New service for seniors at Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre
Vitalité Health Network, Tuesday, December 6, 2022 – A new, comprehensive assessment and rehabilitation service for people aged 65 and over is now being offered at the Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont University Hospital Centre in Moncton.
“Providing access to comprehensive geriatric assessment carried out by a team exclusively dedicated to seniors is one of the priorities set out in Vitalité Health Network’s 2020–2023 Strategic Plan,” explained Sharon Smyth Okana, Senior Vice-President of Clinical Programs and Nursing. “This specialized approach is designed to address several of the challenges that seniors face when they are striving to remain in the home as long as possible.”
The team from the Seniors’ Health and Wellness service at Dr. Georges-L.-Dumont UHC; from left to right, Dr. Raphaëlle Thériault, Carol Lévesque (Physiotherapist), Danika McGrath (Social Worker), Karine Roussel (Regional Manager), Dr. Stéphanie Lemay, Dr. Guylaine Chiasson and Élise Duguay (Occupational Therapist). Absent from the photo: Jessica Maltais (Speech-Language Pathologist) and Dr. Antonin Savoie.
The new service, dubbed “Seniors’ Health and Wellness,” is delivered by a team made up of four physicians, a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, a speech-language pathologist and a social worker. This service, which is based on geriatric care best practices, includes a comprehensive geriatric assessment followed by an 8- to 10-week rehabilitation program. The service features exemplary coordination of the range of services available. For the patient, this coordination means that they can receive all assessment and rehabilitation services within a single session, every week for the duration of the program. The patient receives all the tools they need to increase their independence and improve their quality of life.
For now, phase 1 of a pilot project is underway; patients must be referred to the service by a physician specializing in seniors’ care in the Beauséjour zone. During the next phases of deployment, the team could be expanded to include other health professionals, including nurses.
Adding a rehabilitation team to the “Healthy Aging” service at the Campbellton Regional Hospital and putting seniors’ health and wellness services in place in the Northwest and Acadie-Bathurst zones are also planned so that clients have uniform access to these services across the Network.
As part of the development of the service, a Network team recently visited the Élisabeth-Bruyère Hospital in Ottawa. This facility’s geriatric day hospital provides seniors with services along the same model as the Network was planning. “The visit was a wonderful opportunity to meet health professionals from another province and learn more about how they deliver services,” Ms. Smyth Okana concluded.
As part of the implementation of the Seniors’ Health and Wellness service, a team from Vitalité Health Network visited the Geriatric Day Hospital at Élisabeth Bruyère Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, last September. The photo shows the various stakeholders who took part in the visit and their hosts, in Ottawa.
The service is among improvement initiatives supporting seniors to age in place, which is one of the five areas for action contained in the new provincial health plan Stabilizing Health Care: An Urgent Call to Action.