Toronto In-Home Care Blog

How to Maximize Your CCAC Services

Posted by Steve Jones

Tue, Nov 25, 2014

Fotolia_4188727_XSOntario 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.

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Topics: Healthcare system

A Week of Ontario Healthcare News

Posted by Steve Jones

Sun, Nov 2, 2014

Ontario Healthcare & Home Care News

Here are some highlights in the news this weeks about our healthcare system.  Sometimes its not only what you know but who you know and when you know that matters. 

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Topics: Healthcare system

9 Tips for an Easier Hospital Discharge

Posted by Steve Jones

Wed, Oct 29, 2014

Leaving_hospital_Saikofish_PhotoPinMany people get as little as 24 hours notice before being discharged from the hospital. This can cause some consternation, especially when the patient has been in the hospital for a while. You have to go to work, your son has a dentist appointment that can't be missed, no one has been in Grandpa's house since he went into the hospital, etc. It often means no family member can be available to assist with transfer from hospital to home and to stay with their loved one at home while they recover.

Hospital staff will start organizing for patient discharge whether the patient and family members are ready or not. Family members who receive a call that their loved one will be discharged are faced with a small window of time to make all the arrangements. They may not know what is needed to take care of the loved one at home. There are lots of moving pieces and frequently little guidance from overworked hospital staff.

Here are some tips to help you manage the hospital discharge process:

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Topics: Family caregivers, Healthcare system

The Decline of Community-Based Healthcare in Ontario

Posted by Steve Jones

Sun, Oct 12, 2014

Hospital_emergency_signFor nearly 20 years, Ontario’s provincial government has been shifting care from hospitals to outpatient services in the community, the so-called “community-based care model.” While it sounds good on paper – “the right care, in the right place, at the right time” – the reality is that the push to community-based healthcare has been failing Ontario citizens. The reduction in funding for hospitals has not been transferred to home care and other community-based services. In fact, per capita funding for home care declined 14% between 2004 and 2009. (2010 Annual Report of the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario). How much more has it declined in the last 5 years?

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Topics: Healthcare system

Why You Should Have a Power of Attorney for Personal Care

Posted by Steve Jones

Sat, Oct 11, 2014

form_signingOne of the questions we are frequently asked is, "Do I need a Power of Attorney for Personal Care? And why?" Our answer is a resounding "Yes," and there are lots of reasons for it. First, let's look at what it is.

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives another person (called a substitute decision maker or attorney) the right to make decisions for you in the event you become unable to make those decisions for yourself. In Canada, an attorney is not usually a lawyer, just the person whom you designated to make decisions for you. In Ontario there are three kinds of Power of Attorney:

  • General Power of Attorney for Property
  • Continuing Power of Attorney for Property
  • Power of Attorney for Personal Care (PAPC)

Powers of Attorney for Property allow your attorney to make decisions regarding finances and personal property. A Power of Attorney for Personal Care allows your attorney to make decisions about medical treatment, as well as non-medical issues such as housing, diet, and personal assistance.

What benefits you get from having a PAPC:

  • You choose your substitute decision maker, not your family, your doctor, or the courts. This person is required to make decisions for you based on what is in your best interest. You can also choose multiple individuals or a succession of people if your first choice is unable or unwilling to be your attorney.

  • You can state your wishes for certain situations, for instance: what medical treatments you wish to have or reject, such as life support or resuscitation; that you wish to remain in your house for as long as possible, rather than going into a long-term care facility, that you prefer to die at home rather than in a hospital.
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Topics: Family caregivers, Healthcare system

Pharmacare - A National Prescription Drugs Strategy

Posted by Steve Jones

Wed, Oct 8, 2014


Does Canada Need A Prescription Drug Strategy?

The word "Pharmacare" automatically sends the political right and left to their respective corners for a predictable battle of ideologies.  Most people automatically assume that "Pharmacare" means a government run prescription insurance plan.  Let's just call it a "Prescription Drug Strategy" and start a dialogue with open minds about improving one aspect of our healthcare system.

