The Kawartha Lakes Paramedic Service is moving forward with plans to develop a new community paramedic program to support people waiting for long-term care.
The initiative is tied to an agreement announced in late October by the province to provide $ 82.5 million over three years to expand the community paramedicine program for long-term care to 22 other communities, including Kawartha Lakes. . This program is fully funded by the provincial government and operates in 33 communities across Ontario, including Haliburton County.
Kawartha Lakes has a significantly larger proportion of the population in the 65 and over and 85 and over age groups compared to the provincial average. This segment of the population is expected to continue to grow, creating capacity challenges for long-term care now and in the future.
Based on waiting lists for care, the municipality is eligible for funding of $ 5 million by 2024. Funding would cover 100% of new ambulances, personnel, equipment and supplies needed for the hospital. serving customers at home.
“By offering services such as home visits, assessments and remote monitoring, this program will provide comfort, security and peace of mind to seniors and their families while waiting to access the long-term care system.” Commented Paramedic Randy Mellow. “By keeping our seniors safe at home while waiting or potentially delaying admission to long-term care, the program will also prevent 911 responses, hospital visits and admissions, while protecting our clients against other infections acquired in the community. ”
Early feedback from participating communities indicates reduced hospital admission rates and increased integration with primary care.
Pending provincial approval and funding, the existing community paramedic program will be expanded to include long-term care support to keep people stabilized in their own homes for as long as possible, focusing exclusively on older people in the community. three categories of eligibility; those on the waiting list for long-term care, those who have been assessed as eligible for long-term care by a care coordinator from the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) but who are not not yet on the waiting list, and those who will soon be eligible for long-term care – term care.
The program will also work alongside primary care and home and community care to provide services such as 24/7 access to health services, through home and remote methods, such as online supports, elective home visits, and home testing procedures. , and continuous monitoring of vital signs to prevent escalation of chronic medical conditions.