Landmark Provincial Aging at Home Strategy Launches in Toronto Central LHIN

    McGuinty Government Improves Access to Community-Based Health Care

    TORONTO, June 19 /CNW/ -


    Standing in front of six new Dodge Caravans that will provide area
seniors with rides to appointments, George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and
Minister of Health and Long-Term Care, today announced a series of local Aging
at Home initiatives receiving $4.9 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. Minister Smitherman traveled to Toronto Central
LHIN today to highlight these initiatives.
    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 the
pressures on Ontario's ER's.
    Toronto Central LHIN will be implementing 12 programs this year designed
to provide senior-centered accessible care in the community, ranging from a
new initiative to assist elderly homeless men make the transition to permanent
housing, to a program to help all seniors get home sooner and recover after a
hospital stay by providing someone for the first few days to ensure that they
have the medications, groceries and community agency connections they need to
keep them from re-admission to hospital.

    Some Aging at Home programs 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 Toronto Ride program, an innovative community
transportation network that provides escorted rides to seniors through a
partnership of 12 community agencies, will use funds, in addition to the vans,
to create an effective and efficient LHIN-wide trip management system.


    "We have worked diligently with our community partners to develop
innovative health care services for seniors," said Mohamed Dhanani, Chair of
Toronto Central LHIN's Board of Directors. "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."
    "This strategy will make a significant difference in Toronto," said Jane
Moore, Executive Director of Senior Peoples' Resources In North Toronto
(SPRINT), a partner in Toronto Ride. "Toronto Ride will focus these new
resources on providing rides for marginalized, vulnerable seniors who can't
take the TTC or WheelTrans, and who can't afford taxis. Because our
partnership has neighbourhood-based agencies in more than 12 locations in the
LHIN, we are perfectly positioned to reach those seniors who most need help to
access the health care system."
    "We are shifting the way we're delivering health to seniors by bringing
care to their communities so people can stay at home longer, surrounded by
loved ones and where they are most comfortable," said George Smitherman,
Deputy Premier and Minister of Health and Long-Term Care. "Providing rides to
appointments and the innovative programs announced today, as well as increased
home care and other supports, provides greater access to care for tens of
thousands of seniors and at the same time builds stronger communities
throughout Ontario."


    -   34% of seniors in Toronto live alone
    -   24% of seniors have low income - double the rate for Ontario
    -   41% of people in Toronto are immigrants, of whom 53,000 are seniors
    -   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 Ontario's Aging at Home Strategy



                                                               June 19, 2008

    The Ontario government has bought 100 new Dodge Caravans from Windsor's
Chrysler Plant to provide Ontario seniors with health-related transportation
    TORONTO CENTRAL LHIN is receiving six vans, which will provide an
estimated 8,328 rides to appointments for local seniors over the course of a

    Service Provider               NUMBER OF VANS            2008-09 FUNDING
    Toronto Ride

    (A partnership of 12                  6                      $297,431
     community agencies:
     Better Living Health and
     Community Services,
     Community Care East York,
     Etobicoke Services for
     Seniors, Humber Community
     Seniors Services, Mid-Toronto
     Community Services,
     Neighbourhood Link-Senior Link,
     St. Christopher House,
     St. Clair West Services for
     Seniors, SPRINT, Harmony Hall
     (Call a Service), West Toronto
     Support Services for Seniors
     and the Disabled, WoodGreen
     Community Centre )

    TOTAL                                 6                      $297,431



    BACKGROUNDER                                                June 19 2008

    Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) has recently
received approval for $4.9 million in funding from the Ministry of Health and
Long-Term Care for 12 seniors' health service proposals under the Aging at
Home Strategy - a four-year, $1.1 billion initiative designed to help seniors
live healthy, independent lives in the comfort and dignity of their own homes.
    These first-year initiatives will provide health care services for
seniors and their caregivers living within Toronto Central LHIN. Proposals
were submitted to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care by each of the
14 LHINs after community consultations with diverse service providers.


