Aging at Home in Northeastern Ontario
Aging at Home is a strategy to strengthen the ability of Northeastern communities to support non-institutional care for their frail and elderly citizens.
The need for more home care support is growing across the province and notably in Northeastern Ontario where 17% of the population is currently age 65 or over. This number is projected to increase to 30% within the next 20 years.
Aging at Home initiatives within the NE LHIN are helping to reduce community ALC pressures and unnecessary emergency room visits by seniors through an increase in innovative solutions such as more:
- Home First
- Home care support programs
- Supportive housing services
- Geriatric nurses in emergency rooms
- Designated assess and restore beds in hospital
- Assisted living and social support for seniors.
In 2007, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) announced the Aging at Home Strategy, a four- year program to invest $1.1 billion into local services throughout Ontario to strengthen community support services and support seniors to live healthy, independent lives in their own homes.
The North East Local Health Integration Network (NE LHIN) received close to $16.7 million over three years to support the local needs of senior citizens of Northeastern Ontario.
Aging at Home Progress in the NE LHIN
Years 1 and 2 in Review
The main focus for years 1 and 2 of the Aging at Home Strategy was to create a continuum of community-based services for seniors and their caregivers to enable seniors to live independently and safely in their own homes for as long as possible. It also worked towards matching the needs of seniors and their caregivers with the appropriate local support services and avoiding unnecessary loss of independence and dignity due to premature admission to long-term care homes or hospitals. The financial allotment for Year 1 was $4.5 million, and $6.1 million for Year 2.
Year 3 in Review
The main focus of Year 3 programs and services was helping to reduce Northeastern Ontario’s Emergency Room (ER)/Alternate Level of Care (ALC) pressures. Year 3 programs also helped further strengthen the NE LHIN’s Regional Home First Strategy and support our seniors’ expressed desire to stay home, go home and enjoy their homes … longer. The financial allotment for Year 3 was $6.1 million.
In August, 2010, the North East LHIN announced continued support for its Aging at Home Strategy. Funding from this Strategy has, and will continue to, assist local programs that provide services for seniors to age in the comfort and dignity of their home. These programs include Meals on Wheels, transportation services, falls prevention education sessions, and more.
Announcements were made in Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and North Bay. The following video was taken at the North Bay Aging at Home announcement at Cassellholme, East Nipissing Home for the Aged.