New COPD program coming to long-term care

The Ontario Long Term Care Association is spearheading the development of a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) protocol for residents of long-term care homes. It will be modelled on a successful diabetes program that began in OMNI homes and was recognized as Innovation of the Year in the Association’s 2014 awards program. 

The diabetes protocol is now spreading beyond OMNI homes, helping to improve the control of diabetes and in turn improving residents’ health and quality of life. The goal of the COPD program is to provide similar benefits to residents suffering from this debilitating condition. According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, COPD affects an estimated 1 in 7 long-term care residents and is a frequent cause of emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

The COPD program development began in January, with Association members Leisureworld, Chartwell, and Revera committing to help develop the program and pilot the protocol when it is ready.  The program has received funding from Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.  

“There’s never been anything like a COPD program in long-term care before,” says Candace Chartier, CEO of the Ontario Long Term Care Association. “This is an incredible opportunity to improve the quality of life of our residents with pulmonary disease.” The program is also being developed for use in retirement homes.

In Photo: Candace Chartier, CEO of the Ontario Long Term Care Association, with Mark Nicol (left) and Patrick McMenamin (right) of Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd.