<< Back

State, Hartford HealthCare Start Home-Safety Program for Seniors

December 19, 2019

Hartford HealthCare has joined forces with the Connecticut Department of Social Services’ Protective Services for the Elderly Program (PSE) and Foodshare to create a home-safety initiative for Connecticut seniors.

The goal? To ensure at-risk seniors are safe and receive needed services, while also addressing food insecurity.

This collaboration allows the teams to quickly communicate to ensure services are deployed quickly. Previously, the teams would have to make a referral and wait weeks for services. If patients were considered a danger to themselves, they would get admitted to local emergency departments, which often exacerbated the issues.

The pilot program has given caregivers an alternative. Now, they are able to have real-time conversations with PSE supervisors, allowing quicker access to emergency services. Hartford HealthCare at Home is able to provide in-home services and patients are able to avoid costly and unnecessary emergency department transfers. If food is an issue, the team provides Hartford HealthCare donated food boxes packaged in collaboration with Foodshare.

During home visits, Hartford HealthCare staff noticed that many seniors lacked basic food necessities. Many clients didn’t have enough food or, worse, the food that was there was spoiled and inedible. Staff started flagging the issue and reached out to Foodshare. Foodshare was able to help by providing pre-packed boxes of food for Hartford HealthCare staff to bring into patient homes.

At the same time, Hartford HealthCare at Home and Hartford HealthCare Center for Healthy Aging worked on connecting patients with local food-related services like meals on wheels, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or other state or federal programs.

As part of this pilot, several staff from the PSE Program received eight hours of dementia training from the Hartford HealthCare Center for Healthy Aging Dementia Specialists.  Also from Hartford HealthCare a Geriatric Psychiatrist is available for in-home evaluations for personal safety.

“The vulnerable elder population,” said Laurel Reagan, APRN, of Hartford HealthCare at Home, “greatly benefits from increased collaboration with health and social service entities such as Hartford HealthCare, Foodshare, with the Department of Social Service’s Protective Services for the Elderly Program to help them age safely in place across the state.”

 Preventing Admissions to the Emergency Room

To date, six patients were prevented from emergency room admissions by services provided by Hartford HealthCare at Home and Protective Services.

In the photo above, from left: Laurel Reagan from Hartford HealthCare at Home, Wendy Martinson from Hartford HealthCare Center for Healthy Aging, Dorian Long and Effie Morris-Ferguson from Connecticut Department of Social Services and Jason Jakubowski, President and CEO of Foodshare pack boxes of food for at risk seniors as part of the new home-safety initiative.

For more information on Hartford HealthCare at Home, click here. For more information on the Center for Healthy Aging, click here.