Ontario Investing in Waterloo Region’s Community Paramedicine ProgramPublished on February 19, 2021
Nearly $7.8 million being provided to help more seniors stay in their own homes longer
February 19, 2021
WATERLOO REGION - The Ontario government is investing $7,783,900 to expand the Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care program in Waterloo Region. This initiative will help more seniors on long-term care waitlists stay safe while living in the comfort of their own homes for longer.
Details of the new program were provided today by Mike Harris MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga and Amy Fee, MPP for Kitchener South- Hespeler along with Region of Waterloo Chair Karen Redman and Chief of Paramedic Services Stephen Van Valkenburg.
“This investment of nearly $7.8 million means that more seniors will be able to receive appropriate care in the comfort of their own home from specially trained paramedics in Waterloo Region”, said MPP Harris and MPP Fee in a statement. “This innovative program funded entirely by the province will keep residents near their loved ones as they await a space in long-term care while providing assurance to their families and caregivers that their care needs are met.”
The long-term care focused Community Paramedicine program leverages the skills of community paramedic providers to help end hallway health care and provide additional care for seniors. The first phase of this program was announced in October 2020, in partnership with five communities. This expansion will help keep seniors safe, while delaying the need for long-term care by providing enhanced at-home supports.
“Through the program, community paramedics provide in-home support to seniors still living at home while they wait for space in a long-term care facility,” said Regional Chair Karen Redman. “We’re grateful for the support and partnership with the Province. This is a great program and we’re excited to offer seniors, and their loved ones, the peace of mind and comfort knowing additional support is available while they are still at home.”
“The community paramedicine program provides our seniors, their families and caregivers peace of mind while waiting for a long-term care space,” said Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-Term Care. “Expanding the program across the province means that more of our loved ones can access services from their own homes, potentially even delaying the need for long-term care, while still providing the quality care and service they need and deserve.”
The program will be delivered through local communities, providing:
- Access to health services 24-7, through in-home and remote methods, such as online or virtual supports;
- Non-emergency 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 and managing chronic diseases; and
- Connections for participants and their families to home care and community supports.
“We are really proud of the Community Paramedicine program in Waterloo Region,” said Chief Stephen VanValkenburg. “This funding will allow us to expand from five days a week to 24/7 and serve additional individuals through remote patient monitoring. In supporting individuals awaiting LTC we are supporting their loved ones, reducing caregiver burnout and being a resource to assist all involved through the transition.”
The Community Paramedicine program is yet another way Ontario is collaborating with our health system partners to provide innovative services and end hallway health care, build a 21st century long-term care system, and respond to the impact COVID-19 has had on seniors and their families.
- Visit Ontario's website to learn more about how the province continues to protect Ontarians from COVID-19.
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