Caring Circle Lends a Hand with Research

hands holdingBy Susanne Martin – Bowen Island Undercurrent
Published: October 19, 2012 02:00 PM
What do you do when you or a family member gets ill and needs to be cared for in a home on Bowen? In the case of an accident or emergency, there might not be a lot of time to do the research and set up a support system that is needed. Here is where the Caring Circle comes in.

Colleen O’Neil and Diane Marshall have put their heads together and met with a number of community members to compile an impressive list of resources that will make it easier for island residents to cope with a medical emergency.

O’Neil is a retired nurse and says that, in the past, she received calls from residents asking her questions like:

Are there home-care nurses on Bowen Island?
Are there doctors who will do house calls?
What physiotherapy is covered by health care?
How do you find a physical or occupational therapist who comes to your home?
How do I get to and from chemotherapy or appointments if I can’t drive?
Where do I get medical equipment?
How do I access services?
Can I go on the ferry for free if I need to see a specialist in town?

O’Neil has studied two reports that have assessed the needs of Bowen Island seniors and learned that both included recommendations to compile a health directory. She took on the task to go through existing sources, make phone calls and work on a comprehensive list of health support services available on Bowen Island.

“We are not only looking at health care but also other things people need when they are sick or injured like getting prepared food, help around the house or installing handles and wheelchair ramps,” O’Neil said.

She added that some of the services mentioned in the directory are located in West and North Vancouver. The directory will be available on Bowen Island in the coming months.