McGuinty Government Transforming Community Living to Help Seniors Live Independently at Home



    Aging at Home Strategy Will be LHIN led and Reflect Local Cultural
    Diversity

    TORONTO, Aug. 28 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is launching an Aging at
Home Strategy that will transform community health care services so that
seniors can live healthy, independent lives in their own homes, Health and
Long-Term Care Minister George Smitherman announced today.
    "Our goal is to open a whole world of opportunity for seniors that will
offer new lifestyle choices that are reflective of how Ontario's seniors truly
want to live," said Smitherman "As our population ages, we need to look for
innovative solutions that are more responsive to their needs and allow seniors
to continue to live in comfort and with respect in their own homes, ideally
for the rest of their days."
    As part of a three-year $700 million strategy, Ontario's 14 Local Health
Integration Networks (LHINs) will lead an exciting initiative that will impact
the way services are delivered and help provide more equitable access to
health care by matching the needs of the local senior population with the
appropriate support services. These services could include enhanced home care
and community support services like meals, transportation, shopping, snow
shoveling, friendly home calling, adult day programs, homemaking services and
caregiver supports.
    "The Ontario Community Support Association and our members are pleased
that this government recognizes the value of community support services and
assisted living in supportive housing programs that keep people healthy at
home where they want to be. Evidence shows that these services reduce seniors
and persons with disabilities use of hospitals, ERs and prevent premature
institutionalization - which is what this system desperately needs," said
Susan Thorning, OCSA's CEO.
    The Aging at Home Strategy will offer new possibilities for Ontario's
culturally diverse populations and other community-level organizations like
service clubs and groups of seniors to help serve themselves. It will make
available supports to help keep our seniors healthy and active, longer.
Innovative thinking combined with health care solutions that encourage
prevention and health promotion will play a large role in the LHINs plans to
support Ontario's seniors and their caregivers.
    "As with the development of residential hospices we are witnessing across
the province, government investments in community, like that we are announcing
today, find success for many reasons," said Smitherman "not least of which is
because they leverage the love and support that is on offer from countless
community volunteers seeking to make a positive difference in the lives of
their fellow citizens."
    "We're very pleased that this kind of innovative funding will soon be
available to help seniors living in their own homes," said Lillian Morgenthau,
President of Canada's Association for the Fifty-Plus.
    Today's investment has been designed with an historic new patient-centred
funding model that recognizes population growth and promotes equitable access
to services across Ontario based on the actual health needs of the population.
Funding for enhanced services will flow to the LHINs in April 2008.
    In total, the government will invest $702 million in the Aging at Home
Strategy:

    
    First-Year Planning for LHINs                                 $3,000,000
    Assistive Devices Program Funding Increase                   $40,000,000
      (mobility aids)
    Provincial Priorities                                        $66,000,000
    Allocations to LHINs                                        $593,000,000

    It is estimated that the senior's population in Ontario will double in the
next 16 years. This investment will result in a more sustainable health care
system that provides supports to seniors where they most want them, in their
own homes.
    This is just one more example of how, working together, Ontarians have
achieved results in health care services. Other initiatives include:

    -   $800 million more in long-term care home funding since 2003
    -   $463 million more in home care funding since 2003
    -   $100 million more in community support service funding since 2003
    -   $875 million invested in reducing wait times since 2003 to perform
        more than 1,270,000 procedures.

    Today's initiative is part of the McGuinty government's plan for
innovation in public health care, building a system that delivers on three
priorities - keeping Ontarians healthy, reducing wait times and providing
better access to doctors and nurses.

    This news release, along with other media materials, such as matte stories
and audio clips, on other subjects, are available on our website at:
http://www.health.gov.on.ca under the News Media section.
    For more information on achievements in health care, visit:
www.resultsontario.gov.on.ca.

    Disponible en français.


