Health-care services tailor-made to meet the needs of seniors will soon become available to local residents through a new geriatric urgent-care clinic at the Scarborough Hospital.
The Geriatric Assessment and Intervention Network (GAIN) clinic will be one of four in the unique $4.8-million program launched by the Central East Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).
The program is designed to divert seniors into the clinic and away from the emergency department, reducing unnecessary visits to the emergency room and helping to trim down ER wait times.
Emergency room physicians, as well as those within the community, will be able to refer patients to the clinic for specialized assessment and intervention directed by highly trained geriatric teams specializing in elder care.
Staffing includes occupational health and physical therapists, psychiatrists, geriatric nurses, social workers and geriatricians.
The clinic is designed to allow patients in specific circumstances to be admitted to an inpatient unit for frail seniors or referred to community support services so they can receive the care they need in their own home.
Cindy Woods, communications specialist for the Scarborough Hospital, said the program is a direct reflection of the impending dramatic increase in Ontario’s senior population over the next two decades and provides a more inclusive form of geriatric care.
“It’s a totally one-stop-shopping type of situation with a highly trained team of experts from multi-disciplinary groups,” Woods said. “It’s much more all-inclusive than just wandering into an emergency department.”
The initial GAIN clinic located at Lakeridge Health in Oshawa will be open to the public in October 2010. The Scarborough Hospital location’s debut has yet to be announced, but will likely open by April 2011.