In today's post we add more to our discussion regarding" Senior Care: Myths, misconceptions and answers". We will address two more commonly held myths and misconceptions that have been encountered by SCC on many occasions.
Lets get started:
I will get into a long-term care home/nursing home the fastest if I bring my family member to hospital
FALSE. FALSE and did we say this is FALSE. Many, Many...MANY people believe that by bringing their family member to the hospital and having them admitted, they will somehow be given priority status, or what is referred to as "crisis placement". The complete opposite however is true.
"Crisis placement" is a category or designation given by Community Care Access Centre-CCAC(see here if not familiar with CCAC), in which the individual is given priority status to get into long-term care homes(LTC), based on being in dire need of care. You CANNOT be categorized as crisis placement once you are admitted to hospital. Why you ask? Well.....how it's viewed is that if two individuals have the same urgent need for care or placement in LTC, and one is in hospital, and the other is in their home, CCAC will prioritize the person in the home, because they are seen as a greater safety concern. You see, technically, the person in hospital is safe in having 24 hr care available, thus they are viewed as being in less need for placement than the person at home.
Now you may think, "well the government does not want people taking up hospital beds waiting for placement in long-term care, so then they must prioritize those people". Well, you are right and wrong. Indeed our health care system does not want people waiting in hospital for LTC, however in regards to placement the decision is based on care and safety, and the individual in hospital is seen as being at less risk than the individual in the home (assuming similar care needs for both). Thus in reality, once admitted to hospital you or your loved ones' wait times for LTC could actually be longer than if you were at home, where you could be deemed a "crisis placement".
This matter is a common misconception that still continues to linger. Coming to hospital to then be placed directly to LTC was more commonly done in the past, however this is no longer a practice which hospitals encourage or support.
Palliative care means the health care team just leave you lying there, waiting for you to die ?
Palliative care is often a confusing term , even when used amongst health care professionals. When people think of the term palliative care, SCC has encountered those who believe it means taking away everything and leaving you "laying there , waiting to die". This is not actually the case. Palliative care as a term refers to the care of someone who has an illness which is not curable ( i.e. we cannot make the disease go away or get better). As the disease cannot be cured, palliative care focuses on managing any symptoms related to the disease. The mentality is," ok.... we can't get rid of this disease or cure it, but at least lets try to minimize the symptoms(i.e. pain, nausea, etc) from it, so you can feel less sick for as long as possible".
The goal of palliative care is to focus on comfort, and comfort means trying to reduce anything that causes you distress, such as pain ,shortness of breath or any other symptoms. In order to achieve your comfort or minimize your distress from symptoms, your physician may make recommendations that could include either taking or adding medications or treatments. The focus of this care is on what can be done to make the life you have left better, and what can make you feel the best, given the circumstances; And this may include taking away or adding elements to your care plans, such as medications or certain treatment.
Hopefully today's post provided some clarity around the presenting matters. If you have any other questions you would like clarified, please feel free to contact us, and we'll try to address it.
Until next time...Stay In The Know!.....Stay informed!