On August 24, Ontario’s Ombudsman released 60 recommendations in the Nowhere to Turn Report
aimed to improve services and support for adults with developmental disabilities.
The Ministry of Community and Social Services is the lead funder for Ontario’s developmental services and programs. In 2016/17, the Ministry is providing $2.1 billion for developmental services and is working with over 350 developmental services agencies across the province. The Ministry has accepted all 60 recommendations in the report.
This is a call to action for Ontario’s entire circle of care community – funders, providers, partners and caregivers.
Over 60,000 adults in Ontario have developmental disabilities, including a high number in Central LHIN, many with medically complex needs. There are many ways to shape and share in the community of care.
For example, Central LHIN in partnership with a multi-sector team* defined a new Congregate Care Model to support adults in our community with medical and developmental complexities.
The Congregate Care Model enables adults with complex needs to live with freedom and independence in their own apartment within a community setting that’s supported by onsite delivery of health care and developmental services.
The first launch of the model at Reena Community Residence in Vaughan was met with positive response from residents and families. Again working collaboratively, we have now established the Richmond Hill Hub. This model is founded on integration of health and community funding and services, and advances accessible, appropriate local care and community inclusion.
Still more work needs to be done. More adults with developmental disabilities and their caregivers (often aging parents) need more services, and also smoother, faster, better access with a consistent approach.
At Central LHIN, one of our core values is Listen to the Patient Voice.
We were inspired in this work by what we heard from a Central LHIN caregiver who wrote: “My son has a developmental disability and complex medical needs. He craves the friendship and freedom adults take for granted. Is there something the LHIN can do to help?” What we hear from a single voice may represent the concerns of many.
As health care leaders in the circle of care community, I encourage us to listen to patient voices, to seek opportunities to work together and continue to define new and constructive solutions that advance locally integrated patient-centred health and community care delivery in Central LHIN.
*Thank you to key collaborators: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Ministry of Community and Social Services and five service providers: Central Community Care Access Centre, York Region Housing, Community Living South and Reena Community Residence