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Seniors LINCS Program empowers Kings and Annapolis County residents to thrive at home

Kathleen Mulherin, Occupational Therapist; Rebecca Markovic, Rehab Assistant and Ashley Hancock, Physiotherapist with a few pieces of equipment purchased from the EKM Health Foundation grant.

Led by a dedicated team of healthcare professionals, the Seniors LINCS (Living Independently with Community Supports) program connects seniors in Kings and Annapolis Counties with programs and services to help them age safely in the comfort of their homes.

Made up of occupational therapists, physiotherapists, a rehabilitation assistant and social workers, the team provides tailored support and facilitates independence while ensuring the safety and well-being of its clients.

"We're all about linking seniors with support so that they can thrive at home," said Kathleen Mulherin, program lead, and Occupational Therapist. "Whether it's coordinating healthcare services through Nova Scotia Health or connecting them with local community programs, our goal is to simplify the health journey for seniors and their families."

A key component of the Seniors LINCS program is assessment and follow up in the home. Team members will visit the client’s home and assess their mobility, home safety and set up for aging well in place. They will advise on equipment to keep them safe, comfortable and as independent as they can be in their home. 

Equipment suggestions can range from bathtub transfer benches and grab bars to specialty wheelchair and Roho seat cushions. These aids can be very pricey and may not be available through existing equipment loan programs.

To create greater accessibility of equipment, the Senior LINCS program received a grant from the Eastern Kings Memorial (EKM) Health Foundation, to purchase essential aids and adaptive equipment for their loan program.

"We recently secured a grant to enhance our equipment loan program," said Mulherin. "This enables us to provide high-quality equipment on a short-term basis, allowing seniors to trial items before committing to purchases. It's a game-changer in terms of personalized care and cost-effectiveness."

When client assessments happen, team members may recommend a piece of equipment to improve lifestyle or safety. Having access to a short-term equipment loan allows some clients to try the equipment to see if it suits their lifestyle before investing in it. 

“With this financial support from the EKM Health Foundation we now have easier access to equipment we frequently recommend to our clients,” said Mulherin. “This allows us, as clinicians, to see how the person uses the equipment in their own home/environment and lets the client understand the benefits of using the equipment to enhance their safety and optimize their independence and quality of life in their home and community. Having options also allows for problem solving and getting the “right fit” for the person at the right time.”

Residents in Kings and Annapolis Counties can be referred to the Senior LINCS program by a number of healthcare providers. This includes family doctor, nurse practitioner, continuing care coordinator, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, social worker or pharmacist.

"In the end, it's about ensuring seniors feel supported and safe in their home," said Mulherin.

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