All County, All the Time Since 2010 MAKE THIS YOUR PRINCE EDWARD COUNTY HOME...PAGE!  Thursday, November 30th, 2023

‘GEM’ of a program supports seniors living at home

Quinte Health has a “gem” of a new program helping to support older adults who visit the emergency departments at the two rural hospitals located in Picton and Bancroft.

Stacy Jackson, Occupational Therapist, is Quinte Health’s new Geriatric Emergency Management (GEM) clinician.

Stacy Jackson, Quinte Health’s Geriatric Emergency Management (GEM) Clinician, divides her time between the Prince Edward County Memorial Hospital (PECMH) at Picton and the North Hastings Hospital (NHH), Bancroft.

She assesses senior patients and links them to appropriate resources and specialized geriatric services in the community.

“My ultimate goal is to help people live safely at home, longer,” said Jackson. “With the right supports and the right time, people generally do better at home.”

When at-risk elderly patients visit the emergency department, Jackson uses her specialized geriatric training to assess risk factors impacting frailty, such as mobility concerns, nutrition, functional and cognitive decline, and mental health or psychosocial concerns that may be impacting overall health.

She helps patients and their families connect with primary care services and community partners such as the Alzheimer Society, Home and Community Care, Community Care for Seniors, and Community Paramedicine, depending on the individual’s needs.

“Stacy provides a link for patients who are not coping well in the community by connecting them to the right services and supports,” said Tammy Davis, Manager of Patient Services, North Hastings Hospital. “Often, people don’t know what’s out there and available to them, so she’s key in making those connections. Her expertise helps so much, and the hospital team is really happy to have her support.”

Many other hospitals across Ontario have implemented a GEM Clinician role—usually a nurse—but Stacy is unique in this role as her training is in Occupational Therapy (OT).

“Given my OT background and geriatric training, my role adds an additional lens to the multidisciplinary team within the emergency department,” said Jackson. “Declines in daily function can create barriers for seniors to remain living at home safely. My goal is to optimize seniors’ quality of life at home and reduce possible crisis situations and caregiver burnout by ensuring the most appropriate supports are in place.

“This GEM role is a comprehensive view of the skills OTs can offer within the emergency department, particularly in geriatric care. I am very excited to hopefully extend the role of OT within this area of practice.”

In her role, Stacy strives to help families who may be dealing with caregiver stress and burnout as they continue to support their aging loved ones. And while patient- and family-centred care is paramount, the GEM role also plays a role in emergency department diversion and a reduction in admissions to Quinte Health’s four hospitals, including Belleville and Trenton.

“I try to problem solve and find solutions for people who don’t have a primary care provider – such as having Community Paramedicine check on them to support chronic illness and disease management, so that maybe they don’t need to come to the hospital for things like high blood pressure or trouble with their insulin etc.,” said Stacy. “It’s really about trying to capitalize on the supports that we have available to keep seniors functioning as best as they can at home.”

“We are thrilled to have Stacy in this new role for Quinte Health,” said Nicole Duchrow, Director of Critical Care, Emergency, Community and Rural Services. “Having Stacy working with our two rural, small hospitals, makes us unique. All other GEM positions in the province, that we are aware of, are dedicated to emergency departments at more urban and larger centres. This role provides great opportunities to focus on senior wellness in our rural communities.”

Filed Under: News from Everywhere Else

About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.

OPP reports
lottery winners
Elizabeth Crombie Janice-Lewandoski
Tony Scott Sharon Armitage

© Copyright Prince Edward County News 2023 • All rights reserved.