Local project looks at the future of community care in Rossland

The project is facilitated by Trail Castlegar Augmented Response Enhancement (TCare), which is a Castlegar and Greater Trail organization.

Brenda Hooper

Rossland council heard about an interesting research project happening in the city last week.

Brenda Hooper has been a community nurse in the Greater Trail  area for over 30 years.  She was in council to talk about the project.

The project is facilitated by Trail Castlegar Augmented Response Enhancement (TCare), which is a Castlegar and Greater Trail organization. Hooper is the TCare community co-ordinator.

She said the project focuses on a nurse that goes to people’s homes and cares for them, “not so much on the baby end of public health, but the other end of the spectrum.”

Hooper is also working with another person from UBC Okanagan and she’s the project supervisor, who years ago  was working on similar research.

“Several years ago she was doing some research in this area around rural palliative care in nursing and looking at what people needed and to be happy with palliative care that they receive,” Hooper said. “What she discovered was that people needed the people working with them to be somebody known to them.”

She said the care works better when the caregiver is available and  also a representative on a community level, rather than a caregiver implanted somewhere high up.

This research project takes that report forward and creates a program that can hopefully work for people in the Castlegar and Greater Trail area.

What it will look like?

“This year, in 2012, we’re setting it up,” she said. “Next year, they will begin to provide some sort of service to people. What that will look like is the health care providers they are already working with.”

As people go through the healthcare system Hooper will be helping them interpret information. If the people need home support, Hooper will set that up.

“Those kinds of things, so helping them navigate through the system and interpret information that they may have,” she said. “It is a research project.”

They hope to provide a model other areas can look at. Hooper also hopes that this will become an inexpensive way to help people steer through “that time in their life.”

The project is solution based research, so  there is no control group.

It’s funded by the Peter Wall Foundation.

“They’re quite dedicated to community solutions based research,” she said. “

So we have an opportunity to make something that will work. It’s a solution that has it’s feet in both health care and the community per se.”

Hooper said she hopes to come back to council next year when they have some preliminary results.

They will be accepting participants in 2013 and maybe 2012. Right now they are doing trials of some of the research tools and questionnaires, so Hooper can get a feel for how to work with the research tools.

Coun. Kathy Moore applauded the presentation, saying it is a great initiative.

Mayor Greg Granstrom looked forward to seeing how the project proceeds at a future council.