Shining an international spotlight on elder care
On Saturday, March 3, 2018, Dr. Roger Wong, one of the world’s foremost geriatricians, will take the stage in Vancouver during the TEDxStanleyPark conference. His goal: to improve the quality of life for seniors around the world by using new technology and compassion to help them live longer at home.
As a geriatrics physician based at VGH, Dr. Wong has looked after thousands of patients and their families, many of whom want to know when the appropriate time is to seek out facility care.
“Our chronological age is only a number and life is more than a number,” says Dr. Wong. “Age should not be the only consideration for living locations and arrangements. Other important considerations include a person’s brain function, body function, level of support from families and friends (and their own circumstances), to name a few.”
For Dr. Wong, the benefits of staying at home longer are clear. “There are many physical and mental health benefits to living at home longer,” he says. “Being in a familiar environment is really important for seniors. It provides opportunities for socialization with friends and neighbours; it makes things more convenient because they know how furniture is laid out and where they’re going. The structure of the home environment and the familiarity of the routine supports them to have a better quality of life.”
Empowering patients and families
Dr. Wong’s work has left an indelible mark on elder care at VGH, where he was the driving force behind the creation of the VGH Acute Care for the Elderly (ACE) units now replicated around the world.
He has published and lectured extensively on geriatric medicine and medical education and authored in major medical reference books, such as the Oxford Textbook of Geriatric Medicine, Teaching Quality Improvement in Residency Education, Acute Care for Elders: A Model for Interdisciplinary Care.
The former president of the Canadian Geriatrics Society has spent years working with his international colleagues to advance elder care. By doing so, he’s come to realize that many challenges facing seniors in Canada are similar across the globe. However, the opportunities are also similar. “I’ve learned that many of the strategies we employ can be applicable all over the world,” he says.
Ever passionate about helping seniors, he hopes that the TEDx platform will help him reach an even broader audience.
“I hope that by watching my talk, people will feel empowered knowing there are things that they can do using new technology and practical strategies to make a difference for themselves or their loved ones,” he says.
Get inspired at TEDx
The TEDx conference, the largest of its kind in Vancouver, is an annual not-for-profit conference at which a suite of inspirational short talks is shared with onsite and online audience. It takes place on Saturday March 3, 2018 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in downtown Vancouver.
For tickets, visit: https://www.tedxstanleypark.com/
Tags: Primary & Community Care