Nursing checks will help people at home and prevent any unnecessary hospital visits
As hospitals and paramedics grapple with the increasing number of COVID-19 patients requiring care, Community Care Durham (CCD) is launching a Nurse Consultation Program and reassigning staff to support vital programs and services.
CCD’s Clinical Geriatric Nurse Specialists are now available for in-person and telephone consultations to provide education, reassurance, and nursing checks for clients Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. They will not be providing or administering any medications or providing testing for COVID-19. To request a Nurse Consultation call 905-430-7349.
The hope is by providing these nursing supports and ensuring staff are available to support vital programs and services it will alleviate the pressures on local emergency departments.
“Presently our hospital and EMS partners are under tremendous strain, and we need to help them provide care to those who absolutely require it,” James Meloche, Community Care Durham’s CEO said.
Currently CCD’s two Community Geriatric Nurses deliver rapid front-line interventions to older adults living with complex and chronic health conditions including frailty at the request of health care providers and partnering agencies. This initiative was developed by the Durham Ontario Health Team, in partnership with older adult/caregiver representatives and other health care providers and rolled out in 2021.
Recently CCD made the difficult decision to temporarily suspend its in-person Adult Day Program (ADP) and reassign staff to other program areas to ensure the ongoing delivery of other vital services. Virtual ADP continues to operate. ADP provides clients with supervised therapeutic programming using a wide variety of activities designed to improve cognitive, social, emotional, and physical functions for clients.
“The suspension of in-person ADP is a temporary measure and it’s not a decision we take lightly,” Meloche said. “ADP staff will bring much needed relief to other areas where we currently face staff and volunteer shortages due to the Omicron variant. Those areas include our Meals on Wheels program and our Community Food Box, and we will also reassign staff and volunteers to our Foot Care clinics as well.”
While CCD deals with staffing and volunteer shortages due to Omicron, demand for its Meals on Wheels (MOW) and Community Food Box (CFB) programs continues to grow. It’s something Meloche said CCD saw during earlier waves of the pandemic.
“When people are afraid to go out to shop, our food programs ensure they can remain safely in their homes,” he said.
The CFB program is extremely important. Each week residents can order boxes to be delivered to their home stocked with either fresh produce and dairy products or a variety of non-perishable and dry food items to fill a pantry. We’ve expanded our options to meet our clients’ needs. Clients pay $35 and delivery is free but the cost to CCD is increasing as more clients register for the program and no funding is received from the Ministry of Health in support of the program.
To alleviate the funding gap CCD continues to fundraise, and support from the community is needed now more than ever. CCD’s Season of Giving Donation Campaign runs until the end of January.
Those who would like to support CCD and the campaign can visit: communitycaredurham.on.ca/donate to learn more or call 905-668-6223 ext. 264.
In addition to the programing changes CCD has implemented so far, Meloche said the organization is not done yet.
“We are currently in discussions with Lakeridge Health in how we can get people home sooner and safely, freeing up capacity for the hospital to serve the acute care needs of Durham Region.
CCD will continue to re-evaluate its programming changes as the Government of Ontario announces any changes to its current COVID response which currently run until at least January 27th.
Until then the organization will continue to work with its clients, volunteers, and partners to ease the burden on the local Emergency Departments across Durham Region and help residents remain in their own homes – where they want to be.