Government Launches Innovative Solution to Improve Long-Term Care

Published on October 30, 2020

New community paramedicine program will support seniors on long-term care waitlists

The government is investing up to $5 million to launch the Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care program in five communities across the province. This program will help seniors on long-term care waitlists stay safe in the comfort of their own homes and communities for longer.

Details of the new program were provided today by the Minister of Long-Term Care, the MPP for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke, Debbie Robinson, Warden, County of Renfrew, and Chief Michael Nolan, Paramedic Service & Director, Emergency Services, County of Renfrew.

"As we modernize long-term care in Ontario, it is important that we continue to develop innovative approaches to delivering quality healthcare to our loved ones," the Minister of Long Term Care said in the beginning of the announcement. "This program is an excellent example of our government collaborating with partners across the health care system, and we are grateful for these paramedicine practitioners that will allow us to better serve our seniors."

This new long-term care focused community paramedicine program will leverage the skills of paramedicine practitioners to help reduce hallway health care and provide additional and appropriate care for seniors. This program, which will be implemented in phases, will delay the need for long-term care for our seniors by providing them with enhanced at-home supports. The program will be fully funded by the provincial government and operated in partnership with local municipalities.

Phase one of the program will be delivered in Brant County, Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board, the City of Ottawa, Renfrew County, and York Region. These communities will build upon their existing community paramedicine programs.

The program will be delivered through local paramedic services, providing:

  • Access to health services 24-7, through in-home and remote methods, such as online or virtual supports;
  • Home visits and in-home testing procedures;
  • Ongoing monitoring of changing or escalating conditions to prevent or reduce emergency incidents;
  • Additional education about healthy living or managing things like chronic diseases; and
  • Connections for participants and their families to home care and community supports.

"Our government is committed to ensuring the mental and physical well-being of our aging population across Ontario and ending hallway healthcare," added the MPP for Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke. "This innovative community-focused approach will provide peace of mind for those waiting for long-term care through ongoing and 24/7, non-emergency support, including home visits and remote monitoring that is responsive to changes or escalation of health conditions."

Based on the experience in this first phase, the program may be expanded to additional communities interested in participating in a second phase of the program.


Quotes

"Our population is aging, with increasingly complex health care needs. This strains both long-term care and paramedic services. It’s great to see community paramedicine evolve to meet this growing challenge with full provincial funding through Phase 1 of this program. It leverages the expertise of community paramedics to ease the pressure on long-term care and help keep seniors who need support safe and comfortable at home."

- Graydon Smith
President, Association of Municipalities of Ontario

"This innovative partnership between the Ministry of Long-Term Care and Paramedic Services sets out a care framework that will immediately enhance and protect the lives of our most vulnerable neighbours. Through a proactive and responsive model of Community Paramedic care delivered in homes across Ontario, we will ensure our seniors get the care they need at the right time and in the right place."

- Chief Michael Nolan
Paramedic Service & Director, Emergency Services, County of Renfrew

"The County of Renfrew is pleased to have been chosen to be one of five communities to pilot the Community Paramedicine outreach program for our senior population. Waiting for admission to long-term care homes can be challenging for seniors and their caregivers. If our seniors can receive the care they need while remaining in their own homes and communities the benefits will be immense."

- Debbie Robinson
Warden, County of Renfrew