More Care for Seniors and their Caregivers
Ontario Marks Family Caregiver Day and Introduces Seniors’ Healthy Home Program
Ontario is taking steps to ensure that people are better able to look after their loved ones with new funding that supports caregivers and makes it easier for seniors to continue living at home.
Premier Wynne was joined by Cristina Martins, MPP Davenport, at the Davenport-Perth Neighbourhood and Community Health Centre to celebrate National Family Caregiver Day. The Premier discussed how Ontario is supporting seniors who choose to stay in the comfort of their homes, as well as the three million people across the province who provide care for family and friends.
As announced in the 2018 Budget, Ontario will invest $1 billion over three years in the Seniors' Healthy Home Program starting in 2019. This program will provide up to $750 per year for eligible households led by seniors 75 and over to help them offset the costs of living independently.
The Budget is also supporting seniors and caregivers by:
- Investing an additional $650 million over the next three years to improve home and community care services and deliver more consistent care around the province. This includes $180 million for more personal support hours, more nursing and therapy visits and respite care
- Providing $6.5 million in funding to establish the Ontario Caregiver Organization, a resource for caregivers that will make it easier for them to access a range of services and information
- Expanding OHIP+ to make prescription drugs free for people 65 and over.
To improve care for people who can no longer live independently, we are also:
- Investing $300 million over three years in new funding for long-term care homes, starting with $50 million in 2018-19
- Adding 30,000 beds over the next ten years -- on top of the 30,000 we are redeveloping.
Helping those who are caring for their loved ones is part of the government's plan to support care, create opportunity and make life more affordable during this period of rapid economic change. The plan includes free prescription drugs for everyone under 25, and 65 or over, through the biggest expansion of medicare in a generation, free tuition for hundreds of thousands of students, a higher minimum wage and better working conditions, and easier access to affordable child care.
- A caregiver is someone who takes on the unpaid role of helping a family member or loved one with their physical or cognitive condition, mental health or addiction issue, injury or chronic life-limiting illness. Caregivers represent nearly 30 per cent of Ontarians and contribute more than 70 per cent of their family’s and/or friends’ caregiving needs.
- Ontario will also be providing $6.7 million in caregiver education and training for local community groups and other organizations to enhance service offerings for caregivers, centred on groups that are in highest need of more supports, such as Indigenous and Francophone communities.
- The Ontario Caregiver Organization was established based on the recommendations of Janet Beed’s Caregiver report, Expanding Caregiver Support in Ontario, written in consultation with caregivers, patients and a wide range of home and community care groups.
- Since 2013, the government has expanded its investment in home and community care by about $250 million per year, in addition to ongoing funding of more than $5 billion.
- Ontario has committed $34.5 million over three years to expand community dementia programs.
“More than three million people in Ontario provide support to loved ones who need help to live at home. These caregivers play an irreplaceable role in the lives of others and across our entire health care system. Most of us will have to take care of someone we love at some point in our lives — and when that happens, every family deserves to have the support they need to help their loved ones age with dignity and in comfort. We are providing patients and their families across the province with the resources they need to live fuller, happier lives.”
“Supporting personal support workers and people who care for their loved ones is not only an important priority for this government, it is the right thing to do. Strengthening home and community care services will ensure workers and caregivers have the resources and supports they need to continue caring for those dearest to us across the province.”