Seniors say they want to remain at home and in their communities, but some of them need assistance to do so. In-home and community support services provide this assistance. These services cover a comprehensive range, including personal care, household maintenance, meals, transportation, and day programs. They also include support for caregivers – the less visible service clients. The people who deliver these services include personal support workers, activationists, drivers, and social workers as well as nurses, occupational therapists, and physiotherapists.
Health care resources are currently strained. There are too few hospital beds, emergency rooms see long lines, and wait times for long-term and rehabilitation beds are daunting. In-home and community support services ease pressures on the broader health care system. With adequate services, seniors can delay, or even avoid, ending up in institutions. Everyone benefits. Seniors are better served, and the system makes the best use of its specialized resources.
When we talk about our health care system – especially when the system is being restructured – discussion turns to the balance between public services (provided by government) and private services (provided by entities other than government). It’s a dynamic balance, which shifts constantly and depends on each government’s policies and programmes.
It is important to understand that balance, and where public and private interests and activities meet in our health system.
Read about privatization of services: Private Matters, Public Concerns: Examining Privatization in Ontario’s Health Care, April 27, 2020
Basket of Services
Care Watch advocates for an array – or basket – of in-home and community services to be available to every senior in every community in the province.
Read about the basket of services: What’s the Story? Basket of Services, May 2019.
What can you do?
- Engage your neighbours, friends and family in discussion about the basket of services
- Contact your political representatives at federal, provincial, and municipal levels and ask about their plans to implement these services