The 4 BIG issues were summarized and presented to MofH Fred Horne in July of 2014. They are still the 4 biggest issues today:
1. Home Care: Differences in application from region to region, issues with the needs assessments and who may provide AHS supported care. Some regions in the province excel in the provision of Home Care support. How can we get other jurisdictions to follow the same best practices?
2. Lack of services/programming: There is a need for full time, age appropriate community-based support. There are successful organizations in most communities (often senior’s centres), that offer extensive programming. If provided with adequate resources, these organizations could keep those with early onset actively involved in their community. e.g.: Full time Recreation Therapists at a senior’s organization could support individuals plus build capacity of family members and volunteers.
3. Long term care: The majority of long term care facilities are not in the position to deal with younger people who have dementia and are still physically very active. Our goal is to keep our partners engaged and to channel their energies rather than medicating them.
4. Diagnoses and Medical Support: Our partners were diagnosed with early onset dementia prior to the age of 65. In fact, the majority in our group were diagnosed in their mid- fifties. As a result, diagnosis can be difficult because most doctors don’t believe it is a possibility. Issues arise because the typical supports for dementia are based on the belief that patients (and their caregivers) are in their senior years, have adult children, are financially stable, and have retired.