North East LHIN funds support for seniors and palliative patients on Manitoulin Island

MANITOULIN—Like many seniors, Mary would prefer to stay in her own home. However, with diabetes and arthritis, she is finding it a lot harder to make meals and perform other activities of daily living. She could use some help but isn’t sure where to find it.

The North East Local Health Integration Network (NE LHIN) is investing in programs and services to support seniors like Mary as well as palliative patients living at home in the Manitoulin Island area. 

“We know people need extra care support at the end of their life and Northerners have told us they want to be at home among family and friends,” said Louise Paquette, CEO of the NE LHIN. “With targeted investments in the Manitoulin area, providers are working together to find the best way to improve access to care and increase care coordination for seniors like Mary.”

The NE LHIN is making the following investments aimed at increasing access to care and support in the home for Northerners in the Manitoulin area: The addition of a geriatric social worker at Noojmowin Teg Health Centre, in Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation, will work as part of an interdiscipinary team to help older people (55+) and their families. The team will provide clinical interventions such as assessments, supportive counselling, and linking clients to other health and social programs.  This geriatric social worker will support up to 75 clients. ($102,000).

Assisted living to support 10 frail seniors in their homes with both scheduled and unscheduled visits: the funding will be shared between aboriginal health service providers on Manitoulin Island but flowed through Noojmowin Teg Health Centre ($250,000)

A Hospice Volunteer Visiting Program to support people at the end of their life and their families. The Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) is working with the Manitoulin Collaborative—a group of health care providers who deliver services ranging from hospital to home and community, and mental health and addiction care—to create a visiting program that will address the unique needs and practices of the many communities in the Manitoulin area. ($20,000)

“These investments were in response to service gaps identified by the First Nation health authorities of Mnaamodzawin, Wikwemikong and M’Chigeeng, and other area partners,” said Pam Williamson, executive director, Noojmowin Teg Health Centre. “The new services will contribute to the wholistic health and well-being of elders, and extend their ability to live within their own homes and communities.”

As a health service provider that currently manages several home and community services in the Manitoulin area, VON is well connected to the community and can use this investment to supplement its existing range of services to extend to hospice visiting.

“It is a very exciting time for VON and we are ecstatic to be working with such great partners,” said Jacqueline Dorval, executive director, VON for Canada – Ontario Branch.