When you are faced with a serious illness or feeling physically frail, the health care system can be a frightening and confusing place. You may have unanswered questions, concerns about the amount and interactions of the medications you take, challenges with community care, or need support in preparing for medical tests or appointments. That’s where a Care Manager with Nurse On Board can ease your anxiety and provide explanations, sound advice and direction, to ensure you receive the best care possible.
Private health advocates were common in the United States and Europe when Susan Hagar, a Registered Nurse with 35 years of nursing experience founded Nurse On Board in Canada in 2015. She now employs 16 veteran nurses in Ottawa, Oakville, Kitchener, London, Niagara and most recently, in Eastern Ontario.
“We focus on unmet needs,” says Hagar, explaining their range of services. Support is tailor-made for each client and may include, but is not limited to these:
- A customized care plan, based on the client’s unique needs
- Helping clients prepare for and attend medical appointments, tests and procedures
- Gathering medical information, tracking reports and medical records
- Helping to decode treatment options and medical advice
- Liaising with health care professionals on the client’s behalf
- Investigating options and researching alternatives
- Connecting with community and government resources
- Communicating with family, friends and caregivers when needed
- Facilitating the transition to palliative and end of life care when appropriate.
“We are your guide”
“We consider the full spectrum of physical and mental health needs from first diagnosis, through acute and chronic care, to end of life wishes,” Hagar says. She is often contacted by family and caregivers to help a senior stay in their own home, relieving the need for long term care or unnecessary visits to the Emergency Room. “When you are on a journey in unfamiliar territory, you need a guide,” notes Hagar. “We are your guide.” About three quarters of Nurse On Board clients are seniors.
Hagar points out that 10 to 30 percent of illnesses are misdiagnosed, and in hospital the error rate is one per day. Most people only remember about 25 percent of what they are told during a medical appointment which increases the risk of a poor outcome. Nurse On Board can improve that statistic, which is particularly valuable for those with chronic illnesses. Clients have provided testimonials about the peace of mind a Care Manager can provide, ensuring they were able to understand their medications, adding that their nurse is able to ask the questions of specialists they would never think of.
Nurse On Board charges a fee which can be an eligible medical expense for income tax. It is often covered by third-party insurance.
Heather Connors of Vankleek Hill is the Registered Nurse Care Manager for North Glengarry, Hawkesbury and the surrounding territory. A retired nurse with years of experience, she describes her new career as an expansion of what she has been doing all her adult life – advocating for those under her care.
Nurse On Board services start with a free, 30-minute, no-obligation consultation. To contact them go to www.NurseOnBoard.ca or call 1-833-233-1445.
Her short fiction has been published in many Canadian literary magazines.Numerous humorous and non-fiction articles have been published in the Globe & Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Life and Toronto Star. She has also published two local histories and is the former Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program at Ryerson University.