What is Home First?
The Home First philosophy helps older adults return home with the necessary post-hospital supports to safely recover when their acute care hospital treatment is complete. It offers compassionate, dignified, quality care and helps to prevent return visits to the hospital. The program is funded under Central LHIN’s Aging at Home Strategy and is offered in partnership with Central LHIN hospitals and Home and Community Care at the Central LHIN. It provides patients with enhanced care services in the comfort of their own home and promotes better long-term health outcomes.
Home First is not meant to replace a hospital stay or an admission to a long-term care home. However, it provides care support to patients at home that may help prevent revisits to the hospital, and delay admission to a long-term care home. More than half of the Home First clients become well enough to remain in their home, with a reduced level of home care support. This program also eases pressures on hospitals and long wait times in our hospital emergency rooms and reduces the risk of infections that can be picked up while in a hospital.
In addition, Home First provides adults who may be facing a decision to move to a long-term care home with the time they need to make an informed and thoughtful choice from the dignity and comfort of their home, in a healthier frame of mind.
The program has served 8,595 clients since its implementation from September 2009 to March 2018. In fiscal year 2017-18, Central LHIN funded a total of 237 Home First spots to support 1,531 clients to safely return home after their hospital stay. 71 per cent of these Home First clients remained in the community after receiving enhanced care, thus reducing the need for long-term care.
How does it work?
Hospital staff and care coordinators from Home and Community Care work closely with alternate level of care patients (those patients whose acute care treatment is completed) and their family/caregiver to create a plan of care to support each patient’s unique needs. The costs of these services are covered by the Ontario health card and may include home nursing visits, personal support workers, medication management and more.
Care coordinators from Home and Community Care may also identify additional community services and supports that will help seniors maintain their independence and quality of life. There may be a charge for these non-Home and Community Care services.
For more information on Home First in the Central LHIN, contact Home and Community Care:
(905) 895-1240 or (416) 222-2241
TTY: (416) 222-0876