Most older adults want to live in their homes and communities for as long as they can. Yet they can’t always manage on their own. Home and community care can provide the support they need and help them feel less isolated. It can also keep them out of expensive institutions.
Home and community services can include:
- Personal assistance (dressing, bathing), housekeeping, and home maintenance
- Help with daily activities (meals, shopping, banking)
- Education, consultation, and support for staying healthy
- Behavioural supports, psychogeriatric services, and support for dementia
- Professional services (dietetics, foot care, nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, psychology, social work, speech-language pathology)
- Education, prevention, and awareness for mental health and addictions, chronic diseases, and communication disorders
- Palliative care education and bereavement services
- Caregiver support and respite
- Traditional healing and other Indigenous cultural support services
- Day programmes, community dining clubs, and social and recreational activities
Many agencies and municipalities provide home and community care. Sometimes they can’t offer enough, and many people can’t afford to pay for more. Family members, friends, and neighbours often must step in. Today, they provide about 75% of the care delivered at home.
Not every person needs or wants every service, but all older adults should be able to get what they need without worrying about the cost. Making that happen requires change at all levels. Policy that supports older Ontarians will drive the programmes and services that let them remain safely and productively in their homes. If is for these policies and programmes that Care Watch advocates.