Health system issues
The people we interviewed were sometimes confronted with issues or problems at the level of government or the provincial healthcare system. These included problems in the organization of care, coordination between services and settings, and access to care. Here you will be able to read about these general issues with healthcare services and the healthcare system. Specific issues related to hospitalization, facilities, and navigating the system are discussed in separate topic pages.
Issues with healthcare services
Caregivers mentioned the lack of a single or central information point where caregivers can call to find information or resources that would be helpful to them. You can read more about this in Navigating the system.
Mike would appreciate an information service for caregivers.
And in this province there isn’t a lot of… you can’t go to a book and say, “Okay, here’s a group of caregivers, and here’s a group of medical people who specialize; here’s this and here’s that.” It’s kind of a—maybe because I haven’t been looking—but it seems to be […]
Rowdyneko confronted her healthcare professional with her assumption that she has to adapt and continue caring, even when it is too much.
I mean, in my view that’s a big stress off. And again, the social worker would sit me down and say, “Well this is what you,” to me, “this is what you have to do; you have to move over here, you have to find a place to live, you have […]
When Ginny found support, it always arrived almost too late. She wishes the system could be more proactive.
When we went to visit the gerontologist, they gave us a lot of information about dementia, arthritis, supports, but I just found that all of those supports that they mentioned were supports that were sort of almost too late. They were almost too late. My mother was already almost out […]
Programs that help the care recipient remain functional in society are indispensible. Shayna finds it important to see the bigger picture.
As my husband deteriorated, we had had our first—his first car was a Grand Caravan and it was accessible but he drove; he could transfer. As he could no longer transfer, the car became obsolete. We couldn’t afford—these are very expensive vehicles—we couldn’t afford to get another one and nobody […]
Inez lives 30 miles away from local healthcare services and noticed many structural changes in the services offered in the last years.
Inez feels she has to rely mostly on herself. She hasn’t been able to see a physician since hers retired.
Well the doctor situation in town here now is really bad. A few years ago they had ten doctors and now they’re down to three. And it’s practically impossible to get an appointment. And a lot of people, they take advantage of a situation by going into emergency when it’s […]
Living in a rural area also brought challenges for other caregivers. Rowdyneko and Kai both had to travel far to the nearest healthcare services, and in Kai’s case, his father had to be treated in another hospital because the local hospital did not have the right services.
Coping with the system issues
The people we interviewed highlighted many different issues with the government and the healthcare system. Several caregivers advocated for their own rights in an attempt to receive what they felt they deserved. Here are some examples of how people responded to these challenges.
Madhu, for example, became involved in a local cultural organization to support local immigrants in their integration and to promote improved services for immigrants.
The system doesn’t always understand different cultures and lifestyles. As a vegetarian, Madhu did not eat very well during her hospital stay.
Well, the only thing is don’t tie everybody with the same rope. Everybody deals with different way, and, I mean, we have excellent doctors, we have excellent care, but [from a] culture point of view, sometimes they don’t understand. I mean, I’m vegetarian. Last time when I was in the […]
Hélène was eventually reimbursed for travelling for medical care after writing to her members of parliament.
Because if you travel to get medical care not available in the area, it has to be 150 k—or whatever for example—and we’re 10 km below. And I remember I wrote—like, you know how the CSSS for the region? […] So, I have written them and I said, “Well, this […]
For Sheni, it was impossible to work and find care for her husband.
You can’t live on… you can’t raise a family on Canada Pension benefits that were something like $800 or $900 a month—whole family, okay? To live in a house, even if we lived in an apartment, you can’t live on that little money. So, I obviously, I had to work […]
In the end, most caregivers like to be able to care for their care recipient at home as long as possible. But to be able to do this, most caregivers realize that they need support to be able to do that. Rowdyneko said, “If there’s a policy, I mean, I could get on my grandstand. I mean apparently there’s a policy that we want to keep people in their homes as long as possible and there has to be more offered to be able to do that.”
Rowdyneko says, “[caregiving] is the best unpaid work the federal government gets.”
But, what I tell you. This is the best unpaid work the federal government gets, I’ll tell you. They are saving billions with all these caregivers. And, I mean, there’s no income tax relief for caregivers. I mean, we’ve got the disability tax credit. I mean every disability thing, because […]
Review date: 2019-09