This has been an exciting time for geriatric psychiatry in our province and community.
On a provincial level, there is a new Paid Family Caregiving Home Support Option which will provide seniors, who meet existing criteria, increased choice when it comes to home support. The new home support option expands the definition of family members who can provide care to include parents, children, grandparents, grandchildren, siblings and relatives residing in the same home. This excludes spouses and common-law partners as there is still the expectation that the natural caregiving roles provided by these individuals will continue. This option also provides clients with a more flexible payment model that will provide subsidy funds directly to the client to best meet their support requirement to remain in the community.
On a community level, a new $150 million long-term care facility is nearing completion in St. John’s and is expected to be open in September of 2014. The new facility will accommodate approximately 460 beds and include space for recreation therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and spirituality. The facility will also contain protective care units for individuals with dementia, enhanced short stay services such as respite and convalescence care; and, specialized behavioral services for seniors. This facility is one of six new long-term care facilities developed by the Provincial Government. Over the last several years new facilities have opened in Clarenville, Corner Brook, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Lewisporte and another facility is under construction in Carbonear.
And finally, our team continues to grow, evolve and change. Dr. Susan Dalton got married this past year. Dr. Mehrul Hasnain has become our new Division Head. With an extensive background in research in rural practice, we are delighted to welcome him in this new position. We are confident that he can liaise and collaborate with various stakeholders to promote excellent practice and care in our field. Dr. Isabel Martins will be retiring from practice in 2014. Many of you know Dr. Martins from her experience with the CAGP Board throughout the years. Dr. Martin’s, who is kind, thoughtful, calm and wise will be sorely missed by patients and colleagues alike.
Cathy Hickey, MD, FRCPC, ABPN
Staff Psychiatrist, Geriatric Psychiatry Day Hospital
Dr. L.A. Miller Centre, St. John's, NL
Posted: April 3, 2014