CHFT Aging in Place Work Group
CHFT Aging in Place Working Group
Left to right: Bill Ferguson, Christine Mounsteven, Corrie Galloway, Michelle Arscott (CHFT Representative), Eleanor McDonald, Brynne Teall, Judith Forrestal
What is Aging in Place?
Aging in Place – sometimes called Aging at Home – means providing older people with the social and health care services they need to stay in their homes and avoid institutionalization as long as possible. The Ontario government had allocated funding for aging in place pilot projects, but that funding has ceased. Current home care programs fall short of our members’ real needs. It is clear that we co-op residents will have to fill in the gaps between the services that government provides and what we seniors really need.
We are a small handful of Toronto co-op residents who have some experience in aging in place and want to share that experience with other housing co-ops. We began meeting in 2008 to find ways to help co-op members age in their co-op homes. Here is who we are:
Bill Ferguson, Woodsworth Co-op
Judith Forrestal, Church Isabella Residents’ Co-op; director, Care Watch
Corrie Galloway, Windward Co-op
Eleanor Mcdonald, Hugh Garner Co-op
Christine Mounsteven (chair), Charles Hastings Co-op; director, Canadian Pensioners Concerned
Brynne Teall, manager at Oak Street Co-op
Michelle Arscott (staff)
To help co-op members remain in their homes as long as possible by maintaining and enhancing their physical and emotional well being.
Terms of Reference
Our Aging in Place Work Group will:
Connection to our national organization, the Co-op Housing Federation of Canada
Our Toronto Work Group was instrumental in the formation of the national Aging in Place Task Force, and we work closely with it. The Task Force recently surveyed the 60+ residents living in its member co-ops. Click here for the survey results, or paste this in your search engine: http://www.chfcanada.coop/eng/pdf/CH%20Aging%20in%20Place%20Report_E.pdf
We are working on two specific areas:
1. Physical upgrades to our homes to accommodate the needs of seniors
In January 2010, we sponsored a CHFT education day seminar on the programs and
funding offered by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation intended to make
our homes more accessible. CMHC offers two programs that offer forgivable loans to
federally funded co-ops to make adaptations for seniors: www.cmhc.ca
Up to $3,500 for minor upgrades like accessible washroom facilities, ramps, etc.
In Toronto, up to $24,000 for more substantial upgrades like wheelchair ramps, chair lifts, bath lifts, height adjustments to countertops, and other adaptations.
Or you can go to the CMHC website and click on “Consumers,” then “Programs & Financial
Both programs have restrictions in relation to unit size, household income, and housing
charges. The City of Toronto administers these programs on behalf of CMHC. Phone the City
office at 416-392-7620 or CMHC at 1-800-668-2642.
2. Social services and health care
We have been concentrating our efforts on exploring possible partnerships with social service and health care agencies to take advantage of the services they offer.
We are meeting with Toronto health care and social service agencies to familiarize these agencies with the co-ops in their catchment areas and with the needs of our aging co-op populations. We are looking for ways in which we can partner with these agencies with a view to participating in their programming or possibly doing programs in our co-ops themselves.
To date, we have met with:
Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre
Central Neighbourhood House
Mid-Toronto Community Services
Harbourfront Community Centre
The Silver Circle of West Toronto Services for Seniors
PACE Independent Living
Possible programming or activities include:
Group grocery and shopping trips
Help for Your Co-op
We meet regularly to advance the needs of our aging co-op population. If you would like to attend one of our meetings, phone Michelle Arscott, CHFT staff co-op support worker, at 416-465-8688 ext. 207 for our next meeting date.
A few co-ops have models that we can draw on. We do not have a “cookie cutter” format that your co-op can adapt. However, we can give you advice on how to get started. Contact us if you would like us to speak to your Board and/or your co-op members.
CHFT Co-op Support Worker
Links You Can Use:
Community Care Access Centre http://www.ccac-ont.ca/
CCACs are provincially funded agencies that can help you access long-term care homes as well as home care services, some government funded and others fee-for-service. The CCAC also helps people to navigate the array of community support and health care agencies in our communities. They coordinate a variety of health services to maintain an individual's health, independence and quality of life. Unfortunately, the CCAC’s focus has been on caring for patients recently released from hospital and on very frail seniors. As well, they are experiencing considerable budget cuts, while demand for services is increasing. You can find your local CCAC by entering your postal code on the website listed above.
Community Care Resources http://central.communitycareresources.ca/
A website developed by the CCAC to help you find health and personal support services in your community
Services for Seniors, Community Navigation & Access Program: www.cnap.ca
Connect to services for seniors in your community with one phone call.
The Advocacy Centre for the Elderly is a community based legal clinic for low income senior citizens. www.advocacycentreelderly.org
Inexpensive Help for Seniors and Adults with Disabilities
CHFT has found out about two programs which provide inexpensive, practical help for seniors and adults with disabilities.
These two programs SAINTS and TIGP are supported by the Ministry of Health and the City of Toronto. The goal is to help people live in their own homes with assistance. Both programs connect high school students with people who need help completing housing chores. The programs expect the user to pay students $10 per hour for their services, which are to be done after school and on weekends.