Innovation grounded in meeting the day-to-day needs of the community has been a defining characteristic of the Perley and Rideau Veterans’ Health Centre since its inception. This characteristic is evident in the recent update of the 2010–2025 Strategic Plan. The update better aligns the Perley Rideau with the Province of Ontario’s Aging at Home strategy, and improves our ability to help seniors and Veterans live life to the fullest. Work to update the Strategic Plan during 2016–2017 included extensive consultations with staff, residents and volunteers, as well as with provincial and local healthcare authorities, and represents the latest stage in our continuous evolution.
Established in 1995 to amalgamate three existing healthcare facilities, the Perley Rideau continues to lead and innovate in the care of Veterans and other seniors. A telling example is the 2016 collaboration on an innovative proposal with valued partners from the Ottawa Hospital and the Champlain Local Health Integration Network. The proposal, known as SAFE (Sub-Acute care for Frail Elderly) unit, would establish a new level of care for elderly patients who no longer require acute care in hospital. Under the proposal, these men and women would transfer to the Perley Rideau, where they access therapies and services until well enough to return home. SAFE would not only improve quality of care and accelerate recovery, but also free up hospital beds, save millions of dollars annually and help the healthcare system to cope with demographic trends.
SAFE is but one example of how the Perley Rideau proposes to increase its value to the community. As described in the updated Strategic Plan, the Perley Rideau aims to become Canada’s first Centre of Excellence in frailty-informed care. The Perley Rideau will continue to support priority care for Veterans and provide dementia care. Becoming a Centre of Excellence will help to ensure the Perley Rideau’s sustainability as an innovative centre for long-term care, and increase our ability to apply lessons learned and to further improve the well-being of the people we serve.