PATH program used by more than 500 people since February 2013
Last year, the Red Cross collaborated with the North East Local Health Integration Network to start a program called Priority Assistance to Transition Home — or PATH — meant to help seniors make the transition from in-patient care, to their homes, more easily.
Both organizations determined they could reduce the number of patients who were readmitted to hospital by addressing the barriers the elderly face when they return home from hospital.
“Having a friendly person with you and somebody who knew what you were about to do – going home after a long stay – and doing it efficiently and carefully with you, is the greatest,” said Johnson, who was admitted to Health Sciences North for a stomach problem. “It gives you great strength.”
Susan Perreault, a Red Cross careworker, helped Johnson make the transition from her hospital bed to her own bed in her apartment at the Christ the King Centre.
“When patients are discharged from the hospital, and have no means of getting home, that's when we step in,” Perreault said.
She picked up Johnson from the hospital after she was discharged and brought her to a Shopper's Drug Mart near her home, where Johnson was able to buy some groceries and pick up her medication.
Perreault then drove Johnson home, where she helped put the groceries away and offered to make her a sandwich.
Through the program, careworkers schedule follow-up meetings to make sure people have settled back into being at home.
Since its launch in Sudbury in February 2013, the PATH program has been used by more than 500 people in Greater Sudbury.
It received $315,000 from the North East Local Health Integration Network to funds its first year of operation.
The program has since expanded to other communities in Northern Ontario, including Parry Sound, North Bay and Sault Ste. Marie.
There are plans for further expansion to Timmins and Espanola.