The Ontario government’s ‘Health System Stability and Recovery’ plan is the focus of health officials in Kingston, Ontario, as the city continues to tackle challenges in the long-term care sector.
“It covers a lot of ground and addresses many of the areas where we face and face challenges,” says Dr David Pichora, CEO and President of Kingston Health Sciences Center (KHSC).
At the Kingston Seniors Association (KSA), out-of-hospital or long-term care facilities are part of the goal of a healthy life, but the pressure of those who don’t has the province to seek relief valves.
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“Getting out and meeting other people and you know, making new friends,” says KSA member Thea Young.
The plan looks to move senior citizens out of hospitals who don’t need to be there, and into long-term care facilities with open beds, while waiting for their preferred long-term care location to open.
“There’s a lot of nuance in getting this right,” Pichora says. “So that we are using our beds most efficiently and also striving to provide compassionate care.”
Dr. Vince DePaul is with Queens University School of Rehabilitation, and says he is not sure how effective the plan will be.
“I think it can help with a small amount, but it won’t solve the bigger problem,” DePaul says.
He says more investment in community care, such as the Oasis project at Bowling Green Apartments in Kingston, could play a role.
Oasis brings services such as nutrition, social and physical programs to the fitness of senior citizens wherever they live.
“I think the number is about $200 per day for someone in long-term care, and something like $10 per day for Oasis,” DePaul says.
A similar model is offered by the Kingston Seniors Association at its locations in the city.
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Members say that whether it is socialization or physical activity, they believe it plays a part in keeping them in their homes.
“My space is big enough that if I have to stay home for help, it’s big enough for me to do so and that’s why I’m here,” says KSA member Gail Scott. “But I’m not going to do it because I’m going to exercise.”
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