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Old House-Calls Model Means New Healthcare Savings
The cost of providing medical care to seniors will skyrocket over the next decade. Ironically, an old model of care may prove to be a contemporary and cost-effective solution to this problem.
Aptly named, HouseCalls (www.seniorshousecalls.ca) is the modern incarnation of the traditional visit from the doctor at home. It is an interdisciplinary healthcare program that provides ongoing primary care to frail and homebound seniors, as well as home-based nursing, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, social work, and connections to support services, such as Meals on Wheels.
Critically, programs like HouseCalls are twenty times less expensive than hospital care. In Ontario, the average cost of home care is $42 per day for a senior compared to $842 per day for a senior's stay in the hospital. Because of its healthcare savings, home care programs similar to HouseCalls are likely to become a more prevalent way of providing care to frail and homebound seniors across Canada in the future.
HouseCalls is one of five healthcare projects in the Green Shield Canada Foundation Health Innovation Collaborative (www.gscfoundation.ca). This three-year project aims to solve the unmet needs of both caregivers and seniors living with multiple chronic conditions.