Frances Morton-Chang has diverse academic and professional experience across the broader health care spectrum which includes the community-care, acute-care, and long-term care sectors, charities and research programs. As a gerontologist she specializes in the areas of health policy, integrated care for complex populations including those experiencing frailty, dementia or other disabilities, and care for caregivers.
Frances is a Health Systems Impact Fellow jointly funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and AdvantAge Ontario. Her current research focus is on seniors’ campuses of care – physical settings that provide a range of inter-related seniors’ services (institutional long-term care, housing with supports, community support services) – as an integrative model to address broad spectrum health and social care needs of seniors and their informal caregivers wishing to age-in-place. This research builds on both her doctoral research, which examined the mix of resources required across a continuum of care to maintain frail and/or cognitively impaired seniors (deemed eligible for LTC facility placement) safely in the community for as long as possible. It also builds on a previous postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute for Health Policy, Management and Evaluation (IHPME), University of Toronto as a health policy researcher analyzing and comparing models of community-based primary health care (including non-medical community supports) for high needs older persons in three jurisdictions (Ontario, Quebec and New Zealand).
Seniors’ Campuses as Age-Friendly Environments to Integrate Care Over the Long Term
Rationale: Most people, if given a choice, would remain in their own home and community as they age (Sinha, 2012; Van Hoof et al., 2013); however, many high-needs seniors (e.g., frailty, dementia) experience difficulties in doing so. This in part results from the growing needs of complex chronic conditions, but also as a consequence of health care systems failing to adapt to these changing needs, which limits their capacity to support vulnerable seniors and their caregivers safely and cost-effectively in their own community for as long as possible (Morton-Chang, Williams et al., 2016; Morton-Chang, 2015; Williams, Challis, Deber et al., 2009).
Background: A growing body of international evidence emphasizes the importance of integrated care as a means to improve health and well-being of seniors and the broader health care system. This research, co-funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and AdvantAge Ontario, aims to explore the potential of Seniors’ Campuses – physical settings that provide a range of inter-related seniors’ services (institutional long-term care, housing with supports, community support services) – as a model to address the growing needs of seniors wishing to age-in-place.
Methods: Building on a scooping review on integrative senior care models like seniors’ campuses, this research uses a case study approach to explore factors that influence the evolution and ongoing functioning of seniors’ campuses in Ontario, Canada from multiple contexts (urban, rural or remote offered municipally or through charitable not-for-profit providers as well as cultural, ethnic and linguistic offerings). Areas of exploration include campus inception, development, implementation, governance, ongoing management, relevant policies and legislation within which they operate, programs and services, necessary partnerships, outcomes, and spread.
funding. While their configurations and collaborative arrangements differ, they each experience similar policy and program rigidities that impact upon their ability to maximize their benefit.
Implications and Conclusions: Seniors’ Campuses offer promising approaches for broader integration of care for seniors and informal caregivers wishing to age-in-place. In researching factors affecting their ability to both recognize and optimize their potential (e.g., policy enablers and challenges), findings serve to fill a gap in evidence-based research about this innovative model and future development.