Advocacy Update: Enhanced Home Care Support

As a direct result of Community Living Ontario’s involvement, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care recently completed a consultation regarding home care for people with complex support needs and who have an intellectual disability. The aim was to recommend changes to the system to provide better support and to help ensure that people were not inappropriately placed in hospitals, long-term care facilities or other institutional settings.

The consultation resulted from a human rights complaint launched by Audrey and Ian Cole of Lanark County, which was settled in the summer of 2016. The Ministry told Ian that he was at risk of being removed from his home, where he lives independently with a roommate, because he was exceeding the allowed amount of daily in-home nursing supports by one per day. In order to get the required support, the government stated that Ian would need to go into long-term care.

Believing in his right to receive health care without losing his home, Community Living Ontario, People First of Ontario and the Canadian Association for Community Living proposed to intervene in the human rights case. However, the group withdrew its intervention in exchange for the Ministry agreeing to undertake a consultation process to look at how home care services for people who have an intellectual disability might be improved, including issues around caps on in-home care supports.

Ultimately, we were successful in having the Ministry regulation changed, allowing for the additional support that Ian required to continue living in his own home – a change that is now in place for all citizens of Ontario!

The consultation group completed its recommendations in June of 2017 and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Final Report was made public on Monday, September 25th. It is available here.

Community Living Ontario Past President Helene Morin-Chain with Community Living ally Audrey Cole and Community Living Ontario CEO Chris Beesley. Audrey was recognized with Community Living Ontario’s Orville Endicott Social Justice Award in 2017 for challenging a provincial regulation that would have resulted in her son, Ian, being institutionalized.

Thanks to your continued support, Community Living Ontario has been able to provide a voice to thousands of people who have an intellectual disability. Your involvement improves the quality of life for others in your community.

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