5 Fun Activities to do during the Family Day Weekend

It’s that time in February again, when families come together to enjoy the long weekend away from work and school. It’s Family Day weekend! During this weekend, families should find different activities to spend quality time with one another, while being diligent with their health as flu season remains strong. Multiple studies have seen the correlation between quality family time and the mental health of children. So for this year’s Family Day, experience some fun & exciting activities with your family!

To help make your Family Day weekend as meaningful as it can be, while being diligent with your health, we’ve created a list of 5 fun activities to do. Here they are below!

1. Spend the weekend at a ski resort

What’s a better way to embrace the cold weather? Go skiing or snowboarding and enjoy the great outdoors! Since the weather remains cold, spend the weekend at a ski resort, such as Blue Mountain, to enjoy a weekend of hitting the slopes and seeing the natural beauty of Canada, while spending some quality time with the family. This small getaway is a great way for post-secondary students to start their Spring Break with their families.

While relishing in the fun and exciting activities at a ski resort, be sure to download the iamsick.ca app, which is available on Android, iOS, and Blackberry, before you and your family hit the slopes. For the Family Day long weekend, the iamsick.ca app will include holiday hours to keep you informed during the holidays. This app allows users to find the nearest pharmacy, family doctor, walk-in clinic, hospital, and other medical serviiamsick-Sept24-pinktext-240x240ces at your own convenience. Sometimes our health gets the better of us at the most inconvenient of times. By downloading this app, you can enjoy your weekend at the ski resort while having the ease of knowing you can rely on this app to find the nearest healthcare option with just a few taps away.

Worried about the cost of a skiing? Don’t fret, because we have some cost saving ideas to spend a great time outdoors with your
family. Try cross-country skiing, hiking or tobogganing at your local park. These activities are cost efficient and allows your family to have a fantastic time enjoying the outdoors.

2. Play some board games with your family

Family games night? Recently, more and more people have turned to board games as a way to bond with friends and families, while unwinding from the pressing presence of technology within our lives. Many have found that it’s a great way to bring families together to enjoy the light competition and the company of others. Some students have found that playing board games is a great way to relieve stress and escapeshutterstoc_familygames_346x210, which is great for students who need small breaks to reduce stress during midterm and exam seasons. So spend some quality time with your family this Family Day weekend by playing board games with each other, while being away from the temptations of the internet and social media.

3. Visit your local art gallery or museum

During the family day weekend, many cities across Canada have organized activities for the public to enjoy with their family. So take your children to visit the different kinds of activities available, such as the local science centre and museum, or go skating at your local rink. There are many different events and activities available that would spark the multiple interests of children, as there are a number of events happening outdoors and indoors. By participating in the different activities at your local city, you get to see what events your children enjoyed while getting to spend time with them. Check out a list of some family events across Canadian cities this weekend at this website;

http://www.todocanada.ca/family-day-weekend/

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4. Try new hobbies and sports

Try new hobbies and sports with your family is a great way to spend some quality time, while having fun with one another. Go skiing or snowboarding, if you have never gone before, family_skatingor go skating. Trying new activities with your children creates a joyful environment that encourages them to take risks and try new opportunities, which is essential to build their confidence and learn new skills that may be important in the future.

5. Get the flu shot and then go see a movie with your family

With this year’s flu season near the end of its height, families should still be aware and take preventive methods to combat this flu virus during the family day weekend. So make taking the flu shot a family activity and then go see a movie together afterwards! Spending the day together allows for some quality time, while being proactive in combating the flu! Don’t forget that the iamsick app shows nearby clinics or doctors that offer flu shots. Also, use the app to book appointments at your own convenience at the nearest clinic or doctor of your choice, while holiday hours are updated regularly on the app.

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Happy Family Day! I hope that this list of fun activities helps you and your family have a fantastic long weekend, while being proactive about your health!

All the Best,

The iamsick.ca team

Links;

http://www.theintelligencer.net/life/features/2017/02/face-to-face-time/

https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/psychology/importance-of-family-time-on-kids-mental-health-and-adjustment-to-life/

http://www.familyfacts.org/briefs/15/a-wise-investment-benefits-from-families-spending-time-together

http://globalnews.ca/news/3050876/what-canadians-should-expect-from-the-2016-17-flu-season/

http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/everydayinspiration/2014/03/the-benefits-of-trying-new-things.html

After Hours Care: Where do you go?

You can’t always rely on scheduling an appointment days in advance when you need a doctor. Sometimes, you start feeling sick shortly after your doctor’s office closes or in the middle of the night. Thankfully, you’ve got a few options. In Ontario, there are a number of healthcare providers that can give you medical attention, depending on your need and whether you are rostered to a clinic.

