A conversation with Dinisha about support for seniors at Winterberry.

Meet Dinisha. She’s a Winterberry Family Medicine Nurse Practitioner who works closely with our senior patients. Her goal is to ensure seniors in our care have the accurate information and healthcare they need to live their lives as actively and happily as possible. 

We caught up with Dinisha in June and asked her a few questions:

Q: What is your role in the Clinic and how does that fit into working with senior patients?

A: I am a primary care Nurse Practitioner focusing on health promotion, disease and injury prevention, cure and rehabilitation. Through my experience working in palliative care, I have taken a focus with our senior patients. 

Q: What kind of “senior-specific” services does Winterberry offer?

A: Winterberry provides holistic care by acknowledging the physical, emotional, social and spiritual wellbeing of all our patients, including seniors. Our team is composed of highly skilled dieticians, social workers, counsellors, nurses, doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who have been trained to assess and treat our seniors well.  Winterberry acknowledges the burden our seniors have with managing their chronic health conditions and provides home visits by Nurse Practitioners. Providing options of home visits for health care management not only aids in addressing their physical well being, but also their mental health.

Q: What unique needs do seniors have that other patients do not?

A: The needs that our patients have while aging may include financial security, personal security and safety, health care and health challenges, mental health, and self-actualization. At Winterberry we work together with the patient to best address all their needs all while preserving their dignity and autonomy. 

Q: Are there common reasons seniors don’t get the care they need? Obstacles that prevent them from living as long and healthily as possible?

A: Often seniors do not get the care they need due to difficulties attending their appointments. With changes in mobility, vision, hearing, cognition, pain and strength, attending an in-office appointment can be very difficult. With patients living in long term care facilities, assisted living and/or living at home alone, transportation is the biggest concern. Due to missed appointments and/or inadequate follow ups, their concerns get unseen and as a result, built up. At Winterberry we work with senior patients, no matter where they live, to ensure they have access to the care they need.

Q: During the pandemic were there specific things Winterberry did to ensure our senior patients continued to be well cared for?

A: During the pandemic, we set up routine scheduled calls to check in with our senior patients. We eased the sense of isolation through these frequent calls, providing compassionate and charismatic telephone calls regardless of if there were physical health concerns needing medical attention vs a mental health check in.

Q: Any last thoughts on serving seniors? 

A: We love and value our seniors here at Winterberry Family Medicine!