Healthcare, News

The Benefits to Attending Conferences

I was fortunate enough to be ‘in the right place at the right time’ as the expression goes. Thanks to my moderating a group on LinkedIn in an area that interests me both professionally and personally, I just attended The National Forum on Patient Experience in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

The forum began on a high note when I was able to meet the other moderator, Lewis Hooper and the group manager, Paul Gallant of the LinkedIn group Canada Health and Healthcare Consultants in person the night before the conference began. One is from the Toronto area and the other from Vancouver. As I am from Montreal, 3 major hubs in Canada were covered geographically!

Besides the importance of professionals updating their ‘toolbox’ by taking workshops, courses, classes, certification programs or designations, it is equally important to attend conferences when one is able to.

Health and healthcare affects each and every one of us and for some, the effect is both personal and professional. I work with older adults and so my interest in healthcare. As I am a dual citizen of the United States and Canada I have seen, been part of and realize the need for change and restructuring in order for healthcare to continue to be sustainable.

I have been a patient in both the U.S. system and the Canadian healthcare system. I much prefer the Canadian healthcare system and truly believe a major overhaul is needed. With the ‘greying’ of the population due to the number of baby boomers entering the 65+demographic daily, the system is not sustainable as is.

Baby boomers want and will demand more and the system will have to respond. Baby boomers are typically highly educated, do research, know what they do and do not want in the future and the current system of senior residences, Long Term Care/nursing homes are not what they want! The ‘aging in place’ phenomenon has begun. ‘Senior’ communities with services are wanted along with the renovation of ones current home. Some are choosing to downsize into a smaller living environment on one level should mobility become an issue in the future and others are continuing to work part-time while enjoying semi-retirement. These active and engaging ‘seniors’ or older adults are up-to-date on the current trends, are social, technologically savvy, educated, involved in the community as in active volunteers and believe and have lived advocacy. Think Civil Rights, Women’s Lib, protesting the Vietnam War, Gay and Lesbian Rights, humanitarian initiatives and modern-day wars.

By Victoria Brewster, MSW

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