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Quinte Health and Alzheimer Society join forces to improve dementia care

Quinte Health has welcomed the Alzheimer Society Hastings – Prince Edward (ASHPE) to the emergency department team at Belleville and Trenton hospitals.

Lorraine Ross, First Link Care Navigator, ASHPE, joined the emergency department Monday to help people living with dementia and their families to get the help they need.

ASHPE estimates that more than 5,000 people in Hastings Prince Edward counties are living with dementia.

“Connecting to the right supports early in the dementia journey can make a big difference in the quality of life for both the person diagnosed and their care partners,” said Angela Meraw, Executive Director, ASHPE.

It can also help prevent trips to the local emergency departments.

“We know that along with each person is at least one care partner, sometimes more,” said Meraw. “The sooner that we can get in someone’s life and walk beside them in their journey, connecting them to community services, helps them to stay at home longer which is normally where people want to be. We’re very keen on making that immediate connection.”

Working weekdays at BGH and TMH, Ross will be an integrated part of the emergency department team. She explains that it’s vital to put services in the home for individuals experiencing dementia and to focus on supports for their care partners.

“For people living with dementia, a trip to the emergency department takes them out of their regular environment where they are comfortable and they have that familiarity of their surroundings. Providing support to the person living with dementia and their care partner in the moment and providing them with tools and resources for when they return home are some of the main goals of this initiative.”

Quinte Health is the second hospital in Ontario to participate in this pilot initiative supported by the Alzheimer Society.

Nicole Valade, Director of Critical Care, Emergency, Community and Rural Services says Quinte Health is seeking ways to be innovative, including working better together with community partners to expand the scope and caliber of services offered to the community.

She is excited at the impact this initiative will have for patients, and the emergency department team.

“This is an opportunity to avoid admissions to hospital that takes an individual out of the comfort and familiarity of their home. Remaining at home is best for the patient, it’s best for the caregiver, and it’s best for the health care system at a time of significant strain. Lorraine brings with her the tools and the ability to provide that enhanced care to keep patients supported in the environment they are most comfortable. She will be a support and an educator for the staff as well.”

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  1. SS says:

    So nice to see this move that would seem to be in the right direction in multiple ways. As Nicole said in the latter part of the article: “… best for the patient, it’s best for the caregiver, and it’s best for the health care system”.

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