Here are some of your options:

If you are rostered to a clinic, it may be part of a family health team

Your clinic should have after-hours options. FHTs, FHGs, FHNs and FHOs all offer extended hours services, where doctors set aside time to see patients outside of their regular hours. The benefit of taking advantage of your clinic’s extended hours is that all of your medical information is readily accessible. Even if you don’t see your own doctor, one of their colleagues will take care of you and they will have access to your medical file. This ensures that your records are always up-to-date, and your regular doctor will be able to follow-up with you.

Clinics may also offer a telephone service. The Telephone Health Advisory Service offered to patients in FHTs, FHGs, FHNs and FHOs connects you with a registered nurse who can help you. These nurses will know your clinic info, and can connect with them should you require more assistance. Make sure you get the right number from your clinic.  We will soon pilot a service that will let you see after-hours recommendations and your clinics Telephone Health Advisory Service number when you log into your iamsick.ca account.  You will hear more about this new feature over the next few months.

It’s really important that your medical records are accurate and up-to-date. Unless you are too far away or can’t call the after-hours telephone service, we recommend that see your regular doctor and clinic.

If you can’t visit your clinic, another option is to use iamsick.ca to find the closest open walk-in clinic or urgent care centre near you.

If you are NOT rostered to a clinic: 

Walk-in clinics and urgent care centres are available if you require non-emergency medical attention after-hours. To find your nearest open clinic, visit iamsick.ca and enter your location. We even have a handy filter that lets you hide everything that is closed at the time of search:

Open / Close Filter

Unrostered patients also have a telephone service, called Telehealth Ontario. The service is accessible 24/7. A registered nurse will answer any non-emergency health questions you may have.

If you need emergency help, call 911 or visit your local emergency department. 

If you’re a visual person, we’ve got this nifty flow chart to help you make your decision.

AfterHours_ON

This post is about options in Ontario, but we hope to blog about services across Canada soon. Stay tuned!

What the FIG/FIT/FOE? Decoding Ontario’s Family Practice Models

There’s no point sugarcoating it – the Canadian healthcare system can be overwhelming. The difference between healthcare providers, funding models and health regions, among other things, can be very confusing. We’ve learned a lot since we started iamsick.ca, and we wanted to share it with you.

Since we are located in Ontario, we wanted to start off with exploring Ontario’s family practice models.

You may have heard healthcare professionals talk about “fits”, “figs”, “fins” and “foes”. You may even be part of one! As you probably guessed, these terms don’t refer to tantrums, fruits, fish and unknown enemies. In fact, they refer to acronyms that describe the different kinds of family practices in Ontario.

Each practice model differs by the kinds of services offered, the number of hours committed by the doctor, their purpose and their funding model. We created the infographic below to summarize the four most confusing models: FHTs, FHGs, FHNs and FHOs. Read on for a more descriptive summary.

What the FIT/FIG/FIN/FOE?

1. Family Health Teams (FHT)

When you hear “fit” in the context of Ontario healthcare, chances are the speaker is referring to Family Health Teams. FHTs are multi-\disciplinary, meaning many different kinds of healthcare providers work together as your healthcare team. It is possible that there are many clinics or location that belong to one FHT.

Clinics associated with a FHT offer different healthcare services, such as pharmacies, diabetes management and mental health services. Each FHT has a different set of services, so it’s a good idea to check with your clinic.

2. Family Health Groups (FHG)

Family Health Groups may be smaller than FHTs, and are not multi-disciplinary. FHGs are a group of 3 or more doctors who have committed to providing after-hours care in addition to being available during regular hours.

Here, physicians are paid fee-for-service. Simply put, this means that family physicians are paid based on what service or procedure they perform.

3. Family Health Networks (FHN)

Like FHGs, Family Health Networks are groups of 3 or more doctors who are working as a team to provide care during regular and after hours. However, there are two main differences between FHNs and FHGs.

First, FHNs can apply to become FHTs. If they are successful in transitioning into a FHT, they can receive funding to bring multidisciplinary care providers to the team.

Second, FHNs are funded under a blended capitation model. The way it is calculated is complicated, but a simple way of understanding it is each family doctor is paid per patient. The amount that is paid per patient differs based on a predetermined set of criteria. In the case of FHNs, these criteria account for the patient’s age and sex.

4. Family Health Organizations (FHO)

Finally, we have Family Health Organizations. Like FHGs and FHNs, family physicians working in this model work in groups of 3 or more, and commit to regular and after hours services. FHOs can also apply to become FHTs, just like FHNs.

However, family doctors in FHOs are paid differently. They are still paid in the blended capitation model. The criteria used to determine the base pay is calculated differently.

Now you know the difference between FHTs, FHGs, FHNs and FHOs!

If you are looking for a new family doctor accepting new patients, visit iamsick.ca and click “Family doc accepting new patients” to see your nearby options.

Are you a patient or healthcare provider in any of these models? What do you think about these different structures? Let us know below!