Innovative Partnership Helping to Improve Health of Seniors

    OTTAWA, Oct. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - A new and innovative partnership between
several health care and community agencies is helping to connect at-risk
seniors in five targeted apartment buildings with health and social services
to improve their health status and prevent hospital emergency room visits.
Funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care through the Champlain
Local Health Integration Network (LHIN), Aging in Place, is a pilot program
between the Champlain Community Care Access Centre (CCAC), Ottawa Community
Housing Corporation and Ottawa West Community Support on behalf of the Ottawa
Community Support Coallition. The Aging in Place project is part of a broader
plan for supportive housing for seniors in the community, developed in
partnership with the United Way.
    Each year, seniors living in subsidized apartments account for
approximately 1,700 emergency room (ER) visits in the City of Ottawa. The
1040 residents of the five selected buildings have the highest number of these
ER visits. The program, which is based on a prevention and support model for
this vulnerable population, involves a co-ordinated community response and
builds on existing resources.
    "The Aging in Place strategy is an innovative partnership that will help
seniors live healthier lives and stay longer in their own homes," said
Dr. Robert Cushman, CEO of the Champlain LHIN. "In effect, it will alleviate
some of the pressures in our hospitals, particularly in the emergency rooms."
    Designated community support co-ordinators and CCAC case managers
collaborate and work in "store-front" offices in each of the buildings,
co-ordinating a wide range of services including Meals on Wheels, foot
clinics, nursing care, health promotion activities, housekeeping and personal
care support. In addition, they have implemented outreach programs to identify
seniors who could benefit from new or additional services.
    The program's delivery is enhanced through the allocation of a van and
driver who can transport clients to medical and dental appointments, organized
social events, grocery shopping and when necessary, safely home from the
hospital. This helps to increase independence, encourage socialization and
reduce the risk of isolation and depression.
    "The City of Ottawa recognizes that the aging of our population will
present challenges to our community, and is preparing to meet them;" said
Councillor Alex Cullen. "Our focus will be to support seniors aging in their
homes and neighbourhoods, and today's Aging In Place initiative is a good
example of this."
    "We know that this program is making a difference to individuals in our
community," said event MC Cal Martell, Chair of the Regional Geriatric
Assessment Program. "I believe that Aging in Place truly demonstrates just how
successful we can be when all of the sectors - health, community, housing and
funding - work toward the common goal of improving the lives of seniors in our

For further information:

For further information: Joanna Filion, Senior Manager, Communications,
Champlain CCAC, (613) 745-8124 ext. 5997, Cell: (613) 864-3925,

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