day programs in Vancouver. A.S.K. has looked at 19 sites over the past year without success.

Mackenzie said the new A.S.K. facility will be a significant improvement over its current home.

“Certainly, the commitment from Vancouver Coastal to accommodate all of these spaces is important,” she said. “We need to make sure this happens.”

Splitting up the seniors into groups of 20 or more isn’t ideal but better than nothing, Mackenzie said.

“We have to ensure a space for these people within a reasonable proximity,” she said. “I would say anywhere in the city of Vancouver is a reasonable proximity. What I’m hearing is that nobody is giving up on finding one location.”

Postmedia News reported Monday that A.S.K. had to find a new home within the next few months to allow for enough time to get the necessary civic permits and make renovations. The society has a deadline of no later than February 2017, to be out of the Pearson Centre at Cambie and 57th.

Mackenzie said adult daycare programs such as the ones provided by A.S.K. are critical for both the frail seniors who take part in them and for caregivers. A study two years ago by Mackenzie’s office found that 29 per cent of family caregivers are living with high levels of stress and may give up unless they receive help.

“If you’re caring for somebody at home and they can’t be left alone, you’re basically in the house all the time,” she said.

“Adult day programs take the person out of the house for about seven hours of the day. So it’s significant caregiver relief.”

In B.C. seniors are in adult programs on average one day a week. Mackenzie said the average should be increased to three days a week.

Mackenzie said she’s concerned that numbers show that adult care spaces in Vancouver Coastal Health are dropping rather than increasing. They went from 1,294 in 2014-15 to 1,247 in 2015-16.

“For some of these folks, the only way they’re going to get out of the house is to go to something like an adult day program,” she said.

Source: http://vancouversun.com/health/local-health/adult-day-programs-for-frail-vancouver-seniors-critical-in-providing-relief-for-caregivers


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