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Excellent Care for All

Supports for Daily Living – Filling Gaps in the Care Continium

Health Care Challenge

On any given day, approximately 3,000 frail, elderly patients are receiving ongoing care in Ontario hospitals. Many seniors find themselves in this situation after a fall or a sudden health issue. Up until that point, many had been living independently. A large portion of these patients are waiting to be moved into long-term care or rehabilitation facilities or back to their own homes, with appropriate home care. Many seniors would prefer to be back at home with the proper supports.

Real Change In Action

The Supports for Daily Living program in Mississauga Halton LHIN is a program under the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Updated Assisted Living Services for High Risk Seniors Policy, 2011.   This innovative program supports seniors with high-level care needs who choose to continue living in their own home and who require services on a 24/7 basis at a greater frequency or intensity than home care can provide.

The program provides daily visits to help with personal care and activities around the home, on-call response and safety checks available 24/7 on a scheduled and unscheduled basis.

The most significant change to the Assisted Living Services for High Risk Seniors Policy was to clarify that acceptable settings for the delivery of care reinforced the client at the centre of care. In the previous policy the ‘settings’ for care were generally limited to specific locations (i.e. senior’s residences, affordable housing). In the new policy it is made explicit that clients may reside in a variety of settings such as individual single family homes, townhouses, condominiums, housing co-operatives or traditional affordable housing apartment buildings.

"It's part of larger strategy of diverting people from unnecessary ER visits and reducing unnecessary stays in hospital," says Bill McLeod, CEO of the Mississauga Halton LHIN.

Suzanne Wilson’s 85-year-old father, Roy, has advanced dementia and his condition had been rapidly deteriorating. “Before this program, he had isolated himself in his apartment and he had stopped eating,” said Wilson. “These personal support workers have given him back his reason for living and he has regained 30 pounds and is much more social – I'm so grateful.”

Better Quality Care

A number of LHINs are implementing the Assisted Living Services for High Risk Seniors Policy. MHLHIN has found that its Supports for Daily Living program has reduced hospital stays for seniors as well as unnecessary ER visits. In one year, the program resulted in 741 patients discharged from hospital, 443 patients diverted from long-term care homes, 21 long-term care clients returned to the community, and the elimination of 2,080 unnecessary emergency room visits.

Not only are people given the real option of returning home, but the program saved the system nearly $3 million. More than 2,500 hospital days were saved at a cost of $1,181 per hospital day. And 2,080 emergency department visits were diverted, saving $206 per emergency room visit.

“The Supports for Daily Living program is exactly the type of innovative thinking and collaboration that is needed across the province,” said McLeod. “This program allows seniors to live in the comfort of their own home for as long as possible, resulting in more appropriate care and savings to for the health care
system.”

Learn more about the Assisted Living Services for High Risk Seniors Policy.>

Contact person:
Narendra Shah
Chief Operating Officer
Mississauga Halton LHIN
Tel.: (905) 337-7131, ext. 214
Email: Narendra.shah@lhins.on.ca 

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