I had an opportunity to participate in a discussion on resources provided by the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC for short). Part of my role as a geriatric care manager is to make sure our clients are living as well as they can and this includes being aware of resources and associated costs. As I have always said when dealing with POA’s, is that care requirements need to be supported by the finances available.
As most of you may know the CCAC is the first point of contact for accessing information and publicly funded resources for Seniors. A little history: The CCAC’s were established by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care in 1996 to “help the public access government-funded home and community services and Long-Term Care Homes. There are 14 CCAC’s throughout Ontario and they are funded through the 14 Local Health Integrated Network (LHINs). In theory, all of the CCAC’s across the province, regardless of where you live, offer the same services. In practice that is not the case. The CCAC’s is the point of access for in home services as well as admission to Long-Term Care Homes. They also assess and coordinate access to professional health care services such as nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech language therapy and dietician services for children with special needs. To find your local CCAC, you can enter your postal code on their website.
In the Central region, the CCAC sees 30,000 patients daily. The majority are frail seniors who live in their own homes. Within Home and Community Support, offered services include: visiting health professional services (ie nursing for wound care); personal care and support (PSW); homemaking and community support( meal delivery, transportation adult day programs). The services of a Personal Support Worker can make the different in an older individual being able to remain safely in their own home or not. Clients are assessed according to need and these categories include:
– Community Independent Clients: require supervision during bathing;
– Chronic Care Seniors: need assistance with toileting, getting dressed, and most of their ADL (activities of daily living);
– Complex Care Seniors: are wheelchair users, require 24 hour care, turning and positioning, feeding
Given the demand on the system today, on average, a senior with chronic care needs may receive up to 14 hrs of personal support weekly. For those who are in need of palliative care services, they may receive up to 56 hours /week of PSW support. There are 168 hours in a week. You do the math……
Many of the readers of this blog may well be able to afford supplementing with privately purchased care at approximately $24/hour. For the vast majority of seniors today, they cannot.
For us to have choices, it is important to know what is available, how to access this information and to know what other options exist. Given the complexities many families hire a private care manager to navigate and coordinate services. For those who go it alone, please visit www.centralhealthline.ca for more information on services available in your own community.