It’s hard to imagine that Canadian hospitals were already at 125% capacity back in November before anyone had heard of COVID-19. With hundreds of Coronavirus patients filling more hospital beds every day, it is easy to forget all the senior patients who are battling pre-existing health conditions in the very same hospitals. Not only are they fighting for their lives amongst the chaos of this pandemic… but they’re also doing it completely alone.
Recently, Paige Lennox, CHAI’s Founder + CEO, has been picking up extra shifts at her local Kootenay hospital and has experienced first-hand how stressful it has been for families who are no longer able to visit their senior loved ones in the hospital due to the pandemic. Palliative care centers are only permitting one family member for visiting, and only during the direst of times.
Seeing how easily patients are losing agency over their own health and falling through the cracks of an already strained system, we urge family members to work even harder to ensure their loved one is accessing the highest level of care and attention possible.
CHAI’s national network of Health Advocates are currently offering virtual and over-the-phone patient advocacy services for family members who have a senior loved one alone in the hospital or long-term care facility. These highly experienced Advocates understand the nuances that come with each local healthcare system and can get in touch with specific health professionals in order to advocate on your behalf. Advocates can request expedited test results, provide status updates, and offer experienced emotional support to help families get through this difficult time.
Paige has also noticed that many of her senior clients feel as though they are imposing on their doctors or local hospitals. Many are understandably terrified that they will catch the deadly virus and are avoiding any healthcare facilities despite experiencing life-threatening symptoms. These seniors need to understand that a lot can be done virtually and over-the-phone to connect them with their doctors.
Advocates can subdue those fears and ensure that seniors have access to the highest quality healthcare resources available. If you’re concerned about accessing healthcare resources during this pandemic, our Advocates are here to offer both practical and emotional support. We invite you to book a free consultation.