Information about COVID-19 for older adults, caregivers and healthcare providers

This is a challenging time for everyone, as we navigate through COVID-19 together.  As always, it is important that the right care is provided, in the right place, at the right time for older adults with frailty. As a trusted leader in the care of older adults living with frailty, we want to ensure that older adults, their caregivers, and their healthcare providers have the reliable information that they need right now.

  • If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to, or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, you are advised to use Ontario’s Covid-19 self Assessment Tool, contact Telehealth at (1-866-797-0000), or your primary healthcare provider.
  • Follow directions from public health. The Government of Canada has created a detailed communication entitled “Community-based measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Canada” which provides clear definitions and guidance around many issues, such as “social distancing”. The Government of Canada Guidelines are used by Public Health Ontario and  local public health units to create recommendations that are needed in your community, which is why you might see variations in recommendations across provinces or regions.
  • Healthcare providers are encouraged to use a senior-friendly lens as services are reduced or suspended, such as considering virtual care, if appropriate. Older adults and their caregivers can ask healthcare providers if these options are available:
    • Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) allows healthcare providers to provide home video visits, where clinicians see patients from their computers while the patient is at home with access to a computer (most typically used for follow-up visits). Healthcare providers can contact OTN set up a free account and receive guidance on conducting virtual visits.
    • The government has recently expanded billing codes to allow physicians to use the telephone to provide care, where appropriate. Healthcare providers can learn more about this from the province’s news release
  • Call “211” to enquire about services that are available, such as virtual social visits.
  • Check-in regularly! Connect with your neighbours, family, and friends by phone, video chat, or in person (if appropriate) even more frequently than you would when routines are normal. Social connection is especially important in times of uncertainty and social distancing.
  • Stay as healthy as possible.