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WHATTrained volunteers visit older adults in their home to coordinate their entire health care team from the areas of primary, specialist, hospital and community care.
WHYTo ensure that senior’s health care needs and goals are met at various levels, to serve as a means of preventative care, and to provide a continuum of care across the board.
McMaster University.
Across Canada.

Program Description

“The reason that home visits are so important to the Health TAPESTRY project is its giving us a chance as clinicians to have an extra set of eyes and ears in the homes of our patients…the volunteers are more than just eyes and ears they are also voices, they are asking questions of our older adult patients, they are learning about a lot of non-medical issues just to get a better idea of what matters to these patients...who are the important people in their lives, what’s important to them, what are their goals for their health and for their life moving forward over for the next, five, ten, fifteen, twenty years.”
– Video Dr. Doug Oliver - Health Tapestry Project.

“Health TAPESTRY is identifying people at risk before a person needs invasive and expensive interventions, like going to a hospital. We work with these people and their communities to help them be healthier, where they live, for longer.”

“…Health TAPESTRY... is trying to strengthen the communication between the community and their health care team, and I think they are doing that by creating a strong volunteer basis and collecting information that would not normally be collected in a regular doctors visit.”
-Video: Matthew Health TAPESTRY Volunteer

The program uses house calls, sit down discussions and technology to coordinate an individual’s team of health care providers and to connect older adults to activities and resources in their community.

Health TAPESTRY works in the following way:

  • A pair of volunteers visit an older adult client in their home and build a relationship.
  • Volunteers help a client set up and document a personal health record on a tablet so that they can access their own health information when needed.
  • A report is created and accessed by a client’s primary health care team.
  • The health care team meets and reviews the report and the client’s health goals and a personalized health care plan is created, including linking the older adult with community resources such as senior meal programs, senior transportation, and activity and leisure programs.
  • Volunteers and the healthcare team stays in touch with the client to make sure progress is being made.

When volunteers visit older adults in their homes and have a discussion with senior clients about their health issues and goals potential problems may be addressed. Volunteers may be able to pick up on preventable health care issues, home safety or mobility issues, or caregiver stress in the home and address it before it becomes unmanageable.

Volunteers who make house calls are trained in the areas of mental health, disease prevention, conflict resolution and privacy. In addition to coordinating the health care system and providers they can also help older adults access community programs and resources.

In addition to older adults and homebound elderly Health TAPESTRY also helps individuals living with chronic conditions and others who require assistance.

The Health TAPESTRY program has been used as a model and adapted by partner organizations to communities across Canada.

Aging Programs
Senior In Home Care







Find out more about Health TAPESTRY for Older Adults

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