Ontario Connecting Seniors to Specialized Care and Support

Over $4 million will expand GeriMedRisk program to connect more seniors to dementia care and other supports

May 10, 2024


Table of Contents

  1. Content
  2. Quick Facts
  4. Additional Resources
  5. Related Topics

TORONTO — The Ontario government is investing more than $4.1 million over two years to expand GeriMedRisk, a program that makes it easier and faster for seniors living with complex medical needs to access coordinated care, in their community.

“Our government is continuing to take action to ensure people of all ages can access the right care, in the right place,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “Our investment to expand GeriMedRisk will help Ontario’s seniors connect to the care they need, in their community, allowing them to stay at home longer with help to better manage their health and avoid unnecessary trips to the emergency room.”

GeriMedRisk connects primary care providers with an interdisciplinary team of geriatric specialists that help create and support care plans for seniors to make it easier for older adult patients to connect to the specialized care they need.

Based out of the Grand River Hospital in Kitchener, the Ontario government expanded GeriMedRisk to be a province-wide service in 2019 to help seniors in every corner of the province benefit from the service. With today’s additional funding, up to 21 additional geriatric specialists and pharmacists will be hired to provide more than 1,000 additional consults annually, helping primary care providers improve their patients’ health and quality of life with:

  • Fast, convenient and coordinated access to geriatric specialists during one appointment
  • Timely education on how to manage their medication
  • Fewer transfers to emergency departments and hospitals for seniors with complex medical needs, such as dementia
  • Tools and supports to better manage complex conditions, such as dementia.

“GeriMedRisk is a made-in-Kitchener, innovative program that connects seniors in Waterloo Region and across the province to the care they need,” said Mike Harris, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga. “Our government is continuing to invest in expanding this important program, so more seniors will benefit from the support of a better, more connected and convenient health care system for years to come.”

Through Your Health: A Plan for Connected and Convenient Care, Ontario is connecting seniors to faster and more convenient care by expanding access to services in their home or community.

Quick Facts

  • Based out of Kitchener’s Grand River Hospital, who also serves as a program partner, GeriMedRisk serves patients and primary care providers across the province using a secure e-consult telemedicine platform that ensures protection and safety of patient information.
  • GeriMedRisk reports a hospital diversion rate of 88 per cent.
  • As part of the 2022 Budget, Ontario is investing $120 million over three years for dementia services, to support an additional 6,500 people across the province.
  • As part of the 2024 Budget, the provincial government is investing an additional $2 billion over three years to further boost, modernize and expand home and community care services. This builds on the $1 billion investment as part of the 2023 budget.


“Thank you to the Ministry of Health for the opportunity to expand GeriMedRisk. Our vision is to optimize medications for healthier ageing, and to make that equitably accessible to all older Ontarians. In addition to providing care, we also build capacity within the health care system to care for complex older adults on multiple medications. We are grateful to our team who worked tirelessly during the pandemic and beyond, and to all our partners who made this work possible.”

– Dr. Sophiya Benjamin and Dr. Joanne Ho
Co-Executive Directors, GeriMedRisk

“At Grand River Hospital, we’re pleased to partner with the Ministry of Health to support GeriMedRisk, a best practice program to ensure seniors get the care they need in the community. Expanding access to this provincial program ensures that aging patients receive specialized consultation and care plans that are tailored to their unique health needs. Grand River Hospital celebrates this investment in GeriMedRisk and remains encouraged by the outcomes this high-quality service provides for senior Ontarians.”

– Elizabeth Ferguson
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Grand River Hospital

“It has been thrilling to see GeriMedRisk grow from a feasibility trial into an in-demand essential service across Ontario, exemplifying RIA’s incubation, acceleration, and mobilization model. These research initiatives ensure older adults receive the best medication management care and the development of innovative programs of care necessary to live a healthy and enriching quality of life.”

– Dr. Tina Mah
Executive Director, Research Institute for Aging

“Investments that increase access to dedicated care are critical for seniors, especially as our community grows. GeriMedRisk speaks to Waterloo Region’s innovation and collaboration, ensuring those across Ontario can stay connected to their community and are supported every step of their healthcare journey.”

– Karen Redman
Chair, Region of Waterloo

“Today’s announcement is a proud moment for our community in Waterloo Region. GeriMedRisk, born right here at Grand River Hospital, has proven to be a lifeline for seniors, not only in our region but across Ontario. Our commitment to expanding this vital program reflects our dedication to supporting our seniors in accessing the care they deserve. Seniors are the foundation of our communities, and investing in programs like GeriMedRisk ensures they can age gracefully in their homes with the support they need.”

– Jess Dixon
MPP for Kitchener South—Hespeler

“Our government’s investment in GeriMedRisk is good news for seniors in our region and across the province who require specialized care and support. Seniors with dementia and other complex medical conditions benefit in many ways when care is co-ordinated and provided close to home.”

– Brian Riddell
MPP for Cambridge

Additional Resources

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