Where Do I Begin?

If you have concerns about the health of an aging family member or friend, there are several sources of information and support.

1. The Family Doctor
    It is essential to develop a respectful relationship with your parents' doctor and office staff.  If
    you are fortunate, your parents will want you to accompany them to appointments and the doctor
    will welcome you as part of the care team. So get involved, take your parents to appointments
    and sit in.
    If you want to have a conversation with the doctor about your parents' care, book a "consultation
    appointment". This avoids the one problem per visit issue.
    Ask your parents to complete a Patient Advocate Form. This will determine the extent of your
    involvement in their health care. Share a copy with the doctor. This may ease the doctor's
    concerns about privacy violations. 

    Tread lightly. The doctor/ patient relationship is both personal and professional. You want to be
    seen as an advocate not an intruder.  Don’t expect the doctor to be familiar with caregiver
    support resources.

2. Regional Health Authorities (RHAs)
    Manitoba health services are managed by 5 regional health authorities.
    Map http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/rha/map.html

    Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA)
  Rural RHAs - Each regional website has information about services in the many communities
  within the region
  1. Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority
  2. Northern Regional Health Authority
  3. Southern Health-Santé Sud
  4. Prairie Mountain Health
3. Geriatric Programs for seniors over the age of 65 exist at 4 Winnipeg facilities:
    Deer Lodge Centre, Riverview Health Centre, Seven Oaks Hospital, St. Boniface Hospital
    No referral is required for an assessment of a senior's physical or mental health.
    Call the Central Intake Line, 204.982.0140.


4. Manitoba Government Department of Seniors and Healthy Aging
    For information about government services for seniors call:
    Seniors Information Line
    In Winnipeg: 945-6565
    Toll-free: 1-800-665-6565

   This department also has excellent guide books.
   Download them  or better yet, pick up free copies at the SHAS office:
   1610 - 155 Carlton Street, Winnipeg, MB R3C 3H8
On your caregiving journey, like all other journeys, you will meet the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful.

Always be prepared for resistance. Have a Plan B.
Always be on the lookout for angels. Write a thank you.

Useful Forms and Documents

It’s Safe to Ask is an initiative of The Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety. It encourages patients and families to request the information they need in order to become active participants in their care. The Self-Advocacy For Everyone (S.A.F.E) toolkit  includes many useful materials for navigating the health care system.

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for the info on the Patient Advocate Form. Has anyone used this successfully? I have never heard of that before. Great website!