PEI

P.E.I. wins award for program that keeps frail seniors in their own homes

A provincial government program that helps seniors with complex health needs stay in their own homes longer has earned a national award.

COACH program supports more than 60 Island seniors in Kings and Prince counties, now expanding to Queens

Nurse practitioner Kirsten Mallard and Dr. Tim Stultz say winning the Choice Frailty Innovation Award shows P.E.I. is on par with the rest of Canada when it comes to home care for seniors. (CBC News: Compass)

A provincial government program that helps seniors with complex health needs stay in their own homes longer has earned a national award.

The Caring for Older Adults at Home or in Community (COACH) Program was recognized with the Canadian Frailty Network's Conference Choice Frailty Innovation Award last week. It was chosen by conference attendees from among the top-30 programs dedicated to frailty in older adults from across the country.

Program geriatrician Dr. Tim Stultz said it was a great honour, especially for the home-support workers.

"These are the people every day going into seniors' homes so it's a thrill to get this recognition," he said.

'They want to live in their own home'

The COACH program supports more than 60 Island seniors in Kings and Prince counties.

When you ask seniors where they want to live, they automatically look at you and say, 'Well, I want to live right here.'— Kirsten Mallard

Nurse practitioner Kirsten Mallard said the award shows P.E.I. is on par with the rest of Canada when it comes to meeting the needs of frail seniors.

"When you ask seniors where they want to live, they automatically look at you and say, 'Well, I want to live right here.' They want to live in their own home," she said.

First launched in 2015 as a pilot program in Montague, COACH was developed in partnership with home care, primary care and the provincial geriatric programs as a means to support frail seniors living in the community. Also based in Souris, Summerside, and O'Leary, the program is expanding to Queens County following a $140,000 government investment to hire a nurse practitioner to support the program in the region.  

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With files from CBC News: Compass

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