PAIGE LENNOX RN, BSN
Patient Advocate/ Healthcare Navigator
The healthcare system is overstretched and truth be told sometimes people fall through the cracks.
Everyone has heard stories of people who get lost in the system.
Have you ever wondered… is there a way to stop this from happening?
That is why CHAI exists.
CHAI stands for Canadian Health Advocates Inc. and represents a national network of Health Advocates.
Health Advocates – also known as Patient Advocates- navigate the healthcare system with patients and caregivers so that people don’t fall through the cracks.
CHAI Advocates are professionals with extensive nursing, paramedicine, social work or medical backgrounds.
Our Advocates have deep experience and expertise in the Canadian healthcare system, so we know and understand its intricate workings.
We know what questions to ask and whom to ask. As a result, we are uniquely positioned to help people navigate an often confusing system.
Every patient deserves to receive the best possible care.
My passion for Advocacy is a direct result of professional and personal experience.
For 25 years I witnessed how patient care is affected by stretched resources and overworked healthcare professionals. I should know. I was one of them.
When my own mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness everything became more obvious. As a result of that experience I realized thousands of canadians experience this every day… and who is there to help them?
Again, this is why CHAI exists.
So specifically how do we help?
It breaks down into practical support, emotional support and empowerment.
Here are a few examples:
- Attending doctors appointments
- Coaching about your current condition, medical jargon, Advance Care Planning
- Support with complicated paperwork- for example CPP Disability Forms
- Helping with Discharge Planning from hospital to home or residential care
Emotional Support can take the form of…
- Reducing patient & caregiver stress
- Making sure the patient is heard
CHAI helps Empower Patients & Caregivers
- For example: supporting patients to advocate for themselves
CHAI also supports your doctors in providing you great care.
Our overstretched healthcare system often leaves doctors short of time and resources.
Hospital capacity in Canada is 125%- that means there are 5 people for every 4 beds in the Canadian healthcare system. And the situation is only going to get worse.
Baby Boomers- the largest cohort in human history peaks in 5 years. So who knows how many people will be needing those 4 beds!
So having a Health Advocates in your corner could make all the difference.