As BC’s population ages, seniors in the province are encountering a myriad of challenges that require urgent attention, understanding, and support. From health care concerns to social isolation, BC seniors are facing complex issues. Below are just a few of these challenges needing action.
LACK of QUALITY CARE
One of the most pressing challenges for seniors is access to quality care yet our healthcare system is stretched thin. Seniors in BC are more likely to visit the emergency department for issues that could be better managed through preventative care. The lack of affordable yet quality home care services, competent care and very long wait times to see care providers, let alone specialists, are additional roadblocks seniors and their families encounter.
Mary (not her real name) is an 82-year-old widow who faced significant hurdles managing the complications of her left hip replacement surgery. She relies on friends to administer her controlled pain medication, change her wound dressings, and help with her personal hygiene. She feels let down by the unreliable community support from her stretched health authority.
SOCIAL ISOLATION and LONELINESS
Social isolation is a growing concern among seniors in BC, particularly in rural areas. A survey conducted by the Vancouver Foundation revealed that many seniors feel lonely and disconnected from their communities. This isolation can lead to mental health issues, including depression and anxiety, exacerbating the already challenging aging process.
Margaret (not her real name), a 75-year-old lady lived in a small BC town for most of her life. As her friends moved away or passed on, she found herself increasingly isolated. Her days were marked by solitude and an overwhelming sense of loneliness, but she prefers to age in her own familiar and comforting home.
Balancing finance is another prominent issue for BC seniors. Along with the current inflation, the cost of living in the province, particularly in urban areas like Metro Vancouver, is high making it challenging for individuals dealing with multiple health concerns and on fixed incomes. Statistics Canada reported that a significant proportion of BC seniors live below the low-income threshold, struggling to meet basic needs such as housing, food, and transportation.
John (not his real name) is a retired schoolteacher. He would like to age gracefully and enjoy his retirement years but learned how expensive it can be to live in retirement homes. He worries that by the time comes, he won’t be able to afford his suite and have personal care when he’ll need it.
Addressing these challenges faced by BC seniors will require a concerted effort from all levels of government, the public and private sectors.,,
To ensure that our seniors age with dignity, joy and quality care, AllCare Nursing provides customized home health care and helps in making sure that appropriate medical supplies and safety equipment are in place for fast recovery and safe aging at home.