Ontario Transforming Home And Community Care For Seniors
McGuinty Government Investing In Aging At Home Program, Reducing ER Wait Times
Ontario is expanding its successful Aging at Home program and community care initiatives to help more seniors live independently and reduce pressure on Ontario's emergency rooms.
As part of Ontario's ER strategy the province is investing $272 million to help seniors receive needed health services in the comfort and dignity of their own homes and communities. The funding will also help to decrease the number of alternate level of care (ALC) patients in hospitals and support more timely discharge of patients waiting to move out of the hospital to more appropriate services.
In total, Ontario's investment includes:
- $187.2 million for the Aging at Home program
- $60 million for increased home care, personal support and homemaking services provided by Community Care Access Centres
- $22 million for Ontario's 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) to invest in local solutions that will address ALC pressures
- $3.5 million for nurse-led outreach teams to provide more care to patients in long-term care homes and help them avoid transfers to the hospital emergency room (ER).
ALC patients are individuals in hospital beds who would be better cared for in an alternate setting, such as long-term care, rehab, or home. Having more home care and community services enables ALC patients to leave hospital sooner, making more beds available to ER patients who are waiting to be admitted to hospital.
- Ontario is investing $1.1 billion over four years in the Aging at Home Strategy.
- It is estimated that Ontario’s senior population will double over the next 16 years.
- The Ontario Hospital Association indicates that hospital patients who are awaiting access to appropriate care elsewhere occupy almost 19 per cent of hospital beds in the province.
“Our Aging at Home program is providing seniors with innovative programs to help them live independently. Our government knows that increasing community-based supports for seniors will improve the entire health care system.”
“These welcome investments will help ease ALC pressures and permit improved flow for patients. That means improved quality and safety and ensures the precious resources of our Emergency departments and acute care system is able to care for those in need. Making investments of this magnitude in these economic times clearly demonstrates the McGuinty governments commitment to a high quality accessible health system.”
“Programs like Aging at Home are key to reducing emergency room wait times in Ontario's hospitals. Strong community supports help patients return home quickly from the hospital after a procedure and ensure that seniors receive the care they need to live in their own homes for as long as possible. This improves patients’ quality of life, frees up hospital beds, and could shorten wait times in hospitals’ emergency rooms.”