Canada’s Provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is taking steps to enhance senior care by setting up centres of excellence in ageing at regional hospitals.

This initiative, announced by the Minister of Health and Community Services Tom Osborne, aims to improve seniors’ access to quality healthcare services.

The move will add over 90 beds at the new St. Clare’s Mercy Hospital for Acute Care of the Elderly Units (ACE Units), along with rehabilitation and restorative care.

It will allow seniors to receive specialised services, including medication management, medical staff assistance, and mobility aids.

In addition, the plan includes making emergency care more senior-friendly at various hospitals.

It also includes training medical staff to provide emergency care tailored to older adults and equipping facilities with amenities such as reclining exam chairs and mobility aids.

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To support the initiative, the Provincial Government is investing about C$5m for the development of a geriatric medicine training programme and expanding Memorial University’s Care of the Elderly training programme for family physicians.

This aligns with recommendations from Health Accord NL to increase trained healthcare providers in older adult care, with the goal of enhancing healthcare outcomes, seniors’ quality of life, and their independence.

NL Health Services – Eastern Zones Older Adult Care clinical chief Dr Susan Mercer said: “At NL Health Services, we are committed to delivering the highest quality care to all residents of our province and are pleased with the announcements today that support enhanced health care delivery for the older adult population.

“With a shortage of geriatricians across the country, a geriatric training programme at the faculty of medicine will allow us to train these specialists here in the province.

“Together with the expansion of the Care of the Elderly training programme and establishing centres of excellence for senior care, we will be better positioned to provide high-quality care in both hospital and community-based settings for older adults with complex health issues.”