The Ontario government is investing up to $15 million to expand the Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care program. This initiative will help more seniors on long-term care waitlists stay safe while living in the comfort of their own homes for a longer period of time.
As a first step, the government is inviting communities to express their interest in expanding their existing provincially funded community paramedicine programs to include long-term care. Communities that meet the eligibility requirements will be invited to submit an implementation plan and proposed budget, outlining how they will administer a larger Community Paramedicine program this fiscal year.
“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 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.
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.
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.