Seniors’ health is a top priority for Saskatoon Health Region’s 90 Days of Innovation: Ready Every Day Community Strategies Team, led by Vice-President of Integrated Health Corey Miller. On May 1, the Community Strategies team issued a request for proposals and innovations, seeking partnership with seniors’ care and assisted living facilities in Saskatoon. The objective is to identify which community partners have the capacity to offer transitional beds and support services to seniors in the community.

RR-2015-05-08-trainsition-beds“The goal of transitional beds is to ensure that seniors are provided with timely access to the care and services they need, when they require those services,” says Miller. “Our initial plans are to make these transitional beds available for up to 60 days, during which time our residents will recover and make arrangements to transition into alternative care environments.”

Seniors with alternate needs may have reduced mobility, cognitive impairment, or other limitations to being in their home for a period of time. They may lack support at home due to caregiver fatigue, require IV medication, be unable to manage their medication or require 24-hour care or supervision.

According to Miller, the 42,000 inpatient days people spend waiting in hospital for long-term care every year could be reduced by more than half (29,000) by making  transitional beds available in the community.

“Many seniors remain in hospital waiting to be transferred to a long-term care or personal care home, or to receive an alternate level of care,” says Miller. “Some wait excessively long periods of time, and this is detrimental to their overall health and well-being. While seniors wait in hospital for an appropriate placement, their physical or mental condition may deteriorate.”

Long hospital stays have been shown to advance deterioration and place patients at significant risk of hospital-related infections, falls and other adverse events.

“The result is that a patient’s journey can often end with permanent placement in a long-term care home, and this is an outcome that we have the potential to better support and avoid with the right level of care available in the community,” explains Miller. “Seniors want to live in their own homes for as long as possible. They want to receive dependable and reliable community supports to meet their social, physical, emotional, nutritional, health professional and caregiver needs.  We continue to move forward with strategies and initiatives that will support the wishes of our seniors.”

The request for proposals is aimed at identifying community partners who have the capacity to make transitional beds available in their facilities, and to work collaboratively with these partners to pull patients from acute care when appropriate. Community partners may include seniors’ living facilities, seniors’ assisted living organizations, personal care homes, respite care organizations, palliative care organizations and rehabilitative care facilities.

“Our team welcomes all community-based organizations in Saskatoon that are currently providing seniors’ housing and seniors’ care to partner with us to increase the number of transitional beds for seniors in the community,” says Miller. “We’re open to proposals and innovations that go beyond what is already available in the community and outlined in the request for proposals.”

The request for proposals can be found here. The closing date is May 22, 2015 at 2 p.m.

See more stories about Region improvements at www.saskatoonhealthregion.ca/ReadyEveryDay.