    Name of Project   Service Provider    Project Description       FUNDING
    Supportive        City of Toronto -   The program will          $312,760
    Housing           55 Bleeker Street   provide supportive
    Services                              services around the
                                          clock to a maximum of
                                          25 seniors in this
                                          Jamestown building.
                                          Included will be mental
                                          health outreach
                                          counselling, wellness
                                          programming, referral to
                                          other community services,
                                          homemaking (including
                                          laundry, cleaning, and
                                          assistance with meal
                                          preparation), personal
                                          support (bathing,
                                          dressing), security
                                          checks and medication
    Supportive        Neighbourhood       28 formerly homeless      $150,280
    Housing           Link                seniors in the Crescent
    Services          2802 Danforth Road  Town community will
                                          benefit from two personal
                                          support workers and a
                                          geriatric mental health
                                          case manager. Assistance
                                          with activities of daily
                                          living (bathing,
                                          dressing), life skills
                                          coaching and the creation
                                          of activities to decrease
                                          isolation  will be
                                          provided on site.
    Supportive        Community Care      A range of health and     $162,737
    Housing           East York           wellness programs will
    Services          12 Thorncliffe      enable 35 new seniors to
                      Park                be supported at a
                                          location where services
                                          are already delivered.
                                          The program will respond
                                          to the 75% of seniors
                                          over 80 years of age with
                                          complex health issues.
    Supportive        WoodGreen           This program will         $257,240
    Housing           Community           provide a unique form
    Services          Services            of supportive housing
                      First Steps         to 28 high-risk, repeat
                      to Home,            shelter users who are
                      650 Queen Street    seniors. It will help
                      West                these individuals move
                                          from the streets to
                                          permanent housing.
                                          Seniors will develop
                                          an action plan with a
                                          case manager to improve
                                          life skills, reduce drug
                                          and alcohol use and
                                          improve their physical,
                                          emotional and mental health.
    Supportive        St. Christopher     This supportive housing   $988,841
    Housing           House               program will provide
    Services                              services for 115
                      130 Vaughn Road     marginalized seniors
                                          across three sites.
                      1775 Eglinton
                      Avenue West,        Traditional supportive
                                          housing services such as
                      55 Outlook Ave.     help with activities of
                                          daily living, and
                                          intensive case
                                          management for at-risk
                                          seniors will be provided.
                                          Also included will be
                                          wellness, health
                                          promotion, mental
                                          health and chronic
                                          disease management
    Supportive        West Toronto        50 seniors experiencing   $334,681
    Housing           Community Support   increasing physical
    Services          Services            frailty, mental health
                      100 High Park       problems and social
                                          isolation will receive
                                          wellness and illness
                                          prevention services.
    Supportive        Family Services     20 previously homeless    $276,295
    Housing           Association of      seniors who are
    Services          Toronto             marginalized by complex
                                          health problems, low
                      148 Pears Ave.      income, who speak little
                                          English and who are at
                      25. Leonard Avenue  risk due to lack of
                                          family support will be
                                          served. Seniors with
                                          behavioural issues will
                                          use these services to let
                                          them remain in the
                                          community and age in place
                                          as well as find access to
                                          consistent senior-specific
                                          crisis intervention and
                                          psychiatric services.
    Seniors           Toronto Central     Toronto Central         $1,000,000
    Independence      Community Care      Community Care Access
    Program           Access Centre       Centre  working with
                                          multiple community
                                          resource organizations
                                          will provide
                                          individualized services
                                          to 400 marginalized
                                          seniors who can live
                                          independently, if they
                                          have the necessary
                                          resources to do so.
    Transportation    Toronto Ride        This is a proven,         $683,750
    services                              innovative community
                      (A partnership      transportation network
                      of 12 agencies:     that provides low cost,
                      Better Living       escorted rides through
                      Health and          a partnership of 12
                      Community           community agencies:
                      Community Care      Funds will be used to
                      East York,          create an electronic
                      Etobicoke           booking system to
                      Services for        provide an effective
                      Seniors, Humber     and efficient LHIN-wide
                      Community Seniors   trip management system.
                      Services, Mid-
                      Toronto Community
                      Link - Senior
                      St. Christopher
                      House, St. Clair
                      West Services for
                      Seniors, SPRINT,
                      Harmony Hall
                      (Call a Service),
                      West Toronto
                      Support Services
                      for Seniors and
                      the Disabled,
                      WoodGreen Community
    Home at Last      St. Christopher's   This service streamlines  $375,000
                      House               discharges from the
                      7 Toronto Central   hospitals, reducing the
                      LHIN acute care     number of patients
                      hospitals           waiting in hospital
                      Toronto Central     when they could be home
                      CCAC,               with some help and
                      Community Service   starting to recover.
                      Providers           With help to get the
                                          medications and
                                          groceries they need
                                          and connections to
                                          community services,
                                          this service will help
                                          seniors avoid emergency
                                          department re-admissions
                                          to hospital.
    Community Mental  Sunnybrook Health   Creation of a             $200,000
    Health Framework  Sciences Centre     psychogeriatric plan
                      Mental Health       for seniors 55+ to help
                      Program             providers seniors and
                                          caregivers find the
                                          resources seniors need
                                          in the community with a
                                          focus on specialized
                                          services for seniors
                                          with mental illness.
    Community         Woodgreen           Marginalized groups of    $150,000
    Development       Community           seniors that
                      Services            traditionally have been
                                          served by local
                                          grassroots organizations
                                          not funded for health
                                          and community services
                                          will receive seed money
                                          for innovative seniors
    TOTAL                                                       $4.9 million


For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Sandra Fawcett, Communications
Specialist, (416) 969-3281,

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Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network

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