to get the care they need for complexhealth conditions and terminal illnesses.
Alberta’s health system has two distinctparts: one cares for people with severeinjury or illness in hospitals, and theother cares for people’s day-to-dayhealth needs in the community.
Our hospitals tend to have manypatients who could be better cared for athome.
The enhancing care in the communityapproach connects you, your home andyour wellness. It includes both physicaland mental well-being. It emphasizesprevention and community care. Itdelivers treatment close to home or evenat home, whenever possible. Ultimately,it means healthier Albertans.
At age 96, Yvonne Routledge was
spending more time in hospital. Her care
Edson, for example, licensed practical
nurses assess, plan, deliver and evaluate
patients for a wide range of care. In turn,
this gives home care case managers the
time they need to support every aspect of
In Westlock, added support enablespatients to receive care at home ratherthan in a facility.
Another example is the Hospital atHome program, which gives childrenchemotherapy and other oncology carein their home. It’s the first program of itskind in Canada.
Elsewhere in Alberta, continuing care
centres such as designated supportive
living and long-term care are getting
more support for their residents. This
means fewer residents are going to a
hospital or an emergency department for
conditions such as a bladder infection or
a fall. And more palliative care and end-
of-life care is making it easier for people
team at the continuing care facility where
she lived didn’t always have the health
expertise she needed. She often had to be
taken to hospital by ambulance and wait
for a bed.
Two years ago, however, she was
connected to the Community Paramedic
program, and the stressful visits to
the hospital disappeared. It changed
Routledge’s outlook on life.
“The paramedics are excellent,” she
says. “I’m happier because I don’t always
have to be taken to hospital for treatment
that can easily be done in the comfort of
The Community Paramedic program
started in 2012 in Calgary and expanded
to Edmonton in 2014. Additional
investments, beginning in 2017, allowed
the program to expand across the
For Routledge, getting the care she
needs at home from paramedics has been
“They’re the most compassionatepeople I’ve ever known, and I think
APPLEFALL 2018 42