Home care in Ontario: Allocation of limited resources and the needs of light-care clients
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There is the desire amongst elderly Canadians to remain living at home, maintaining their independence. As the population ages, the health care system is faced with the challenge of allocating limited resources. Home care in Ontario is provided through Community Care Access Centres (CCAC) or Community Support Agencies (CSA). This study made comparisons among CSA clients (using the interRAI-Community Health Assessment, n=796), a sub-population of CCAC clients with lighter-care needs (n=8163) and all other CCAC clients (n=31,078), both using the Minimum Data Set-Home Care (MDS HC). The majority of clients in all groups were female, widowed, and spoke English as their primary language. CCAC clients had more health conditions than did CSA clients. Light-care CCAC clients received less hours of formal support than other CCAC clients and were less likely to have informal support caregivers who reported caregiver burden. Between 1998 and 2005, Ontario provided services to an increasingly impaired home care population, although overall impairment among home care client remained low. For the purposes of benchmarking, MDS HC data from Ontario was compared with MDS HC data from 11 European countries and was found to fall within the range of the other countries in terms of average impairment level of home care clients. Logistic regression was used to predict the likelihood of receiving CCAC services. Not being self-reliant, having decline in activities of daily living, having experienced falls, self-reporting one's health to be poor and reporting less loneliness were all correlates for CCAC service use. Implications and direction for future research were discussed.
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Norma M. Jutan (2006). Home care in Ontario: Allocation of limited resources and the needs of light-care clients. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/2806