Regional Geriatric Programs of Ontario
Collaborating to Meet the Needs of the Most Frail and Vulnerable Seniors
Regional Geriatric Programs (RGPs) provide a comprehensive network of specialized geriatric services which assess and treat functional, medical, and psychosocial aspects of illness and disability in older adults who have multiple and complex needs. Working in collaboration with primary care physicians, community health professionals and others, RGPs seek to meet the needs of the most frail and vulnerable seniors.
In 1986, RGPs were established at Academic Health Sciences Centres in Hamilton, Kingston, London, Ottawa and Toronto and together form the Ontario Provincial Network of Regional Geriatric Programs in 1986. This partnership in education, research and standards of practice is now a key element in the provincial framework of services meeting the needs of Ontario’s aging population.
BENEFTIS OF RGP's
Scientific evidence has established the value of comprehensive geriatric assessment and management:
- A decline in function rarely results from aging alone; potentially reversible acute and chronic diseases often contribute to disability, decline in function and dependency.
- Illness may present in complex and atypical ways in older adults; these presentations are best managed by a team approach.
- The absence of assessment and treatment frequently result in a loss of function; timely assessment, treatment and rehabilitation may postpone or prevent readmission.
- In approximately one third of applications for facility admission, there are contributing factors which are unrecognized but potentially reversible and remediable.
- Inpatient geriatric assessment and rehabilitation units improve quality of life, physical performance and reduce the need for institutional care without increasing direct health care costs.
- Inpatient consultation teams increase the identification of unrecognized illness, reduce the number of inappropriate medications, and improve physical and mental performance.
- Outpatient geriatric clinics have been shown to improve health care utilization and reduce inappropriate admission to facilities.
- Clinical practice is improved by the influence of opinion leaders and continuing education programs.
- Education and health promotion strategies are effective tools in prevention of premature disability and loss of function.
- North East Specialized Geriatric Services, Sudbury
- Regional Geriatric Program Central, Hamilton
- Regional Geriatric Program of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa
- Regional Geriatric Program of Toronto, Toronto
- Specialized Geriatric Services of South East Ontario, Kingston
- Specialized Geriatric Services of South West Ontario, London