Jennifer Kazmaier, a Registered Nurse and entrepreneur has found a way to serve the needs of seniors in her community through private home health care. The services enable them to stay in the comfort of their own home, instead of in the hospital or a nursing home.
“I am always looking for new and better ways to provide care to my patients. I am constantly questioning the system and what I can do to improve it, even on a small scale” says Kazmaier. With a background in Emergency nursing, and case management in the private sector she recognized the huge gap in home health care, and repeatedly heard her patients looking for ways to access care privately. With the goal of bridging this gap, CalaCare Ltd. was founded.
Private home health care is a booming industry in Canada, with business people flocking to the elder care sector. They see what we all see; the population is aging. The Quality of Life for Seniors in Halton (update 2009) reports a 23% increase in seniors aged 65 and over in the Halton region alone between 2001 and 2006, and an increase in the number of seniors aged 85 and over by 57%. According to Statistics Canada it is projected that by 2015 the number of people aged 65 and older will outnumber the youth under 14. There are serious concerns about being able to meet the changing health care needs associated with these numbers, particularly for older Canadians. However, the ideal of public health care in Canada is so ingrained that there are not many entrepreneurial health care professionals seeking innovative solutions in the private sector to meet the needs of this aging population.
“A nurse entrepreneur does things differently” says Kazmaier, “my focus is on the quality of care my staff and I provide. I’m accountable to my professional college and the public as a Registered Nurse, so everything we do at CalaCare is rooted in Best Practice Guidelines and a client-centred care model. If it is beyond our expertise, we will refer to someone else and collaborate with other professionals. We want our clients to be informed of their options and we empower them to make decisions that promote their health and independence. We work closely with our clients and their families, often over long periods of time to determine the best plan of care, and we are always ready to adapt and change as the needs of our clients change. ”
Many Canadians don’t realize how much privatization already exists in health care. From prescription drugs, to fertility clinics there are many things that are not considered “medically necessary” under the Canada Health Act. Non-medical home care services are lumped in this category, since often services entail tasks such as housekeeping, meal preparation, and errands. For a senior these daily tasks can be the difference for them in determining their ability to stay in their own home, or moving, often to some kind of assisted living facility, which is also privately funded.
The vast majority of seniors indicate that they want to stay in their home. According to the Ontario Home Care Association, 88% of seniors indicate this preference, and many families are already purchasing care privately to the tune of 20 million hours/visits per year. The cost of private home health care ranges from $20 to $65 per hour, depending on the credentials of the caregiver, the type of service, and the shift length required. For families caring for a loved one, this amount is often tax deductible.
CalaCare Ltd. is proudly serving the Hamilton, Halton, Peel, and Toronto regions.
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