Changes to Ontario’s home health care system were introduced without fanfare in the summer of 2014 and seniors are most affected by the move to local non-profit agencies providing home care.
There are currently 14 Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) in Ontario that coordinate home care. They have recently been asked to shift focus to higher needs clients and transfer caregiving for seniors and other “lower needs” individuals living at home to non-profit agencies such as the March of Dimes.
According to a July 13, 2015 report in the Globe and Mail, tens of thousands of seniors who count on regular support in their own home will be seeing a change in the way the province provides assistance with bathing, medication management and meal preparation. Already about 800 people in the Hamilton, Niagara and Brantford area are adjusting to the switch and other regions including Ottawa, Sudbury, Scarborough, east-end Toronto and Oshawa are slated to begin changing over to non-profit providers in the coming months.
Seniors who have developed a comfortable relationship with home care providers may be forced to make a decision between paying out of pocket for assistance or training a new person. Clients often develop close relationships with home care workers who may help with bathing and other intimate tasks. Establishing trust between client and care providers, especially for older individuals, can take a long time.
The changes to the way the province and CCAC deliver service to it’s lighter needs clients has been implemented in an effort to stretch health dollars and make better use of medical expertise. But critics claim adding more levels of bureaucracy will only make navigating community-based health care a greater challenge for an aging population.
To read the entire the story, the culmination of three months of investigation, visit http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/ontario-moving-some-seniors-home-care-to-private-agencies/article25487019/?cmpid=rss1 .