Is caring for BC’s seniors ‘Better at Home’?
In 2006, a report by the Premier’s Council on Aging and Seniors’ Issues recommended that the province increase the availability of home support services in order to help the growing population of seniors to retain their independence and connection with their communities.
The BC Ministry of Health responded by developing the Better at Home initiative in partnership with the United Way of the Lower Mainland (UWLM). This initiative was designed to assess the ability of communities to provide and deliver a basket of non-medical home support services through local groups, i.e., outside the formal health care system.
Data access has been approved for a study that examines patterns of health services use for clients enrolled in Better at Home, which will help shape the future of seniors’ home-based care and services in British Columbia. The study is funded by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, and is being led by Kimberlyn McGrail, Associate Professor in the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research at The University of British Columbia (UBC). This study is part of a larger research project led by David Whitehurst, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University, in partnership with the United Way of the Lower Mainland, the BC Ministry of Health and researchers at UBC.
“The research is intended to provide evidence to support necessary policy decisions regarding the Better at Home non-medical home support program managed by the UWLM,” says Professor McGrail. “The overall project will examine use of healthcare services, quality of life and wellbeing, and synthesize evidence for consideration of cost-effectiveness.”
For the health services use study, PopData will link researcher-collected information regarding Better at Home client enrollment and service utilization, and data from the BC Ministry of Health, BC Vital Statistics Agency, the Johns Hopkins University’s Adjusted Clinical Groups (ACG) case-mix system, and the National Ambulatory Care Reporting System.