June 16, 2009

Deer Lodge PRIME Site - A Health Centre For Seniors, Officially Opens

Centre already having an impact on lives of clients and families

Healthy Living Minister Kerri Irvin-Ross today officially opened the Winnipeg Health Region's first PRIME site - A Health Centre for Seniors.

Located at Deer Lodge Centre, the new $3.8-million facility serves about 40 clients a day, providing seniors with a range of basic health care services at a one-stop shop as well as a chance to socialize while giving their families some much-needed respite.

"This is about making sure our seniors have the supports they need so they can continue to live in their community, be a part of their community and contribute to their community," Irvin-Ross said. "It's what these seniors and their families have told us they want, and it's what we are providing."

The Minister said the Centre - staffed with a primary care physician, a nurse practitioner, a social worker and other health care professionals - helps keep its clients healthy and provides direct benefits to participating seniors, their families and the health care system.

The Minister noted the facility is already garnering positive feedback from families. Families have noted, for example, that the number of times their mother or father has had to visit an emergency department is down significantly now that they are part of this program and have ready, easy access to primary care providers.

Real Cloutier, WRHA Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Deer Lodge Centre, noted the Centre, part of the region's long-term care strategy, is aimed at providing a bridge between home care and placement in a personal care home.

"We're regularly being told what a big difference this service is making in the lives of these clients," Cloutier said. "Their adult children are telling us they are actually seeing physical and - in some cases - emotional and mental improvements in their parents. We are very proud of this program."

The PRIME care team includes:

  • A primary care doctor;

  • A nurse practitioner;

  • A pharmacist;

  • Home-care case coordinators;

  • A social worker;

  • An occupational therapist;

  • A physiotherapist;

  • A dietician;

  • A recreation facilitator;

  • Nurses; and

  • Health-care aides.

Other services the centre provides include:

  • After-hours support;

  • Exercise and therapy;

  • Health and wellness education;

  • Counseling; and

  • Personal care (bathing and hairdressing).

Clients attend up to five times a week, depending on their need, with transportation being provided by the program.

Referrals to the program are accepted from family physicians, the home care program, hospitals or other health care professionals involved with the client.

A monthly fee - based on income - is charged to cover those services that are not covered by Manitoba Health and clients must also cover the cost of any medications, though PRIME staff will assist with Pharmacare applications.

Operating costs for the Centre are approximately $1.7M per year.

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