The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented barriers to accessing health care services, social networks, and other important supports for vulnerable patients. Across the continuum of health care services, the pivot to virtual care has enabled life saving access to providers, patients, and family members. This shift has also created a digital divide; older adults, who often require specialized care and have little experience or knowledge of digital technologies, are left struggling to connect.
Baycrest deployed an innovative suite of specialized services to support older adults to access needed virtual care through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. This program includes:
– Virtual home assessments by clinicians to identify and eliminate hazards in a patient’s home.
– Lee Silverman Voice Treatment (LSVT), an intensive program to train people with Parkinson’s Disease to use their voice at a more normal loudness level. The eLOUD program delivers LSVT treatment via real-time videoconferencing.
– Virtual volunteers who work with patients to provide real-time troubleshooting and one-on-one consultation to orient clients to digital technologies and clinical program materials.
This program brings together crucial supports to enable frail, elderly patients to not only survive the COVID-19 pandemic at home but to thrive.