May 9, 2020
In contrast to the many changes to health care services in Canada of the last few months, the country’s Specialized Geriatric Services continue to innovate, educate and serve older adults. In addition to providing direct hands-on care and increasing access through virtual care, the work of these busy clinicians even includes the identification and publication of evidence informed tools to support the best possible virtual care of older adults.
Published today by the Canadian Geriatrics Society (CGS) by authors Dr. Kristen Clark and Dr. Philip St John, “Virtual Approaches to Cognitive Screening During Pandemics” reviews the evidence and approach for eight virtual screening tools for cognition and provides advice to clinicians at a time when many are increasingly using virtual means to reach their patients. The full article is available from the CGS .
“Evidence based care of older adults is a priority, at any time” says Kelly Kay, Executive Director of the Provincial Geriatrics Leadership Office (PGLO), the provincial office providing the infrastructure for clinical specialized geriatric services in Ontario. Specialized geriatric services include all fields of clinical geriatric care such as medicine, psychiatry, primary care and interprofessional teams and focus on older adults living with or at risk for complex health concerns. “That the clinical community is able to rapidly produce high quality information, while at the same time working long days providing direct care to older adults in their homes, in long term care and in acute care settings is a testament to their commitment”, says Kay. Kay and geriatric clinicians from across Canada have been connecting weekly, in meetings hosted by the CGS and the PGLO to share information and approaches to caring for older adults during the current pandemic.
Across Ontario, there are more than 2500 clinicians providing specialized geriatric care, through more than 440 programs located around the province. These services are provided by specialist physicians (e.g. geriatricians, geriatric psychiatrists), primary care physicians (including Care of the Elderly designated physicians), nurse practitioners, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, social workers, dietitians and personal support workers, among others.