In today’s busy world, it’s tough to be a senior. But it’s nice to know that sometimes, things are taken care of.

When Geraldine Crete returned home from a surgery, the Ottawa senior “didn’t have a thing to worry about.

“The nurse was there, the supplies were there,” she said.

Speaking to a crowd of politicians and her peers yesterday, Crete said the Champlain Local Health Integration Network’s Aging in Place program “took a load off.”

The program also helped care for her husband, helped the couple get new glasses and prescriptions and essentially allowed them to live independently in their own home.

Yesterday in Ottawa, the province announced a $272-million investment into programs to help seniors live healthier, more independent lives.

Of that funding, the government is investing $187.2 million into the Aging at Home strategy, which includes the Aging in Place program.

Locally, the Champlain LHIN is receiving nearly $25 million to ensure more seniors can live independently.

“They want to be at home,” said Minister of Health and Long-Term Care David Caplan. “That’s where the philosophy of Aging at Home comes from.”

There’s also the bonus of taking a lot of pressure off of hospitals, as well as reducing emergency department wait times, he said.

“This is a very exciting advance in our health-care system,” he said.

Programs like Aging at Home do reduce waiting times and free up hospital beds, agreed Champlain LHIN CEO Dr. Robert Cushman, “but better yet, it takes better care of seniors and allows them to stay at home and be near their friends.

“It will allow seniors to preserve their dignity and stay at home,” Cushman said.

“Being on site where clients live allows us to respond quickly and it gives clients peace of mind,” said case manager Cathy MacLure. “It also allows clients to live longer, healthier lives.”

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