Bring Health Home initiative launches to amplify Ontarians' call for increased home health care amidst COVID-19
Study reveals 78 per cent of Ontarians (and 82 per cent of those aged 55+) say they would prefer home health care for themselves and their loved ones over long-term care facilities
TORONTO, Oct. 1, 2020 /CNW/ - Today, a new initiative launches to amplify the voices of an increasing number of Ontarians calling for even more government support for home health care services.
Following months of feedback and insight-gathering from patients, caregivers and concerned citizens across the province, the Bring Health Home collective has formed to give Ontarians a platform to share their concern about the continued need for more home health care. According to a study, 97 per cent of Ontarians believe there is a crisis in long-term care in the province. Bring Health Home has come together to help address these issues and reimagine Ontario's healthcare system. Despite the recent funding announcements from the Provincial Government, which are a step in the right direction, even more support is needed to implement the kind of meaningful care Ontario patients and their caregivers so desperately need. By shifting the idea of care from institution-focused to home and community based, Ontarians could receive more access to the care they need at home, safely. In fact, the rates of COVID-19 cases in the home health care setting remain very low.
"I have yet to meet a patient who doesn't want to remain at home and receive their care at home whenever possible," says Dr. Samir Sinha, Director of Geriatrics, Sinai Health System and University Health Network. "Ontarians need to know that homecare is a viable, safe and accessible care option that can ease growing burdens on our healthcare system and often better meet their needs; especially during this pandemic. Ontarians need to better vocalize their desire and our collective need for more homecare."
Not only does the lack of home health care impact individual patients, it also impacts family members who end up taking on the physical toll of caregiving as well as the emotional strain of coordinating and implementing care, such as well-known media personality, Cheryl Hickey.
"While homecare is available, it is not financially accessible for everyone, especially for those who need 24-hour care," says Hickey. "My parents have been married for 56 years, and they are currently living separately so that my father can get the care he needs. We need to do better, and homecare must play a bigger role in our healthcare system, so that we can keep families together. People shouldn't be separated from their loved ones simply because home care is not accessible for their family."
Amplifying Ontarians' Voices
Bring Health Home is made up of four frontline home health care organizations: Bayshore HealthCare, Closing the Gap Healthcare, VON Canada and SE Health. Collectively, they make 24.6 million home health care visits a year and deliver home health care services to more than 633,000 Ontarians. Each organization brings decades of experience, and between them, they provide more than 50% of home health care services in Ontario.
Bring Health Home believes investing in patient-first home and community-based care is the solution to building a modern, stronger and integrated healthcare system for everyone in Ontario. The collective sees the benefits of home health care first-hand on a day-to-day basis, as do their patients and caregivers, and we want to give Ontarians the platform to express their need and desire for home health care.
A Province-Wide Call To Action
Like the patients and caregivers whose voices they amplify, Bring Health Home believes a stronger, safer healthcare system in Ontario is possible with more government support for home health care. Their singular mission is to raise awareness of patient and caregivers' need for more home health care by rallying Ontarians to share the message.
To do this, they have launched a campaign consisting of new survey data, real patient and caregiver stories (including well-known Canadians with lived experience), as well as a simple yet informative video and website that make sharing the message easy.
The survey of 1,001 Ontarians was conducted on June 18 and 19, 2020 using a representative online panel. It has a margin of error of +/- 3.1%, nineteen times out of twenty.
SOURCE Bring Health Home