After 17 years working as a nurse, the last 10 in the ER, Dana Huggett has seen first-hand the deteriorating effects our over-burdened healthcare system have on B.C’s increasing aging population.
Now, as the head Registered Nurse of local company, Live Your Life Homecare, she’s joining many others who’ve realized the answer to our strained health system is in-home care services.
From a helping hand around the house to intense, palliative care, Live Your Life looks past the health charts and identifies what our aging population actually needs. The Surrey-based company takes a holistic approach to care, helping people of all ages maintain their dignity and live independently in the setting where they feel most comfortable.
“A lot of seniors don’t want to leave their homes, but because of decreased mobility or increased care needs, they’re forced out,” Huggett said. “Our current system does not have enough long-term care beds for people to go into, so at Live Your Life we help bridge that gap and keep seniors from needing to go into hospital beds, putting further strain on the system.”
With a senior population outnumbering any other age group, the stress on our healthcare system is becoming more apparent. Hospital beds are being turned into Alternative Levels of Care beds, patients are sleeping in hallways and the entire system is backing up because of large wait lists for long-term care facilities.
According to Huggett, there are systems in place to move people out of the hallways and into the supportive care they need, but simply nowhere for patients to go to.
“You see from the first [hospital] admission to the fourth, fifth and subsequent admissions how much they deteriorate. You can see the decline because they’re not getting the type of support they need to be able to maintain their independence,” Huggett said.
A 2015 report from Statistics Canada shows 16 per cent of Canadians (about one in six) are over the age of 65. That number is expected to climb to 20 per cent by the year 2024. Our current healthcare system cannot keep up with that demand.
“They deserve to live their life to fullest, and to not be able to provide dignity and the heathcare they deserve, with the independence they want, is sad. Ultimately our system isn’t set up to meet the needs of the seniors in our community,” she said.
Live Your Life offers home care packages catering to people at any stage of life. From post-surgical to courses on nutrition, let Huggett and the team of experts take the pressure off and live your life.
For a free, in-home health assessment, visit their website at liveyourlifehomecare.com.