Calls have been flooding in to a new Fraser Health Authority phone line for seniors who need help with health-care services in the community.
The Home Health Service Line, which opened in mid-August, is part of the Home Health program, which offers a variety of at-home and community services to people with acute, chronic, palliative or rehabilitative health-care needs.
“It’s been overwhelming,” said Carl Meadows, Fraser Health’s director of the Home Health program.
Since the phone line opened, Fraser Health has received more than 200 calls a day and is generating 120 to 130 referrals.
The line makes it easier for people to navigate the system and get health-care help in the home. While the services are not restricted to seniors, the majority of clients are elderly, according to Meadows. The Home Health program helps seniors stay in their homes longer, Meadows explained.
“Seniors have been telling us they want to live independently in the home as long as possible. Our services, specifically around Home Health – and that includes home support – when accessed early, it can really make a difference for seniors and their families to manage comfortably in their home, versus waiting for a health crisis and ending up in our congested hospitals,” Meadows told the NOW.
The Home Health Service Line is for people who are caring for, or concerned about, their elderly parents or loved ones. Seniors who may need support to live safely at home, manage medications, or need help after a hospital stay are all scenarios the phone line can help with. Also, seniors can call the line if they are worried they can no longer live at home without support.
For 2012/13, Fraser Health had 3,490 Burnaby residents in the Home Health program, and New Westminster had 1,530. The numbers reflect people 65 or older who received home health services, which could include case management, home-care nursing, rehabilitation, home support, social work or day programs for older adults.
The Home Health Service Line is 1-855-412-2121, and the call centre is open seven days a week, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Trained staff are on hand to answer questions and offer referrals to other services. Translation services are also available.
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