McGuinty Government's Aging at Home and Health System Innovation Promise is Welcome News!

    TORONTO, Aug. 28 /CNW/ - The Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA)
commends the McGuinty Government for its promise of $700M in funding to Local
Health Integrated Networks (LHINs) for enhancements to community support
services and assisted living in supportive housing programs that help people
age at home.
    A commitment to also support innovative strategies to improve community
health services to people and find efficiencies in the health care system is
welcome news.
    "OCSA's Board and 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.
    With this infusion of funding, agencies can enhance their capacity to
deliver much needed services to help people with activities of daily living,
respite services for caregivers, and transportation programs to help clients
get to medical appointments and reduce wait lists for high demand services
like personal support.
    Innovative responsive programs like "Home at Last" are already in place
in some LHINs helping to get people home from the hospital or ER faster. A
lead community support agency is identified for each hospital. Taking
responsibility for the resettlement of the client back to home and acts
quickly and responsively to meet the needs of each client. "Home at Last" is
an ideal innovative initiative that would be a perfect fit for expansion
through the innovations funding announced today.
    An upcoming Symposium sponsored by OCSA and the Canadian Research Network
for Care in the Community (CRNCC) on October 15, 2007 at the Sheraton Parkway
Hotel, Richmond Hill, "Supportive Housing: The Winning Formula for Supporting
People & Maintaining the Health care system", will see a host of national and
international experts share insights, research findings and experiences with
various supportive housing models for frail seniors and persons with physical
and mental disabilities (for program information:
    "We look forward to continuing to work with the Ministry, the Local
Health Integration Networks (LHINS), and our partners in the broader health
care system to wrap our collective arms around people to ensure they get
integrated, client-centred care in the right place at the right time by the
right provider," Claude Tremblay, President of OCSA, stressed.

    The Ontario Community Support Association (OCSA) is the voice of
community support service agencies across the province that provide a broad
basket of services to seniors and persons with disabilities such as attendant
care, adult/Alzheimer day programs, Meals on Wheels, personal and home
support, transportation and supportive housing programs. Member agencies have
25,000 staff and 100,000 volunteers. Over 750,000 people of all ages across
Ontario receive community support services each year.

For further information:

For further information: Lori Payne, Manager, Communications &
Development, OCSA,, (416) 459-9224 or (416) 256-3010 Ext
242,  website:; Rob McEwan, Veritas Communications, (416)

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