Ontario CCACs have a variety of programs to determine eligibility for services. One of their best kept secrets is a program variously called “Wait at Home” or “Home First” (as it is called by Toronto Central CCAC). This program was designed for seniors who have been discharged from the hospital and need a higher level of care while deciding when, where, and whether where to enter a long-term care (LTC) facility.
A few weeks ago we wrote about how Ontario’s funding policies for hospitals and CCACs have been failing Ontario citizens. One of the results of these policies is that seniors are often discharged when they are still acutely ill because the bed is needed for a new patient. Sometimes hospitals push for a senior patient enter a long-term care facility so they can discharge the patient earlier, and threaten to charge the patient $500 to $1,500 or more per day if they do not choose to apply to facilities that either have a bed available or will have one in the very near future. If there are no beds available at the family’s preferred facilities, they are forced to choose one where a bed is or will shortly be available, no matter how inconvenient it may be.
Toronto CCAC’s Home First program allows those who would otherwise be shuttled off to LTC to go home with more services than the standard level of eligibility. Perhaps the patient would not need to enter a LTC home at all if they were given enough assistance to recuperate fully at their own pace at home; perhaps they would be able to convalesce at home for a longer time until a bed becomes available in their preferred facility; or perhaps they simply need time to decide whether an LTC home is the best solution for them.
While the program is intended for those who are transitioning to home immediately after hospital discharge, seniors may be eligible months after discharge or while deciding whether to enter LTC. It may even be available to those who have been at home and whose needs have surpassed the level of services they have been eligible for in the past.
To find out if you or a loved one is eligible for this service, contact your CCAC. The services available under this program may still not be sufficient for the optimum level of care, but more government services means you will pay for fewer services out of your own pocket. Qualicare provides a dedicated nurse case manager for every client. No matter what services you are eligible for, your case manager is your advocate who will help set up the proper level of service with your CCAC and ensure you receive everything you qualify for.