The challenge: Frail older adults living in rural areas often don’t have access to the same health and social services available in big cities. They may also not be aware of the limited services that are available or how to access them. CFN worked with multiple partners to train “volunteer navigators,” who visit chronically ill seniors in their homes to identify their needs, coordinate access to local services and resources, and promote active engagement with their community.
The response: Data has showed that the approach is a cost-effective way to help chronically ill seniors live better and healthier lives. The Canadian Cancer Research Institute and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research provided additional funding to further test the program in 10 additional sites in British Columbia, Alberta and Nova Scotia. The program’s evidence-based curriculum and easy-to-use toolkit can also be used by other volunteer caregivers and home care agencies.