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Social workers and their role in senior care in Ontario

Those of us lucky enough to live in Ontario have access to amazing social workers and other support personnel to help when crisis strikes. Whether for a broken hip or a serious medical condition, all of the professionals working within the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) work together to help seniors return home after a hospital stay.

Their philosophy focuses on keeping seniors safe in the comfort of their own homes for as long as possible with community supports. At Living Assistance Services, we share the same philosophy and understand the importance of being home for recovery.

The Discharge Process

Seniors who live alone or have a limited support network and require extra help after a hospital stay are kept in hospital until LHIN staff is able to arrange the support services needed. This is no small task, when you consider the increasing aging population. They help more than 637,000 people each year and this number is expected to continue to rise.

Unfortunately, an overburdened network means that many seniors are forced to remain in hospitals even after it’s no longer a medical necessity. For the patient, this results in an increased risk of hospital-associated complications, ranging from a decline in physical functioning to infections. It also means tying up acute care beds, which remain in short supply.

Hospital social workers and LHIN staff do what they can to support patients to return home. A big part of this is providing the patient and family—if any—with advice and information on how to help the patient manage at home. Much of this relies on family members being able to help and take on as much of the caregiving as possible, with some outside support. Finding sufficient care at home for seniors who don’t have family, whose family live far away, or are busy with their own lives is especially difficult. This often results in a longer hospital stay while other home care services are arranged.

Private Home Care Agencies Offer an Alternative to Get Seniors Home Sooner

LHINs have their hands full when it comes to the number of seniors in hospitals requiring home care before their discharge. This can be just as frustrating for them as it is for patients. Private home care agencies like ours provide an alternative for seniors who require extra home health care services so they can return home after a hospital stay.

Our highly experienced caregivers can be there from discharge through recovery.

Our registered nurse reviews and assesses caregiving needs free of charge. Our caregivers don’t just provide home health care services, but are also available to provide supplementary care in the hospital, if needed.

We offer RN-supervised support, such as administering medication and injections, wound care, pain management, and much more. Our caregivers can also help with all aspects of personal care, housekeeping and meal preparation, and even errands. Chronic disease and palliative care are also available.

Our wide range of home care services are catered to the senior’s specific needs so they get as much or as little care as needed while they make the transition from hospital back to home for recovery. And because we’re able to arrange home care quickly— with as little as 24 to 48 hours notice in some cases—patients can return to the comfort of home much sooner.

If you or an aging loved one is in need of support once you leave the hospital, give us a call to learn more about how we can help you during your recovery.

David Porter, CPCA

Living Assistance Services – Senior Home Care



Article Resources
Facts about Local Health Integration Network Home and Community Care Services.
Supporting Seniors Return Home from Hospital.

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