Funding to support digestive health for B.C. seniors

$100,000 to the Gastrointestinal Society to support their three-pronged community outreach programming

Ministry of Health

VICTORIA – Health Minister Terry Lake announced $100,000 to the Gastrointestinal Society to support their three-pronged community outreach programming aimed at helping support the digestive health of B.C. seniors.

“Our bodies undergo many changes as we age and our gastrointestinal system is no different,” said Lake. “Taking control and becoming partners in our health management allows us all to stay independent longer and increases our quality of life.”

The society’s program will include the delivery of:

* A series of BadGut lectures to provide information to patients and their support circles to help them take control of their digestive health and become partners in their quality of life.

* A video on diverticular disease, a condition that weakens the muscles in the colon wall and impacts seniors’ digestive tracts. The video will be available in both English and French, and will provide the audience with an overview of the symptoms and conditions they may be facing, outlining treatment options and ways to manage their symptoms.

* An informational pamphlet on prevention and symptoms to watch for, as well as gastrointestinal diseases associated with aging. The information will be presented clearly and simply to help inform seniors, their families and caregivers.

“This vital support from the Ministry of Health will help us reach seniors throughout the province, including visiting many of them right in the assisted living facilities where they reside,” said Gail Attara, CEO, Gastrointestinal Society. “It is rewarding to allay some common fears and to share the warning signs of serious digestive health issues.”

The information and supports have been created in partnership with gastroenterologists, pharmacists, physiotherapists, nursing specialists and registered dietitians to make sure it is safe, accurate and up-to-date.

Common digestive illnesses that affect seniors include irritable bowel syndrome, diverticular disease, Crohn’s disease and celiac disease. These illnesses affect different parts of the digestive system.

The Gastrointestinal Society provides evidence-based information on all aspects of gastrointestinal health. Through research, advocacy, education and awareness, the society promotes gastrointestinal and liver health to help patients and their caregivers manage their illnesses.

The ministry’s “Setting Priorities for the B.C. Health System” document outlines the strategic direction of health care in British Columbia. This plan for the future of B.C.’s health system is guided by principles that focus on the needs of patients, including providing patients with the tools they need to better manage their own health, like the programs and information provided by the society.

To learn more about the Gastrointestinal Society, including information on digestive illnesses, visit: www.badgut.org/