The best healthcare possible for seniors

(NC) For every 21,000 Canadians, there is just one doctor who specializes in care for the elderly, says Dr. Samir Sinha, director of geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital and the University Health Network in Toronto and the provincial lead for Ontario’s Seniors Strategy. As a result, family doctors are challenged to deliver the care and advice older adults need.

Dr. Sinha turned to the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) for help. Working with a group of advisors, OTN built a library of video lectures, the Ontario Geriatrics Learning Centre. Free and accessible 24/7, geriatrics.otn.ca features the province’s leading experts teaching about geriatric conditions as well as common care and quality of life issues. The video lectures are about 45 minutes long and designed to be watched in short segments, supported by downloadable presentations.

While designed primarily for healthcare providers to help them manage care for increasingly diverse and older populations, it’s also a great resource for patients and caregivers. Topics include osteoporosis, pain management, palliative care, driving and dementia, keeping a positive attitude while aging, nutrition and dehydration, and virtual care.

Another useful OTN resource for doctors and family members managing chronic conditions in the elderly is Telehomecare. The program supports remote home monitoring of vital signs for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure and provides health coaching by phone.

Data indicates that the program helps reduce trips to the ER and hospital admissions. A recent patient survey also indicated very high satisfaction with Telehomecare.

To learn more about Telehomecare, patients and family caregivers can visit www.ontariotelehomecare.ca or call 1.855.991.8191.

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