Support for caregivers making a difference for families in York Region

Community News & Features Apr 13, 2017 at 2:57 pm

This year, Ontario increased supports for people caring for their loved ones at home in the Central Local Health Integration Network region, by increasing access to respite services for over 1,500 local families.

Today (April 4), on National Family Caregiver Day — York Region MPPs Dr. Helena Jaczek, Steven Del Duca, Reza Moridi, Michael Chan and Chris Ballard are thanking people in York Region for the work they do every day to care for their loved ones. A caregiver is someone who takes on the unpaid role of helping a family member or loved one with their physical or cognitive condition, injury or chronic life-limiting illness.

For York Region, investments from the province have allowed the Central Community Care Access Centre (CCCAC) to expand their services to local families helping them to care for their loved ones at home.

At 99 years old, Laura Pummell has lived with Alzheimer’s disease for close to 20 years. While long-term care may be necessary in the future, her family’s goal is to keep their mom in the comfort and familiarity of home as long as possible.

Laura requires a wheelchair and is fully dependent on her caregivers for all daily living activities and personal care. She receives personal support each day from the CCCAC. Recently, to help Laura remain safely in the community, her CCCAC Care Coordinator arranged for occupational therapy and additional hours of personal support to assist with Laura’s daily personal care and to give Kathrine, one of Laura’s daughters and her primary caregiver, a much-needed break.

Kathrine says that caring for someone in her mother’s condition is very challenging, and having even a Saturday afternoon free really helps with her own mental welfare. She also appreciates the extra respite care as it makes it possible for her to continue caring for her mom at home.

Ontario’s support has allowed for approximately 600,000 additional hours of respite services for caregivers across the province this year.

Supporting patients and their caregivers is part of the government’s plan to build a better Ontario through its Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care. This plan is providing patients with faster access to the right care, better home and community care, the information they need to stay healthy and a health care system that’s sustainable for generations to come.