    LHIN Media Contacts
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                     LHIN Office
    LHIN                Location   Main Media Contact           Phone Number
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Central LHIN         Markham        Anna Themelis  905-948-1872 ext. 203
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Central East            Ajax    Katie Cronin-Wood  905-427-5497 ext. 218
     LHIN                            OR Karen O'Brien  905-427 5497 ext. 212
                                             Monaghan
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Central West        Brampton      Robert Longphee  905-455-1281 ext. 235
     LHIN
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Champlain LHIN        Ottawa  Robert Cushman, CEO         1-866-902-5446
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Erie St. Clair       Chatham         Ron Sheppard           519-351-5677
     LHIN
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    HNHB LHIN            Grimsby        Trish Simmons        C: 289-241-7912
                                                       905-945-4930 ext. 255
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mississauga         Oakville    Bill MacLeod, CEO  905-337-7131 ext. 207
     Halton LHIN                          John Magill,
                                          Board Chair
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North Simcoe         Orillia         Susan French  705-326-7750 ext. 234
     Muskoka LHIN
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North East LHIN    North Bay    Monique Rocheleau  705-840-2872 ext. 218
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North West LHIN  Thunder Bay         Lisa Niccoli  807-684-9425 ext 2017
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    South East LHIN   Belleville       Polly Thompson  613-967-0196 ext. 221
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    South West LHIN       London      Tommasina Conte  519-672-0445 ext. 208
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Toronto              Toronto       Sandra Fawcett           416-969-3281
     Central LHIN
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Waterloo              Guelph    Marlene Batchelor           519-648-3275
     Wellington LHIN
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------



    Backgrounder
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

                           AGING AT HOME STRATEGY
    

    The government is expanding community living options for seniors by
investing more than $700 million over three years in an Aging at Home
strategy. The province's 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) will
receive significant funding and tailor a range of support services to meet the
needs of seniors so that they may live independently in their own homes.
    Services could include enhanced home care and community support services
like meals, transportation, adult day programs, homemaking services and
caregiver supports, and increased access to mobility aids. These community
services will give seniors support to lead healthy and independent lives at
home.
    Twenty per cent or more of the Aging at Home funding is earmarked for
innovative approaches to service such as culturally sensitive options and
community economic development approaches for service delivery that will
increase equity and access for marginalized and at risk seniors, and employ
community members (cultural, linguistic etc.) who can identify and connect
with seniors, and build capacity for members of the community to help each
other.
    These approaches may also include funding to support non-traditional
partnerships and new preventive and wellness services. For example, groups and
individuals who deliver care informally, such as friendly home
visits/telephone calls and transportation to appointments.
    The historic new funding model used to allocate funding to the LHINs is
based on the estimated health needs of the people in each LHIN and their
associated costs.

    
    -   Estimates of health needs are based on each individual's age,
        diagnosis, and rural and socio-economic status.
    -   The needs of each LHIN's population in 2010 are forecast based on
        projections of population growth and aging.

    Listed below is a breakdown of the Aging at Home funding:

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                   Three Year Allocations to LHINs
                          ---------------------------------------------------
    Local Health                           Planned      Planned
     Integration  2007/08     Initial         Base         Base      Planned
     Network     Planning  Investment     Increase     Increase   Three-Year
     (LHIN)       Funding     2008/09      2009/10      2010/11      Funding
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Erie
     St. Clair  $187,000   $3,937,535   $9,785,302  $17,282,348  $31,005,184
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    South West  $236,000   $7,005,606  $17,409,869  $30,748,507  $55,163,982
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Waterloo
     Wellington $181,000   $4,783,520  $11,887,688  $20,995,487  $37,666,695
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Hamilton
     Niagara
     Haldimand
     Brant      $295,000   $7,638,234  $18,982,036  $33,525,196  $60,145,467
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Central
     West       $162,000   $2,737,669   $6,803,474  $12,015,982  $21,557,124
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mississauga
     Halton     $196,000   $7,685,778  $19,100,189  $33,733,872  $60,519,839
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Toronto
     Central    $243,000   $6,194,791  $15,394,886  $27,189,738  $48,779,415
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Central     $263,000  $13,527,801  $33,618,398  $59,375,263 $106,521,461
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Central
     East       $288,000   $4,641,877  $11,535,688  $20,373,799  $36,551,365
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    South East  $182,000   $2,211,479   $5,495,822   $9,706,466  $17,413,767
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Champlain   $246,000   $6,928,868  $17,219,166  $30,411,697  $54,559,731
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North
     Simcoe
     Muskoka    $161,000   $2,973,268   $7,388,969  $13,050,056  $23,412,292
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North-East  $202,000   $4,290,570  $10,662,643  $18,831,868  $33,785,081
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    North-West  $158,000   $1,046,673   $1,924,956   $3,399,768   $6,371,397
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario
     Total    $3,000,000  $75,603,669 $187,209,085 $330,640,046 $593,452,800
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Total Funding
    -------------
    Assistive Devices Program Funding Increase       $40,000,000
     (mobility aids)
    Provincial Priorities                            $66,000,000
    Allocations to LHINs                            $596,452,800
                                                    ------------
                                                    $702,452,800


    Disponible en français.

                             www.health.gov.on.ca
    





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Jeff Rohrer, Minister's Office,
(416) 326-8016; David Jensen, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, (416)
314-6197; Members of the general public: 1-866-532-3161

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