McGuinty government helps more Ontarians live independently

Archived Release

McGuinty government helps more Ontarians live independently

Ministry of Health

Ontarians' Access to Care In The Community Enhanced by $29.2 Million Investment TORONTO, July 6 - The McGuinty government is investing $29.2 million for community support and supportive housing services to help keep Ontarians in the community for as long as possible instead of admitting them to hospitals or institutions, Health and Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman announced today. These funds are part of the McGuinty government's $417 million investment in community support and supportive housing services for 2004-05. "Community support services and supportive housing services help the frail elderly and people with physical disabilities live in their communities with a higher degree of independence than if they were institutionalized," Smitherman said. "While our plan is a compassionate one that improves the quality of life for Ontarians in their homes and communities, it's also a practical approach that will reduce the stress on our hospitals and allow them to focus on the acute services they provide so well." Today's announcement means hundreds of agencies that provide community support and supportive housing services in Ontario will receive the funds they need to assist up to 8,000 more Ontarians to live in their communities this year. This investment will improve access to community support services like adult day programs, meal programs and community transportation for those who need them. It also means that our frail elderly and people with physical disabilities, an acquired brain injury, or HIV/AIDS will benefit from strengthened supportive housing services like 24-hour access to personal care and essential homemaking. "We congratulate the government for recognizing that community support and supportive housing services are critical components of our health system," said Ontario Community Services Association President, Valerie Bishop de Young. The steps taken today are part of the government's plan to transform Ontario's health system and allow Ontarians to get the care they need in the most appropriate setting. The minister announced yesterday that the government is investing a record $1.3 billion in Ontario's Community Care Access Centres (CCAC). This includes new funding targeted towards acute home care, end-of-life care, and chronic home care that will benefit 21,000 more Ontarians this year. "Community care is a critical part of our health system that has been underdeveloped for too long," Smitherman said. "The actions we are taking represent major steps forward in transforming our health care system and expanding the capacity for care in our communities." This news release is available on our website at: http://www.health.gov.on.ca Version fran├žaise disponible Att: Backgrounder Backgrounder ------------------------------------------------------------------------- STRENGTHENING CARE IN THE COMMUNITY The McGuinty government's investment of $29.2 million for community support and supportive housing services is increasing the capacity for care in the community and is vital to transforming health care in Ontario. Currently, community support and supportive housing services are underdeveloped in Ontario. This puts stress on hospitals, which must provide care to people in emergency rooms and in hospital beds because of a lack of services in the community. Transforming Care in the Community Driving care to the community level is a priority in the McGuinty government's plan to reform health care in Ontario. People who are able to receive the care they need in the community can stay out of hospitals, reducing the stress on these institutions. This allows hospitals to better provide the acute care services they are so good at providing. Today's $29.2 million investment in community support and support housing agencies will mean that up to 8,000 more Ontarians will benefit from care in the community. These funds are part of the McGuinty government's $417 million investment in community support and supportive housing services for 2004-05. Community Support Services Seniors and people with disabilities use community support services so that they can live in the community independently while staying healthy and safe. These services also provide needed breaks for their caregivers. Meal services, friendly visiting, caregiver supports, supportive housing, social activities and wellness/physical activity programs are the services available to seniors and people with disabilities. Supportive Housing Services The goals of supportive housing are to create community alternatives to institutional care, maximize client independence and control, and support clients' continued participation in community living. Community agencies provide supportive housing services to people who need 24-hour access to personal care and essential homemaking and people 16 years of age or older with physical disabilities, an acquired brain injury or living with HIV/AIDS.For further information: Members of the media: Eva Lannon, Minister's Office, (416) 327-4320; Tanya Cholakov, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416) 314-6197; Members of the general public: (416) 327-4327, or (800) 268-1154