There are a number of things that health care providers ask when a patient is in hospital and when they are being prepared to go home. If you are not asked about the following things, bring them up with your care providers:
• Ask for a translator if you need one. They are available at all local hospitals.
• Tell health care professionals what it will be like for you when you get home. They need to know things like: do you have someone to help you with food preparation? With grocery shopping? With housecleaning? With getting to doctor’s appointments?
• Write down any questions you have so that you can ask them when the doctor, nurses, or other health care providers are with you.
• Ask for printed materials in your preferred language.
There a number of other things that patients and families found helpful:
• Nurses who work for BC Nurseline can answer many questions, such as: if your incision is ok, or how to deal with pain.
• Preparing before going to the hospital: arranging for your pick-up; help with buying groceries and getting meals ready; and making their home comfortable for the patient while they get better, (for example, some families set up a bed on the main floor).
* People told us what they did for healing, such as diet/food you are accustomed to eating; gradual return to exercise (e.g. long walks); taking traditional / healing medicines.
Health and Seniors Information Line: 1-800-465-4911. A “one stop” location to obtain information on both health and non-health related federal and provincial government programs and services for British Columbia seniors. The Line also provides B.C. residents with information about health services, the health care system and interpretation of a wide variety of health media releases, legislation, policies, programs and services. The line is accessible 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday (excluding holidays). Translation services are available in 130 languages. BC
Nurseline - Please also see HealthLink BC Anywhere in BC: 811.
Speak to a nurse: Call 8-1-1 to ask a registered nurse your health questions, any hour of the day or night. Nurses are available 24/7 to help you with non-emergency health concerns, to discuss symptoms and procedures and recommend whether you should see a professional.
Speak to a Pharmacist: Call 8-1-1 to ask medication questions. Pharmacists are on call at 8-1-1 when your community pharmacist may be unavailable, every night from 5 pm to 9 am. For nutrition advice, call 811 and we’ll connect your with a dietitian. Translation services are available in over 130 languages on request.
Canadian Diabetes Association:
1-800-BANTING (1-800-226-8464). Chinese Information Line (Cantonese and Mandarin): 1-888-666-8586. The Canadian Diabetes Association provides people affected by diabetes – those living with the condition, their family, friends, caregivers, colleagues, employers and others – with information on the prevention and management of diabetes and referral to various community resources.
Heart & Stroke Foundation of BC:
1-888-473-4636 Vancouver: 604-736-4404 Community based organization dedicated to the prevention and relief of heart disease and stroke in B.C. and the Yukon. Provides information on research and support groups.
Medical Services Plan Subscriber Information: 1-800-663-7100 Vancouver: 604-683-7151. Automated service providing enrollment and premium information and answers to frequently asked questions. Service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Mental Health Information Line: Vancouver: 604-669-7600. Provides taped information on provincial mental health programs as well as symptoms, causes, treatment, support groups and publications relating to a number of mental illnesses. This is a 24 hour line.
PharmaCare (including the Fair PharmaCare Plan): Vancouver: 604-683-7151. General PharmaCare enquiries: Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fair PharmaCare plan registration is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if you use online registration or access the automated phone registration using the numbers.
Poison Control Centre: 1-800-567-8911 Vancouver Emergency: 604-682-5050 Vancouver Non-Emergency: 604-682-2344. Provides information on poisons and treatment.
Do you have any other Health Care Resources for Seniors not listed here? Please let us know by leaving a comment below.