Managing the Seams: Transitions in Health Care for Older Adults

On Tuesday June 3rd, a group of 39 interested seniors, policy makers, health care providers, academic researchers, community members, students, and patients gathered in Waterloo to take part in GHS research group’s Canadian Institutes of Health Research Café Scientifique entitled “Managing the Seams: Transitions in Health Care for Older Adults”. This event promoted the engagement of community members in a discussion focused on research findings and current initiatives regarding the transitional care of older adults. In addition, the event was live-streamed bringing in a total of 198 additional participants, 171 viewers from across Canada and 27 from the United States, with a viewing of the live-stream set-up for seniors and community members at the Evergreen Seniors Centre in Guelph.

The event kicked off with presentations from keynote speakers including Dr. George Heckman, Dr. Veronique Boscart, Dr. Paul Stolee, Dr. Bert Chesworth and community representative Margaret Hedley. The presentations focused on how transitions from one setting to another can be complicated for older adults, and that information is often poorly shared between providers and patients. Central to these themes was the idea that a seamless system may be unattainable (at least in the near future) and we should focus on managing these seams to provide a better care experience.

With a wide range of professions and experiences, the discussion was lively and continuous with our online participants joining the discussion via Twitter and e-mail. Questions and comments focused on what improvements could be made to the health care system to make transitions smoother, how older adults can become engaged in their care, currently available community resources, and perspectives from patients, informal caregivers, and providers.

*Transcription will be available upon request*