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Open to Fraser – Vancouver Coastal, Volunteers in the Fraser Health region
Be a part of developing community health services to keep seniors healthy and well at home. Fraser Health is looking for an energetic, community-minded senior who can contribute their voice to the development of the CARES program for preventing frailty. This innovative program puts together the best minds in seniors’ health care across Fraser Health, creating programs that promote seniors’ thriving at home and accessing services in the community.
Open to: Volunteers in the Fraser Health region
Lead Organization or DepartmentThe Community Actions and Resources Empowering Seniors (CARES) Project Team
- Patient volunteers will work alongside health care partners to develop and implement plans for a preventative primary care program that decreases frailty in seniors and promotes aging well.
- The patient volunteers will share their lived experience with CARES team members with the goal of informing the development of the program.
Level of EngagementThis opportunity is at the level of collaborate (at a system-wide strategic leadership level) on the spectrum of engagement (www.iap2.org). The promise to you is that the health care partner will look to you for advice in developing, implementing and evaluating national, provincial and regional policy and/or research to ensure the health care system is responsive to the patients’ experience as much as possible.
EligibilityThis opportunity is being extended to volunteers in Fraser Area who are:
- Are over the age of 65
- Are someone who can speak to a lived experience;
- Are excited to share their story in front of healthcare providers and leaders; and
- Are willing to contribute their knowledge to a system-wide strategy.
- Vacancies: 1
- Meetings are once a month, typically at 1pm. Days of the week vary.
- Meeting are held at Fraser Health Corporate Office, Suite 400, Central City Tower 13450 – 102nd Avenue Surrey, BC
ReimbursementPreapproved expenses related to travel to in person meetings will be reimbursed according to the Fraser Health Travel policy (including mileage, parking up to $10/day, public transit).
BackgroundThe Need A rapidly aging population predisposed to frailty is placing increasing pressure on an already over-burdened healthcare system. It is estimated that currently half of Canada’s healthcare budget is spent on adults 65 years and older. Frailty is a geriatric syndrome associated with poor quality of life, aging and increased reliance on healthcare resources. Additionally, fragmentation between primary care, health authorities and community resources creates a barrier. Without interventions, seniors are at risk of becoming frail unnecessarily and prone to increase use of emergency and acute health care services. Emerging research suggests there are protective factors to frailty, and it is possible to delay or slow the progression of frailty (Wang et al, 2014). The Innovation In 2014, the Fraser Health Authority partnered with Nova Scotia Health Authority and Shannex Inc., through CFHI’s EXTRA program to design, implement and evaluate the CARES inter-provincial initiative. CARES is a primary health care upstream intervention, intended to decrease the downstream impact of frailty on acute and emergency resources, while promoting seniors to age well and die fit. The CARES approach partners pre-frail seniors with primary care providers and community-trained lay wellness coaches. Preliminary results are that CARES proactively delays or reverses frailty in seniors, improving physical health and activity, including walking and quality of life. We are now embarking on leveraging technology on the CARES Project and providing a geriatric assessment tool for proactively identifying pre-frail seniors directly within physician’s EMRs.
Health Care Partner Contact Information
Engagement Leader, Patient and Public Engagement | Fraser Valley