This Canadian Press article published by the CBC points out that a national policy could cover a wide variety of scenarios including bulk drug buying, tendering for generic drugs, collaboration between government and business insurance plans or collaboration between the provinces.


http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/pharmacare-national-prescription-drug-program-gains-support-1.2788351


CBC pharmacare-20141005 http://i.cbc.ca/1.2788364.1412634976!/cpImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/derivatives/16x9_620/pharmacare-20141005.jpg

According to the Canadian Press and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development;

  • Estimated 10% of Canadians are unable to fill prescriptions because of the expense
  • Canada has the second highest per capita spending on prescription drugs in the OECD
  • The Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions says we could save $11.4 billion a year in lower drugs costs
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Topics: Healthcare system

The Weekend Effect: Getting Better Care in the Hospital

Posted by Steve Jones

Sat, Oct 4, 2014

hospital_in_bedPeople get sick 24 hours a day – in the middle of the night, on weekends, and (gasp) even on holidays. Hospitals are open 24/7/365, but are typically staffed with perhaps only a third as many doctors on weekends as they would have on any weekday. Doctors may be “on-call,” supposedly waiting at home with phone in hand, but it can still take 30 minutes or more for a specialist to get to the hospital and be ready to see a critically ill or injured patient.

Nurses are usually staffed at close to weekday levels, but physiotherapists, dieticians and other health professionals who aren’t MDs, but are just as critical to the health, comfort, and sometimes even the survival of patients get weekends and nights off. It’s commonly cited as a trade-off for the fact they don’t make as much as doctors.

Go into any hospital at 2:00 a.m. and it will seem absolutely deserted. It’s true that most patients already in the hospital will be sleeping, requiring, for the most part, less intensive care; but what happens to the patient who arrives at 1:00 a.m. after a heart attack, and seems to be stabilized, so the doctor goes home, deciding not to perform angioplasty in the middle of the night, even though it’s critical to open clogged arteries within 90 minutes of a heart attack. If the patient suffers another attack an hour later, death is much more likely than if they had received angioplasty.

The Weekend Effect

Since 2001, when a study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the increased risk of death on nights and weekends has become known as the “weekend effect.” For most health conditions, the relative increase in deaths is small but statistically meaningful. If it’s your loved one in the hospital who is at increased risk, that statistically small number is even more meaningful.

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Topics: Family caregivers, Healthcare system

Etobicoke General Employee Giving Campaign Takes Off

Posted by Steve Jones

Sat, Sep 27, 2014

WOHSF_Tag_artwork_(2)This week is dedicated to employee engagement at  Etobicoke General Hospital. The William Osler Health System Foundation has created an in-hospital opportunity for employees to stand up and declare their support for their patients, for the hospital, and for each other.

On Monday, September 29, the annual employee giving campaign begins. It's the kick-off event for improvements and services in the Etobicoke facility, where every employee gets a chance to share goals and their vision for the place where employees spend a good chunk of their time. This year Qualicare is sponsoring the campaign with a donation to the Foundation, but more importantly as volunteers throughout the week.  We'll be on site all week long with snacks, gifts prizes and big smiles to show our thanks and appreciation for employees of the hospital. It's going to be a fun week!

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Topics: Healthcare system, Community partners

Ontario Pushing Patients Out of Hospitals

Posted by Steve Jones

Fri, Apr 25, 2014

A report entitled "Pushed out of Hospital, Abandoned at Home" says that after twenty years of budget cuts, Ontario’s health system is failing patients. The  Ontario Council of Hospital Unions (OCHU) and the Ontario Association of Speech-Language Pathologists and Audiologists (OSLA) claims tSenior with Caregiver-walkerhat Ontario's health care system is pushing patients out of hospital prematurely. 

The 64 page report http://www.ochu.on.ca/resources/Events/HOTLINE_REPORT_2014.pdf published this week, describes the experiences of real patients and their families from more than 30 Ontario communities who responded to a hotline run by the two union groups.

This similar topic was reviewed here not long ago. http://blog.qualicaretoronto.com/community-care-access-centres-ccac

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Topics: Healthcare system

Ontario Health Links - Full Treatment Plans

Posted by Steve Jones

Tue, Apr 15, 2014

Health Links is a new initiative in Ontario intended to help promote full treatment plans dealing with all of a patient's medical issues rather than treating each medical issue individually.

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Topics: Healthcare system