Belinda Boyd (standing) abover), VCH Community Engagement leader, facilitates this past week’s final installment of Keeping Seniors Well. The feedback gathered will help inform Richmond’s Seniors Strategy.

Keeping seniors well in Richmond

On two recent evenings in March, VCH Richmond continued its conversation with seniors that began in 2015.

The focus of Keeping Seniors Well – Part 2, a VCH Richmond Community Engagement Initiative, saw more than 50 people attend the sessions to provide their input into what they think is missing in Richmond, in terms of services provided, and feedback on the improvements to seniors’ services that VCH Richmond has implemented since 2016.

“It’s important that we receive feedback from you about how are services are working or not working,” said Natalie McCarthy, director, Mental Health & Substance Use, Residential Care. “We want to determine if our vision for seniors’ care matches your vision.”

A sampling of service improvements to-date

In addition to seeking input and feedback, Keeping Seniors Well provided a venue at which residents could learn what VCH Richmond has done to transform and integrate services that are available in the community for seniors, including:

  • The more than doubling of Adult Day Program (ADP) spaces available, from 25 to 56 per day. These new spaces have eliminated wait times that were previously as long as one year.
  • Addition of geriatrician and nurse practitioner services for frail elders through Home Health. Both of these professionals are able to make home visits.
  • Introduction of a Rapid Response Team in Richmond Hospital’s ED that is able to provide support to seniors who visit the emergency department and do not require hospitalization. The team sees individuals on the same day of discharge or within 48 hours, and helps bridge people to longer-term care providers as needed.
  • Expansion of specialized palliative services to include a physician and nurse specialist who have the ability to visits clients in their home or in a community clinic setting.
  • Development of a new Community Health Access Centre.
  • New residential care beds in East Richmond, South Richmond and in Steveston, at the former site of Richmond Lions Manor.

What we heard from seniors

For their part, the seniors in attendance at Keeping Seniors Well had lots to say about health care services provided in Richmond. While some wanted more information about specific programs and how to gain access to them, others voiced concerns about pay parking at the hospital and the difficulty they’ve had in finding a family physician.

The input gleaned at Keeping Seniors Well will be compiled by VCH Community Engagement and be used to further refine and inform Richmond’s Seniors Strategy as it relates to the improved well-being of seniors in Richmond.