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Collaboration of elderly care in Timmins celebrates one-year anniversary

Clinic serves community-living frail older adults who experience a broad range of health challenges
Geriatric Clinic
Dr. Sonia DiTullio, care of the elderly physician, Timmins; Dr. Julie Auger, care of the elderly physician; and Dr. Jo-Anne Clarke, geriatrician and medical lead, North East Specialized Geriatric Centre. Supplied photo

On Feb. 27, 2018, the North East Specialized Geriatric Centre and the Timmins Family Health team are celebrating the first anniversary of a collaborative geriatric clinic in Timmins, Ont., serving the district of Cochrane.

The geriatric clinic serves community-living frail older adults who experience a broad range of health challenges, including, changes in cognitive functioning, mental health concerns, falls, incontinence, Parkinson’s disease and functional decline.

Moreover, the geriatric clinic serves individuals who experience increased healthcare utilization, such as multiple visits to the emergency room or hospitalization, as well as, their caregivers whom may be struggling to cope with the care and support they provide to their loved ones.

Dr. Yves Raymond, North East Local Health Integration Network Primary Care Lead for the Cochrane Sub-Region says geriatric assessments are complex.

“Having access to many services in the same location, makes the process easier and more efficient. In addition, many patients bring a caregiver or family member with them so having all services in one location increases the likelihood that the same family member will be able to contribute to all aspects of the assessment. In the end, patients are happier because their health needs are met, they get the care they need more quickly and their questions are answered by the right professionals under one roof.”

Since its inception in January of 2017, 356 older adults have accessed services from the geriatric team in Timmins, Ont. members of the multidisciplinary geriatric team include two care of the elderly trained physicians, a registered nurse and occupational therapist, two social workers and an administrative secretary.

Dr. Jo-Anne Clarke, medical lead for the North East Specialized Geriatric Centre, says offering specialized geriatric services across the northeast region is imperative.

“Access to specialized care in the community is essential to quality patient care. Our local experts in geriatrics, Dr. Sonia DiTullio and Dr. Julie Auger, have been dedicated to creating an integrated system of care in the community.”

Shelley Gauthier is a caregiver in Timmins, “The City of Timmins is very fortunate to have such a well needed clinic. The services they provide, offer assistance for a variety of needs that both patients and caregivers require. The team approach that is provided to our family is more than just medical care, they offer support and are invested in my mother’s well-being. Knowing that they care gives families peace of mind as we deal with these life changes and challenges.”