More Physiotherapy, Exercise and Falls Prevention for Seniors
By directly funding vital services such as physiotherapy, and exercise and falls prevention classes, Ontario is able to improve the availability of these services across the province and significantly boost access for seniors and others in need.
Until now, a small number of for-profit companies have had almost exclusive control over the delivery of publicly-funded physiotherapy.
Starting on August 1, 2013, community-based physiotherapy, exercise classes and falls prevention services will be offered in more locations across Ontario. In total, 218,000 more people, mostly seniors, will benefit from the additional services.
Seniors and eligible patients will benefit from the expanded services in a variety of settings:
Group Exercise and Falls Prevention Classes
- Each Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) will receive funding to provide falls prevention and exercise classes for 68,000 more seniors across the province, benefitting 130,000 seniors in total.
- Ontario will work with LHINs to expand the number of exercise and falls prevention classes as well as the availability of these additional services across the province through a $10 million investment.
- LHINs will work with local service providers to determine where these services could be delivered to best meet local needs. Sites will include retirement homes, community centres and other community settings.
Physiotherapy and Exercise in Long-Term Care Homes
- Long-term care homes will receive $68.5 million in funding for physiotherapy and exercise directly. All residents who have an assessed need for physiotherapy in their care plan will receive appropriate one-on-one physiotherapy to help them restore their mobility.
- All long-term care residents will continue to have access to exercise classes. There are 77,000 residents currently living in long-term care.
- Community Care Access Centres will receive $33 million in additional funding to reduce the waitlist for in-home physiotherapy services, which will help to keep more seniors and eligible patients healthy and at home longer.
- Up to 60,000 more people, mostly seniors, will receive physiotherapy in the comfort of their own homes, benefitting 150,000 people in total.
Physiotherapy in the Community
- LHINs will work with existing and new clinic-based physiotherapy providers to preserve and expand access to physiotherapy services in community settings for 90,000 more seniors and eligible patients, benefitting 150,000 people in total. $44.5 million in funding will support these services in community settings.
In addition to these changes, Ontario will integrate physiotherapy into interdisciplinary health care settings, including Family Health Teams, Nurse Practitioner-Led Clinics, and Community Health Centres.
Ontario is committed to consulting with patients, health care partners and service providers to ensure those with the greatest need benefit from these improvements.
Over the coming months, the Ministry of Health and Long-term Care and the LHINs will engage physiotherapy providers and community partners interested in delivering these services in communities across Ontario.
For more information, please visit www.ontario.ca/physiotherapy.