Ontario kicked off its seniors strategy in 2012 to address a demographic crunch as its population ages and health costs balloon.
A key plank of the strategy involves keeping patients and those who need care out of hospitals and long term care homes. The solution? Providing health and personal support care at home.
- Home care service is provided by healthcare workers to people who have clinical needs in their homes. Services are administered and assessed by Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) in Ontario. The CCAC arranges services like physiotherapy, occupational therapy and the arrangement of medical supplies and equipment. Waterloo Region and Guelph are served by the Waterloo Wellington CCAC.
- Home care service is viewed as a key element to ensuring the health care system remains sustainable with an aging population. Just under 15 per cent of Ontarians are over 65, and they account for just under half of all health and social care spending. There are 1.9 million people in Ontario over the age of 65; by 2030 that is projected to grow to four million.
- The number of seniors in Waterloo Wellington is growing at a faster rate than the provincial average. The projected growth rate of those over 65 in Waterloo Wellington between now and 2021 is 36 per cent. In Ontario, that rate is 32.6 per cent.
- A day in a hospital costs the healthcare system about $1,000 per day. A day in a long term care home costs about $133 per day. A day of home and community care costs about $55 per day.
- Fifty six per cent of clients served by the Waterloo Wellington CCAC are over the age of 65. Just under 28 per cent are between the ages of 19 and 64, while 16 per cent are 18 years or younger.