A Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region program is providing health-care services to older adults in the comfort of their own homes while also preventing unnecessary trips to the ER.

The Seniors House Call Program is aimed at Regina residents aged 65 and older who may find it difficult to leave their homes due to issues around mobility, transportation, finances or family support.

The house calls team, which includes nurse practitioners, paramedics and pharmacists, can provide in-home assessment and treatment to those patients, potentially avoiding emergency room visits.

It's all about the right person in the right time with the right care. - Lisa Bratkoski, Seniors House Call Program manager

"We would assess them, treat them, diagnose them all in the home and then maybe hook them up with more community resources to help them manage better in the future so that they don't get to that point," said program manager Lisa Bratkoski.

The house call program took on its first client in April 2016.

So far this year, more than 1,000 seniors have been seen through the program and 350 unnecessary emergency department visits have been prevented, said Bratkoski.

"We're just able to fill those gaps around the great work that's already being done in the region."

People experiencing emergencies, such as strokes or heart attacks, should still call 911 and go to the emergency department.

The program fills a short-term urgent care need and is also not intended as a replacement for home care services or visits to a family physician. Rather, the program works in collaboration with the patients' already established care teams, Bratkoski said.

"Anybody should be able to access the care they need when they need it," she said. "It's all about the right person in the right time with the right care."

The Seniors House Call Program can be contacted at 306-766-6280. A paramedic will answer phone calls from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. CST, seven days a week, 365 days a year.