The province will launch two new "hospital home teams" to help keep fragile seniors in their own homes longer and avoid or delay placement in a personal care home.
Under the new program, doctors will work in tandem with home care workers and nurses or nurse practitioners in providing care for seniors currently in home care but who need extra care.
A pilot project last year operating out of the Access River East health centre found that home visits can cut emergency room visits and hospital admissions by more than 50 per cent.
Premier Greg Selinger announced the new program today at the Deer Lodge Centre seniors clinic, which will be the home base for one of the hospital home teams. The other will work out of Access River East on Henderson Highway.
It’s expected that between them the two teams will look after 100 patients.
The province said more teams could be funded in the future.
Selinger also announced that the government will introduce more home-based rehabilitation services to help seniors regain their function after events such as stroke, injury or surgery to improve their independence and well-being.
Depending on the personal need of participating seniors, they will receive house calls from physiotherapists, occupational therapists or rehabilitation aides.
These services will be expanded first in Winnipeg and the Southern and Western health regions in rural Manitoba. They will include a range of services such as home stroke rehabilitation, home safety assessments, adaptation recommendations and the prevention of falls.
The two new initiatives are expected to cost $1.2 million a year.
Meanwhile, the province also repeated a promise made in the throne speech last week that it would begin planning the construction of 200 personal care home beds in the city. Officials said today that two new facilities are being considered. A decision has yet to be made on their precise location, but one is likely for south Winnipeg, while the other could be in the northeast part of the city.