As my clients are aging, I see the challenges they face and what is lacking in the current healthcare system. This has led me to End-of-Life issues, Palliative Care and an interest in healthcare. I have come to see that there needs to be a shift and focus on allowing seniors to ‘age in place’ and the services must expand in order to do so. Expansion obviously requires money from the government, both on a federal and provincial/state level. Healthcare needs to shift to a Patient-Centered approach with professionals available to the patient in either a facility, clinic or in their home in the community. There is also a need for case managers to oversee the patients with chronic and complex health issues while coordinating with the professionals that need to be involved in the patients overall care.
I have realized much with the work that I have been immersed into for many years now. For one, end-of-life needs to become less taboo and society needs to realize that in the cycle of life-there must be death; to be born, one must die. I feel that we need to let individuals die with dignity and at home if that is what they choose while having the necessary professionals and services in place. As a society we need to lighten up, reduce stress levels and find what makes us happy in life. Again, a shift is needed and I believe this will happen; with less focus on materials things and more focus on human relationships, quality not quantity.
I feel it is important that every professional re-evaluate their interests and find their passion, their niche population, their niche demographic. As professionals, we should also advocate within our profession for any needed updates or changes.
There are many of us out there working with seniors/older adults in many different ways. We are on the front lines, we see what is happening, and see what needs to change. It is our role as professionals to advocate for that change.
What are you going to do today to make that change occur? How can you force the change? Who do you speak to? Write to?
These are all things to think about and dwell on and when the timing is right-creativity will emerge along with action!