Integrating community-based health and social care for older persons is said to help individuals maintain high levels of independence, well-being and quality of life and contribute to health systems sustainability by moderating the demand for costly emergency services and inappropriate hospital care. Rural settings, however, pose challenges distinct from those in urban areas. Using North Renfrew Long-Term Care Services as a case study, this paper discusses the principles and practices of a small, rural community service agency located in Renfrew County, Ontario, that provides to its scattered populations a range of services across the care continuum. Services include community support programs, supportive housing and long-term care beds as well as an innovative 24-Hour Flexible In-Home Support Pilot program adapted from the ground breaking "night patrol" system in Denmark.
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