The Elder Care Campaign at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital has exceeded its $325,000 goal. A donor wall unveiling is slated for Thursday, Oct. 12 at 4:30 p.m. Anyone wishing to attend the public reception is asked to RSVP foundation administrator Christine Meschi via email at christine.meschi@interiorhealth.ca or by calling 250.364.3424. (Trail Times file photo)

KBRH Elder Care Campaign exceeds target

KBRH Health Foundation is hosting a donor wall unveiling Thursday, Oct. 12 at 4:30 p.m.

The Elder Care Campaign has exceeded its $325,000 target, once again showing how golden Kootenay Boundary communities are, especially when it comes to health care.

The health foundation at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) launched the campaign in spring 2016, and in that time, volunteers, businesses and organizations have raised $380,000 for the cause which focuses on new equipment for older adults entering short-term care.

Foundation Director of Development Lisa Pasin says $380,000 has been contributed, which means more funds are available to invest into care of elderly patients in KBRH’s acute care system.

“The foundation is proud to have completed the Elder Care Campaign and happy to be working with our IHA partner to effectively steward the donated funds to improve patient care for our elderly patients,” Pasin told the Trail Times.

”We thank our generous and loyal donors for all their support and are grateful to have the opportunity to honour them on our newest donor wall.”

A public celebration is slated for Thursday, Oct. 12 at 4:30 p.m., to say thank you, recognize donors, and unveil the Elder Care Campaign donor wall.

The Elder Care Campaign looks to minimize the vulnerability of frail patients with improved comfort through supportive equipment that will help prevent falls, delirium and decreased mobility, while increasing safety to ensure the elderly can return home successfully.

Campaign funds are already providing comfort and safety measures for seniors in the acute care setting.

New purchases such as a Snoezelen machine, uses light, sound and scents to activate or relax patients. The device promotes well being and can be used for any patient, but the focus will be for those with dementia.

Spirit Select Low Beds and fall matts are other significant upgrades already being put to good use.

“The beds can be lowered to a very low level so elderly patients have greater ease getting into and out of beds, (which) provides greater safety and prevents falls,” Pasin explained. “The beds also have weigh scales built in so patients can be weighed, even those with mobility challenges. The fall matts are placed bedside so that patients are protected if they do fall out of bed.”

To assist with safe patient movement, a floor lift has been purchased as well as Broda chairs, which provide safe, stable and supported upright positioning.

Additionally, Brodas can provide a safe alternative for patients that may have to remain in bed for extended lengths of time.

Other new equipment includes a HoverMatt, to assist with movement of patients between beds and stretchers; ceiling lifts to assist moving and mobilizing patients in a safe manner; and “pocket talkers” or hearing amplifiers, to assist patients and caregivers communicate if the person is hard of hearing.

And the third floor Rehabilitation Kitchen, which is used to assess patients for their readiness to return home after their hospital stay, has been renovated.

Almost half of the patients (45 per cent) admitted to KBRH over the last two years were 65 years old or older.

Multiple departments – medical, surgical, emergency room and occupational therapy – are benefiting from funds raised through the Elder Care Campaign.

“Canada’s population is aging, and it is recognized that hospitals need to be more senior friendly to accommodate the complex healthcare needs of our aging population as they enter the acute care hospital system, whether for short or long-term stays,” Pasin said.

“Hospitalization can dramatically impact seniors’ wellness and time spent in hospital, and contributes to the loss of important functions such as strength and mobility, which are critical to their independence and well-being, ” she added.

“Patient wellness and functionality needs to be maintained and improved upon to avoid lengthy hospital stays.”

For those wishing to attend the donor wall unveiling, the foundation requests an RSVP be sent to administrator Christine Meschi via email at christine.meschi@interiorhealth.ca or by calling 250.364.3424.

Since 1988, the foundation has raised over $13.9 million through donations from private and corporate donors. Funding priorities include raising endowed gifts and annual funds to support health care equipment needs, staff education, and special initiatives to enhance health care through the Trail hospital and other Kootenay Boundary facilities.

Major campaigns completed over the years include the Ambulatory Care Wing ($1.1 million) finished in 2002 and the Children’s Health Care Initiative ($1.14 million) completed in 2010.

The foundation wrapped up its $400,000 Urology Campaign in January, with $498,000 raised, and tackled a mini-campaign in support of a $795,000 airborne isolation room (mostly covered by Interior Health and the West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District) with $57,000 in top-up funds.

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