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Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres Applauds Health Council Canada Report on Home & Community Care

Toronto, April 16, 2012 – The Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres (OACCAC) supports the recommendations brought forward today by the Health Council of Canada in their comprehensive report: Seniors in need, caregivers in distress: What are the home care priorities for seniors in Canada? Among the highest level of service provision in the country, Ontario’s push towards a stronger health care system will require a shift in the way home care is understood, valued, and integrated into the health system — including the way that health care dollars are allocated.”We know that 93 per cent of Canadians prefer to receive care and stay at home for as long as possible,” said Margaret Mottershead, OACCAC CEO. “The benefit to the client is obvious; the benefit to the health care system is a high quality and sustainable care alternative that frees up hospital and long-term care beds for people who need them the most.”

The Health Council of Canada’s new report reinforces that publicly funded home care needs to be an integral part of a high-functioning health care system. The report provides the first cross Canada snapshot on the needs of home care clients and their caregivers.

“When home care is properly valued and integrated into the health care system, it can improve the health and well-being of many seniors and their families, and reduce costs to the health care system,” said John G. Abbott, CEO of the Health Council of Canada.

The report highlights key innovative practices with the goal of identifying, sharing, and encouraging the spread of these practices to strengthen Canada’s health care system. Featured in the report, the CCAC Home First philosophy addresses the issue of Alternate Level of Care. Collaborating with health care partners to apply a Home First approach that provides hospital patients with enhanced services that enable them to go home to continue their recovery or wait for a long-term care bed. The Client Health Related Information System (CHRIS), a province-wide solution that provides a potential platform to support integrated and system-wide linkages to other care providers, including primary care, was also underscored in the report.

However, the report also highlights the need to support the role of caregivers and calls for a system that regularly assesses the situations of seniors and their family caregivers and provides support, whether it is additional hours of home care or faster placement of a loved one into a long-term facility. “Home care cannot be considered an effective and viable solution without the critical contributions that family and other unpaid caregivers make in supporting people who need care, especially vulnerable seniors,” said Ms. Mottershead.

Community Care Access Centres provide services in the home and the community for more than 616,000 Ontarians annually.

About the OACCAC:
The Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres (OACCAC) is the voice of the CCAC sector, a key player within a sustainable integrated health care system. The OACCAC fosters strategic alliances within the health care system while continuously delivering high quality shared services to members and health care partners.

For further information:
Gabriella Skubincan, Director, Communications & Marketing, OACCAC (416) 640-4803