Ontario Connecting Long-Term Care Residents to Specialized Care

Supports will continue to help residents connect to care at home and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions

January 8, 2024

OTTAWA — The Ontario government is investing an additional $15 million this year through the Local Priorities Fund to invest a total of $35 million in 2023-24, to help long-term care homes support residents with complex needs like dementia and bariatric care. The funding will ensure residents can connect to the right care in the right place and help reduce avoidable emergency department visits and hospital stays.

“Our government is continuing to take action to ensure long-term care residents across Ontario get the right care in the right place,” said Stan Cho, Minister of Long-Term Care. “This funding will expand specialized staffing, equipment and other services at homes across the province so that long-term care residents with complex needs can get the care they need, when and where they need it.”

Launched in 2022, the Local Priorities Fund invested $20 million in 2022-23 to help long-term care homes purchase specialized equipment and train staff to provide more specialized care, so that more homes can welcome residents who have complex needs but no longer require acute care in hospital. The fund also helped current residents avoid hospital admissions who have new, or increasingly complex medical or specialized equipment needs which could not be previously accommodated in their long-term care home.

Some examples of the 173 successful projects invested in last year include:

  • 15 long-term care homes in central Ontario purchased bladder scanners to quickly assess and treat residents, avoiding unnecessary trips to the hospital
  • In Toronto, $1.3 million was used to create four new nurse-led outreach teams and expand three existing teams to provide staff training and time-sensitive medical supports to help reduce avoidable emergency department transfers
  • A $1.7 million investment in Royal Ottawa Place to hire specially trained staff that can connect residents to mental health and behavioural care
  • In the North East and North West regions, close to $3 million supported a range of projects, including training staff on dementia, wound care, and how to use specialized equipment such as bariatric lifts and bladder scanners. Long-term care residents also received support from a speech language pathologist, personal support workers and a Cree translator/interpreter.

The ministry is currently working with Ontario Health to review this year’s proposals and successful applicants will begin to be notified and receive their additional funding in the coming weeks.

“Through the Local Priorities Fund, our government is continuing to ensure that Ontarians, at every stage of life, have access to the care and support they need, when they need it,” said Sylvia Jones, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. “This investment builds on the historic work our government is doing to provide Ontarians with the right care, in the settings that are most convenient to them, whether that be in their community or in their home.”

The Local Priorities Fund is part of a broader investment of over $120 million in 2022-23 and complements the recently launched Equipment and Training Fund, which helps long-term care homes purchase more diagnostic equipment and train staff to better manage and treat residents’ conditions that often lead to preventable hospital visits, such as urinary tract infections, falls, pneumonia and congestive heart failure.