elderly care

The Saskatoon Health Region is taking part in a two-year pilot program to improve home care for seniors.

Home First/Quick Response, a program that provides improved supports to seniors, is being introduced in Saskatoon.

The aim of the program is to assist seniors so they can stay in their homes longer.

Under the program, a two-year pilot, care coordinators will help seniors deal with short-term medical needs that may need some intensive assistance.

If a senior is in hospital, the coordinator will also provide assistance in arranging for appropriate home care supports.

"If you can provide a quick response ... to help stabilize the senior, that will allow them to return back to their home and hopefully stay independent longer than they would," Dustin Duncan, Saskatchewan's minister of health, said Tuesday.

The program could also help seniors avoid unnecessary trips to a hospital emergency department.

The province is providing $2 million to the Saskatoon Health Region for the initiative. A similar pilot is underway in Regina and another is planned for Prince Albert.

"It really is an intensive additional amount of home care over and above what they normally would receive," Duncan explained. "To get them comfortable within their home."