OLDS — Changes are in the works to improve efficiency at Olds Hospital and Care Centre and to make life better for aging residents, an Alberta Health Services (AHS) spokesperson says.
AHS Central Zone Senior Operating Officer Andrea Thain Liptak made those points during a recent donor/supporter appreciation brunch.
That event was organized by the Olds Health Care Fundraising Committee and held Sept. 10 at the Evergreen Centre.
Thain Liptak said AHS has been “actively investing in Olds.”
She noted that last year AHS bought about $800,000 worth of equipment and instrumentation to support the Olds hospital’s surgical program.
“All of the medical device reprocessing or MDR equipment, which is necessary to support surgeries has been replaced and will be in use later this month,” Thain Liptak said.
“A second phase of redevelopment for our MDR space here in Olds has been approved and we are awaiting timelines for the planning and design to begin.”
Liptak said AHS is aware that things are changing as the percentage of older people in society grows and as they tend to stay in their own homes longer than before.
As a result, Thain Liptak said, “when they get to long-term care, their needs are higher than they were even say, five years ago.”
Thain Liptak said AHS’s vision for long-term care in Olds continues to be providing a safe and home-like place for its residents.
She said the purchase of inflatable mattresses and related equipment aligns with that vision.
“These mattresses help reduce the likelihood of pressure injuries and (provide) increased patient comfort,” she said. “You'll be pleased to know how they are appreciated by the residents who use them.
“Long-term care residents have also benefited from the donation of dining tables, bedside tables and chairs, including bariatric chairs, as part of the veterans project.”
She said as a result of consultations with long-term residents, efforts are underway to improve “the aesthetic appeal of the long-term care facility and ensure that it is welcoming.”
“Residents and staff all talk about what a difference a coat of paint can make,” Thain Liptak said.
“We also look forward to the updates to Harmony House off the main dining area.
“And we know how important it is for people to feel good about themselves and get their hair done, so we are working to ensure that the salon is well equipped and easily accessible.”
Thain Liptak praised the Olds fundraising committee and the many other volunteers striving to improve medical and long-term care services in the community.
“The donors, volunteers and service clubs that make these donations really give life to the saying ‘many hands make light work,’” Thain Liptak said.
“It is a gift to partner with passionate volunteers who lighten that load.
“But we know that an itemized list of capital projects is not what drives you. It's the impact you have on the comfort of a patient the care of an aging long-term care resident and the quality of life for a person with a new hip.
“As passionate volunteers, whether through donation of your time, your talents and or your treasure, you are making a difference and you are so appreciated.”