Community for Life!
For 42 years we have been fortunate to have compassionate community-based Home Support services on our islands, but this is at risk
- Home support services on our islands developed in a grass-roots and organic way, starting with volunteers organizing help for those who could no longer manage daily activities on their own.
- Our Society formed when the provincial government began awarding contracts for these supports in 1979.
- For many years this local model thrived and adapted to changes in government regulations and funding parameters, but this is no longer the case.
- Services offered through publicly funded home support have changed – fewer types of supports are approved and these supports do not always match the needs of our rural seniors.
- Administering the program has become challenging, particularly in regards to accessing sufficient trained staff, but also regarding the growing need for a range of health and wellness supports to our island communities.
- Having home support services delivered by a small non-profit is unusual in the province. Publicly funded home support is centralized and delivered by health authorities or large contractors in most communities.
- It is not seen as efficient or economical for Island Health to continue to provide a contract to our Society to deliver this service. The current contract expires in the spring of 2023 and unless there are significant changes, it is unlikely the contract will be renewed.
What does this all mean? What are our options?
- The current system is not sustainable but people living on other islands, and in other rural communities, tell us that home support delivered by the health authority looks quite different than what we have come to expect.
- A reduction in the availability of home support services forces islanders to try to arrange and pay for the care they need on their own, or to leave their communities.
We believe older adults make our communities strong and vibrant
- Older islanders deserve the supports they need to thrive and remain in their communities for life, and to have a dignified and compassionate experience at end-of-life.
- Keeping home support services local provides the best opportunity to respond to the needs of island seniors, to integrate a variety of programs and services to support islanders across their lifespan, and to build and strengthen our communities.
- We believe we need flexible home support services designed for our rural and remote communities, instead of accepting a system created for large urban environments. Such services need to be integrated into a comprehensive health service model for our islands.
We are working on a plan
- We have a unique opportunity to explore and test a new way of delivering home support services that builds on our many years of experience, includes updated information about the needs of islanders, and incorporates the latest evidence and best practise for supporting older adults within their community.
- With a network of local and provincial partners, we aim to improve the quality of life for island seniors aging in place and to develop a model of integrated, team-based and virtually enabled rural/remote home support that addresses the needs of Denman and Hornby Island seniors. This model could be shared with other rural/remote communities facing similar challenges throughout BC.
- A promising opportunity to address these issues is the creation of a Community Health Centre (CHC) for Denman and Hornby Islands and this is currently being explored as one of the activities of this project. This CHC would allow the islands to share resources while still meeting the unique needs on each island.
- The leadership team for the project includes family members of home support clients, local physicians and health service providers, practice specialists, Island Health, the Comox Valley Division of Family Practice, the Rural Coordination Centre of BC, and members of our staff and board.
- We want you to help us design your ‘community for life’. We will be sharing more information in the coming weeks about how you can share your thoughts and get involved.
Board of Directors, Hornby and Denman Community Health Care Society
Happy Retirement Karen!
The staff and the board held a wonderful party to celebrate our long-time Home Care Supervisor, Karen Etheridge, and her retirement. There were funny, funny skits, a wonderful song, heartfelt speeches, a great dinner and some special gifts. It was an evening to celebrate a very special person who has contributed so much to the Society and our community over the last fifteen years. Karen has created a homecare program that services our elders with creativity, flexibility and resourcefulness and with a strong sense of compassion ……
Click here for HDCHCS sponsored workshops, presentations, meetings, and fundraising occasions and then scroll down to see a list of all past events which are listed beneath the current posting.
Hornby Denman Community Health Care Society has been nominated for a Community Stewardship Award. The Islands Trust Council created the Community Stewardship Award program in 2002 in order to encourage, recognize and reward leadership in preservation, protection, and stewardship of the Trust Area’s amenities, environment, and resources. Since its inception, the Islands Trust Council has given 76 awards to individuals and organizations across the Trust Area. Stewardship award recipients for 2017 will be announced in June.