Landmark Provincial Aging at Home Strategy Launches in North East LHIN
McGuinty Government Improves Access to Community-Based Health Care Services
June 20, 2008
Standing in front of a new Dodge Caravan that will provide area seniors with rides to appointments, Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, MPP Sudbury, today announced a series of local Aging at Home initiatives which are receiving just over $4 million this year.More than 250 new programs — funded with $76 million this year – and a total of 100 vans providing 135,000 rides to appointments across Ontario are part of the province’s landmark Aging at Home Strategy, a $1.1 billion initiative to help seniors live healthy, independent lives in the comfort and dignity of their own homes.
Aging at Home is part of the Ontario government’s broader strategy to reduce wait times in emergency rooms. Offering better community supports to our seniors allows them to stay in their homes longer and reduces pressures on Ontario’s ER’s.
The NE LHIN will be implementing 25 programs this year with just over $4 million in provincial funding — initiatives ranging from providing more hours for personal care of seniors to increasing day care programs and daily activities for seniors – designed to provide senior-centered accessible care in the community. Some offer culturally appropriate initiatives to meet the needs of diverse clientele. These initiatives emphasize a mix of community-based services in the following areas:
�� Caregiver support and education
�� Supportive housing
�� Transportation and meals
�� Physical activity
�� Wellness and preventive care
�� Reducing isolation
For example, the Canadian Red Cross, Sudbury Branch will be receiving $478,000 to identity seniors-at-risk who would benefit from community-based services provided to them in the comfort of their own homes. Services such as housecleaning, snow shovelling, grass cutting yard maintenance, help with preparing meals, and others will be offered at no charge. Another example is the Mamawesen North Shore Tribal Council who will be receiving $220,000 to work with First Nation and urban Aboriginal community health services and the mainstream health care system to provide senior services with a focus on cultural and language sensitivities.
“We have worked diligently with our community partners to develop innovative health care services for seniors,” said Mathilde Gravelle Bazinet, Chair of the NE LHIN. “A lack of adequate transportation services presents a serious challenge to the delivery of health care for many people. The new van fleet will provide reliable and vital transportation for Ontario seniors and allow our residents to receive the care they need where and when they want it.”
“With these new vans, our seniors will have easier access to the health and social services they need,” said Rick Bartolucci, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, MPP Sudbury. “By delivering on stronger community programs for seniors, we will not only help them to age with dignity and independence at home, but also ease pressures on our hospitals, especially in emergency rooms.”
“This is fantastic news,” said Evelyn Theriault a Sault Ste. Marie senior and President of the Senior’s Advisory Committee. “Nine vehicles coming to North East Ontario will certainly be welcomed by many seniors, their families and friends who often have a hard time trying to find transportation to get their loved ones to medical appointments and/or recreational activities.”
• Aging at Home Strategy is significant for the NE LHIN; by 2011 the NE LHIN will have added 18.8 million to its base budget for Aging at Home projects.
• 2008/09 represents Year 1 of the Aging at Home Strategy and just over $4 million in funding for the 25 projects that will be rolling out across the NE LHIN.
• The new van fleet will provide 135,000 rides for seniors across Ontario to and from medical appointments this year.
• Ontario’s Aging at Home Strategy is a four-year $1.1 billion initiative launched in 2007.
Read more about the North East LHIN’s Aging at Home Strategy at www.nelhin.on.ca.
Media inquiries: Cynthia Stables, 1-705-845-1887.
Background: 25 New NE LHIN Projects
Background: 9 New NE LHIN Vans