Ventura County Launches Program To Improve Access to Care For Low-Income Elderly Residents
Ventura County this month launched the Preventive Health Care for the Aging program, which helps high-risk, low-income individuals ages 55 and over get better health care through education and improved communication between patients and health care providers, the Ventura County Star reports.
Funded with a two-year, $124,000 renewable state grant, the program helps participants assemble their medical profiles before consulting a doctor or visiting a clinic or emergency department. The profiles include a checklist of recommended examinations, patients' goals, health concerns, and blood and pulse readings. Program nurses follow up with clients to ensure they are getting the recommended health screenings and doctor visits and to discuss their health.
The program is staffed by one full-time and one part-time nurse who visit seven community centers and facilities for senior citizens to complete the profiles.
Diana Casey, nursing manager for the county's Community Health Services Division, said, "We are trying to prevent chronic diseases through education and referral screening and prevent some conditions from getting worse." She added, "We go over everything about their health very extensively with them. They really don't understand what the doctor is saying, and they need the time to clarify all these issues."
Public health nurse Angela Glover said the program is not intended to replace primary health care providers, such as doctors and clinics.
The data that the program collects will be shared with the University of California-San Francisco (Hernandez, Ventura County Star, 1/27).