Ontario announces direct funding for people living at home with disabilities

Deb Matthews (L), Minister of Health and Long Term Care.
Deb Matthews (L), Minister of Health and Long Term Care.

Ontario is helping more people with disabilities live independently in their homes.

The province is expanding the direct funding program, which enables people living with disabilities to manage their care based on their individual needs. The program also eases pressure on community care access centres and other community support providers, freeing them up for more medically complex cases.

“This is great news! This program puts the consumer in the driver’s seat of their own care, and is the finest example of the independent living philosophy in action. As the consumer takes on more responsibility, they are rewarded with the choice, flexibility and control that the program offers”, said Pamela Quesnel, the executive director of Independent Living Centre London and area.

The expanded program will provide direct funding to approximately 1,000 Ontarians with physical disabilities by 2016 to help them self-manage their care.

Currently, approximately 750 individuals receive monthly funding to hire their own attendant and determine how and when their services are provided. Attendants assist clients with routine activities, including dressing, grooming and bathing. The program also allows caregivers respite, reducing the personal and financial burden on families.

Deb Matthews, minister of health, said “Many people with disabilities want to manage their own care because it provides them with greater choice. Direct funding also results in better value for our health dollars, because it relieves pressure on our health care system and frees up resources to provide care for others.”   Any adult resident in Ontario with a permanent physical disability may apply to the program.

The province is supporting direct funding with $31.5 million in 2013-14.

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