Ageing in Place
Over the next 30 years, the prevalence of dementia is set to double. The increasing number of older adults as a proportion of the global population means, amongst other things, that health care facilities run the risk of becoming over-crowded and that practitioners will struggle to support those in need of care without additional resources in place. People with dementia may spend time in a hospital, nursing home or residential care, or they may live at home in their communities, alone or supported by family and caregivers. Ageing in place means that older adults can choose to live at home if they can, and have attractive alternatives if they cannot. To achieve this, we need older adults to feel safe and supported, and to remain healthy and independent for as long as possible and as their needs change. Maximizing the quality of life and quality of care at advanced ages and keeping people in the community will be a significant challenge of the 21st century and is already a focus of many government investments and strategies.
CareRelay has created solutions to improve and maintain the quality of life and quality of care, enabling older adults with dementia to maximize their independence and age in the most appropriate setting of choice home. CareRelay is an innovative, engaging, practical tool solving a real-world problem for the individual, caregiver, healthcare provider or system.
According to the 2008/2009 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS)–Healthy Aging, an estimated 3.8 million Canadians who were aged 45 or older (35%) were providing informal care to a senior with a short- or long-term health condition. With the recent census data showing that for the first time in Canadian history, the population over 65 has exceeded the community under age 15, the reliance on informal caregivers to care for their loved ones is an ever-increasing focus and concern for governments around the world. In an already complex environment, we also know that the population with dementia in Canada is likely to double every 20 years going forward, and people with dementia generally require high levels of care, most of which are provided by informal or family caregivers.
Formal caregivers are individuals who receive payment to provide care, such as personal support workers and nurses, while informal caregivers are typically not paid to provide care and include family members. CareRelay focuses on these informal caregivers who frequently receive little to no training on caring for older adults with complex health histories and at times and who experience challenging behaviours that are difficult to manage.
It is caregivers who often are the ones who keep their loved ones at home. However, this support comes at the cost of caregiver distress because they are at increased risk for burden, stress, depression, and a variety of other health complications leading to a more reduced quality of life for the caregiver. Caregivers often lack social contact and support, they tend to have few leisurely pursuits and hobbies, and at times are forced to give up or reduce employment to care for their loved ones.
CareRelay is the solution that supports caregivers (formal and informal) in their care for older adults.