How do I keep a Sunshiner at home?

Sometimes people tell me I’m not being realistic and expecting them to keep their frail relatives at home. How can we deal with a sudden change in independence if we can’t get supporting help quickly? How do we know what’s wrong if the doctor won’t visit and we can’t get her to his office? I’m willing to look after him at home but I just can’t do the whole job by myself.

Resources to make home care realistic aren’t always available, but that is changing. And part of what we have to do speed that change up is kind of political: INSIST on home support, home care, 24-hour availability of help, and whatever else you need. Insist loudly over and over to doctors, newspapers, blogs, insurance companies, and governments. Expecting you to keep someone at home only makes sense if we back you up, but the resources to do that will become available only when we let people know how badly we need them.

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 30 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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One Response to How do I keep a Sunshiner at home?

  1. Judith Hunt says:

    I agree. We must insist on more and better professional home support.
    As well as the doctors, specialized nurses, and therapists who visit Sunshiners at home, we also need plenty of qualified and committed care aides: to assist Sunshiners with their daily living, to administer some medications, to assess their clients and report to other members of each client’s Care Team. This is demanding work requiring training and experience as well as a personal commitment to caring. It should be compensated with decent pay and working conditions, but often is not.
    Proper end-of-life care would honour both Sunshiners and all those who assist them.”

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