Thursday, November 21, 2013

Seniors' 911 calls cut in half by weekly paramedics visits

Paramedics in Deep River, ON are piloting a program involving weekly visits to vulnerable seniors for basic health checks. The result has been a 50% decrease in the number of 911 calls and hospital visits from these individuals. These weekly visits benefit seniors living alone by providing a pleasant social opportunity and allowing them to age comfortably and safely in their home, rather than a long-term care facility.

 A group of paramedics frequently checks in on 32 vulnerable seniors in the town, a strategy that has not only helped mitigate emergency calls but reduced their hospital visits by the same amount.

 What the article leaves out: 

The paramedics are a partner in the 24-Hour Flexible In-Home Support Program operated and coordinated by the North Renfrew Long-Term Care Centre. Unfortunately CBC has not provided a complete story.

 The core of the support provided to community clients is through PSWs 24 hours/day; visits can be scheduled and unscheduled.

  • Housekeepers provide valuable support 5 days/week and maintenance is provided as required. 
  • Summer lawn care is provided by student workers. Paramedics provide the final layer of support to our clients 4 days/week. 
  • ALL care is coordinated by a Care Coordinator, through the Community Care Access Centre.
  •  The program was developed in partnership with the Deep River and District Hospital, HelpCall, Renfrew County Paramedic Service and the CCAC. 
  • The program does not depend on the CCAC for intake or referral, but works with the CCAC and the Hospital to determine those clients in the community who can benefit most from admission to the program.
  •  In 5 years, the program has demonstrated success in discharging patients from ALC beds and supporting them at home, in decreasing ER visits, in supporting clients until a long-term care bed is available, and in decreasing unnecessary 911 calls. 
Read the full CBC article.

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