While some parts of the province prepare for an increase in home care numbers that may not be the case for Southwestern Manitoba.
A report commissioned by the province concluded the number of home care clients in Manitoba could double over the next 20 years.
“We do know that the population is going to be aging but I do have to say to that in Prairie Mountain Health as much as our older population is expected to increase it will probably increase less compared to other parts of the province because we are already considered an old area of the province” said PMH Chief Executive Officer Penny Gilson.
She added that will likely translate into less growth in demand for home care services compared to other parts of Manitoba.
“Our biggest concern if having a strong enough health care aide work force. That is the group that provides a majority of the home care service.”
One plus according the Gilson is training programs for these workers are easier to mobilize and get in place if needed. Health care officials plan to monitor the numbers and gauge the need for more workers.
“We have seen an increase in the last three to four years of seven percent in people using home care and translates into about 3,600 people” said Gilson.
Home care provides a valuable service and Gilson adds the longer someone can stay in their home are probably healthier than people who get prematurely institutionalized.