Older Adults Encouraged To Seek Medical Attention When Needed

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A message from the North Simcoe Muskoka Specialized Geriatric Services:

The North Simcoe Muskoka Specialized Geriatric Services (NSM SGS) program reminds older adults and their caregivers that it remains important to seek medical attention when required. If you need health care services or emergency care, please do not postpone or delay taking action.

Family doctors and nurse practitioners in the region continue to provide care, although it may look a little different than before. While the emergency departments are providing care to individuals presenting with COVID-19 symptoms, they continue to be open and available to support non-COVID related issues. Delaying a visit to your primary care provider or to the hospital could put you at greater risk.

Our partners have reported that some older adults are hesitant to seek medical attention due to concerns related to COVID-19 transmission. With all the current messaging, some also believe they are not allowed to go to emergency departments. We are hearing stories of people with very high blood pressure and evidence of strokes who are not seeking help. When it comes to older adults in the region, we understand the fear of contracting COVID-19 is heightened, causing worry for caregivers who are trying to protect them. If you find your loved one is in distress, primary care providers and emergency departments are prepared to see them in a way that will optimize their safety.

“While it’s great that people are respecting the social distancing guidelines, health and wellness is extremely important, especially if you are experiencing a medical situation,” said NSM SGS Director Sandra Easson-Bruno. “Our fear now is that people are delaying care which will only lead to worse outcomes. Please don’t wait for the current pandemic to be ‘over’ before seeking help.”

We want to reassure people that our primary care providers and hospitals have strict infection prevention and control protocols in place to keep people as safe as possible so that everyone can continue to receive care. In hospitals, patients with COVID-19 symptoms are cared for in defined areas and with specific protocols to ensure the emergency departments and hospital units are available for all other patients.

For more information on COVID-19 and older adults, visit the North Simcoe Muskoka Specialized Geriatric Services website.

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