Presented by: Kevin Willison
Globally, public health’s mandate is broad. It aims to inform, educate and empower people about health issues; research new insights and innovative solutions to health problems; link people to necessary health services; help ensure the provision of health care when otherwise not available; develop policies and plans that support individual and community efforts; and evaluate effectiveness, accessibility and quality of personal and population-based health services. However, this mandate could be broadened further so as to better take into account rising numbers of frail elderly people across Canada. Currently, some 15 percent of the aged in Canada are classified as frail. To this end, public health professionals may seek ways to better educate the general public and health care professionals as to what frailty entails and best practices to meet this vulnerable population’s health as well as social care needs. Moreover, public health professionals could seek ways to further collaborate with community organizations and its citizens by incorporating engaged scholarship and community based participatory research (CBPR) approaches. Both techniques may be used to effectively build and/or strengthen sustainable community partnerships. In doing so, patient-centred care and health system outcomes for the frail elderly have potential to improve. Using such databases as CINAHL, AgeLine, PsycINFO, Medline and PubMed, this presentation presents its findings as to how the public health sector holds such potential, so as to further improve palliative / frail elderly care in Canada, as well as internationally.
Keywords: public health, frail elderly, community partnerships, community based participatory research, engaged scholarship.