McGuinty Government Transforming Community Living to Help Seniors Live Independently at Home in Central Local Health Integration Network



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

    MARKHAM, ON, Aug. 28 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is launching an
Aging at Home Strategy that will transform community health care services in
the Central Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) 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."
    The McGuinty government is investing over $106 million in the Central
LHIN over the next three years as part of an overall $700 million investment
announced earlier today.
    As part of a three-year 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.
    "We are truly pleased with the government's commitment to improving the
lives of seniors in the Central LHIN," said Ken Morrison, chairman of the
board of the Central LHIN. "This focus on community-based care will give
seniors the support they need to achieve greater independence and better
health so they can remain in their own communities, close to friends and loved
ones."
    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."
    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.
    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 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.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Jeff Rohrer, Minister's Office,
(416) 326-8016; Anne Themelis, Central LHIN, (905) 948-1872 ext 203; 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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Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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