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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Because this is the rainy day: a discussion paper on home care and informal caregiving for seniors with chronic health conditions

Released in February, 2011, by The Change Foundation, an independent policy think tank, intent on changing the health-care debate, health-care practice and the health-care experience in Ontario.

Can we provide good care at home for seniors with chronic health conditions? If so, at what cost? And to whom?

To explore these questions, The Change Foundation commissioned leading home-care expert Dr. John Hirdes, (Professor, University of Waterloo and Scientific Director, Homewood Research Institute), to examine data on Ontario seniors with chronic conditions to help us understand how they use home-care services, what their health-care needs are as they move from hospital to home and/or community care, and what the implications are for their caregivers.

Dr. Hirdes and his research team delved into rich, detailed data about home-care use in Ontario from 2004 to 2008. The picture that emerges illustrates the need for action to address three objectives:
  • to better align home-care services to seniors’ needs;
  • to realign resources from acute to community care; and
  • to use home care more strategically to provide seniors and their informal caregivers with care and support tailored to their needs as well as to help solve health system problems.

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