2015 Team Achievement Award - York Region

Community & Home Assistance to Seniors

Team Members: Kim Cowl, Janice Diamond, Cindy Dryfhout, Linda Hickey, Delia Lalonde, Muriel Massey, Julie McGlade, Lori Miller, Denise Nathaniel, Carol Page, Nina Walji

Nominator Comments:

After suffering a stroke, 90-year-old Mary had no other option than to move into a long-term care facility to receive the level of care she needed. Knowing that for most seniors, this move was likely to be the last one, she sold off her furniture and most of her belongings. However, she wasn’t happy there. She says that she felt like a “prisoner” and so made the brave decision to move out. An option that was now possible thanks to CHATS.

CHATS enables seniors to stay in the community longer than would normally be possible. The team at CHATS provided Mary with support three times a day, assisting with meals, housekeeping and medication, and ensuring she was safe. She thrived in her new environment, making friends, helping other seniors and participating in programs. Thanks to CHATS, Mary was able to live the remaining years of her life as an active member in the community.

The Assisted Living Project team was charged with designing and implementing 4 new Assisted Living sites (hubs–building based and spokes–individual homes) across York Region that would support 277 high risk seniors in need of 24/7 personal support, with only three months of lead time from initial notification by funder to the initiation of care delivery to clients. Particularly challenging were the logistics of care transition for Region of York’s ACL program clients, requiring care for 150 of the clients to transition in the course of an hour. The Assisted Living Project team did an absolutely outstanding job despite the accelerated time frame. The team was composed of staff from all departments across the organization and was treading on new ground to design/implement this program model in historically under-serviced rural areas. To our knowledge this model had not been implemented anywhere in Ontario.

The team worked in diverse neighbourhoods and in some challenging communities with low income clients and many with mental health and addictions issues. 100 new staff were recruited and successfully onboarded. The team worked in partnership with several community partners and with other programs across CHATS.

The work and effort of the team, as a team was truly outstanding. The first few months were very challenging and all team members continued to work well beyond what was expected to enable a safe transition for clients and to ensure that staff were successfully onboarded. The result has been extraordinary with the develop of a solid organization level Assisted Living Team and also strong teams at each site.

The initial client satisfaction results are extraordinary with 92% of clients rating service as excellent/good, 97% of clients indicating they are treated with respect/dignity and 91% stating that they feel CHATS allows them to remain in their own home.

Mary is a 90 year old woman who was admitted to CHATS AL program, following 5 years of a premature placement into LTC. There were no other options and she was placed following a stroke. She sold her furniture and most of her belongings, knowing that LTC is usually final. She says that she felt like a ‘prisoner’ and made the brave decision to move out, knowing there was now 24/7 support in the community. Mary is now an active member of the community, and is slowing building up her furnishings again. She has made friends, helps other seniors and goes out into the community on a regular basis for socializing/community involvement. She also participates in CHATS social programs within the building. CHATS provides support three times per day to assist with meals, housekeeping, medication and to ensure she is safe. She lets us know when she is going out so that we don’t worry! Mary has gone from feeling like a prisoner to a contributing/active/connected senior in the community!

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