Home Care and Aging in Place

The Canadian Association of Home Care describes Home Care as an array of health and support services provided in the homes, retirement communities, group homes, and other community settings to people with acute, chronic, palliative, or rehabilitative health care needs.

And here’s an extract from the website of The Canadian Bioethics Society…………"because health care spending that accompanies Home Care does not fall under the Canada Health Act, there is tremendous variation in the funding and delivery across the country”...........in other words it's a gamble, depending on where you live.

According to a study by CIHI - The Canadian Institute for Health Information, twenty percent of seniors admitted to care facilities in Canada don’t need to be there and could have continued living longer in their own homes if they had adequate support from Home Care services.

The study also showed that seniors already in hospital are six times more likely to go directly into long-term care than seniors who are assessed when living at home. Hospitals were designed for short-term stays, but with seniors, they often have multiple conditions, so these would influence the decision of the assessment performed in hospital.

The CIHI results show that it might be better to give patients more time to recuperate, or perhaps even to wait until after the patient has returned home.

The study, called Seniors in Transition, highlights the need for health organizations to plan and co-ordinate their services such as Home Care, as Canada’s population ages. 

If Home Care were to be an efficient, streamlined system, a greater number of seniors would, no doubt, choose to stay put and age in place.

Problems!

  • Assessments in the hospital setting which are placing people in long term care facilities when they don't necessarily need to be there, thus depriving those people of the option to age in place longer.
  • A Home Care industry in need of a government mandate to evolve into a fully-fledged professional entity with adequately qualified personnel and a controlled fee structure preferably under the aegis of The Canada Health Act.
  • In 2017, Canada had 6.2 million people over the age of 65, including 2.6 million over age 75. In 20 years, those numbers are projected to grow to 10.4 million, including 5.7 million over age 75 so it’s clear that this situation is going to get much worse if something isn’t done quickly.

A Solution?

The Green House Project is specially-designed homes in which elders can live with dignity, comfort and companionship. There are already more than 100 Green House Project homes in 32 states, with more than 100 more in the works.

The Green House Project focuses on helping companies and individuals convert existing homes or build new ones that can provide high levels of care for people who do not wish to be a in the traditional nursing home setting.

A Green House Project community consists of clusters of smaller homes with each ten or so senior residents. 


Green House pastime

Each home has a central area with an open kitchen where someone is always cooking, surrounded by eight to ten private rooms each with its own bathroom. It is designed to make residents feel truly at home.


This touching and well produced video gives a sense of just how desirable a setting like this can be for people who wish to feel engaged with their environment during the more dependent time of life click below.............

The Green House Project

Call to action!

So, an arrangement combining effective Home Care delivery which supports aging in place in one's own home with the option of moving to a residence run on The Green House Project model would provide attractive options for elder care.

There are only a few Green House Project type elder care homes in Canada and maybe there needs to be many more.

Click here for a report on one such example in High River Alberta