They then use their skills to offer the residents basic health care, such as blood pressure and diabetes checks, conduct risk assessment for falls, as well as hold group health education workshops in the buildings’ common areas.

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“It’s not a good use of resources if somebody’s calling 911 when they could go and see their family physician,” she says.

“Probably, many of the calls emanating from a social housing would be things that could be dealt with in other ways.” The paramedics were also able to pick up undiagnosed high blood pressure in 36 participants and elevated blood pressure in another 75 people who knew they had hypertension.

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That’s a drop of 22 per cent, which translates into big savings for the health system, says lead researcher Dr.

Gina Agarwal of Mc Master’s Department of Family Medicine.

The residents who got the visits also showed significant improvement in their quality of life and were better able to perform day-to-day activities compared with those in the other buildings that didn’t receive the extra care.

Tom Barrow, 67, told CTV News that he likes the program because of how “easy” it is to get health checkups where he lives.

“If we estimate that a 911 call in dollar terms could cost anything between 0 to ,500…

you could save up to ,000 or more per annum with this program in one single social housing building,” she told CTV News.

Researchers at Mc Master University recently decided to assess how well the program has been doing by looking at the health of residents in three buildings that received these [email protected] visits for one year, and comparing them to residents from three buildings that didn’t.