Virtual Home Assessments: Eliminating Risks for Seniors Living at Home

Award Date: 2018

Project Lead(s): Margarita Mileykovksy, Registered Nurse

Project Title: Baycrest@Home: Virtual Home Assessment

What is the issue?

For seniors living at home, the home environment needs to be safe and meet their physical, cognitive, social and spiritual needs. In-person assessments are resource-intensive, especially for seniors who live in remote areas.  

What did we do?

We created and launched a virtual program called Virtual Home Assessment. The program connected clinicians and clients through the Ontario Telemedicine Network using iPads. Occupational therapists conducted home assessments and identified and eliminated hazards and risk factors in seniors’ homes. They also providesuggestions for new technologies and home arrangements based on clients’ interests and needs. A virtual care nurse attended about half of the meetings. We trained clinical staffseniors, and family members on how to use the technology.

What did we find?

It was feasible to conduct home assessments virtually. Clinicians were able to complete their assessments in 40minute callsAll clients were satisfied with the program and said they were willing to use it again. Many seniors required assistance from either Baycrest staff or a family member to complete the virtual home assessment. Clinical staff said they were able to address clients’ needs for support and resources during the virtual visits and recommended that the program should continue.