Home First

Home is where the heart is….

Home First is a shift in how our health care system thinks and delivers care to seniors.  It’s about making every effort to support seniors to go home safely after a hospital stay, rather than seeing long-term care as the only option.

By adopting a Home First philosophy, seniors care needs will be better identified and supported so they can safely go home to make important decisions about their future. If returning home with care is not possible or safe to do, other options should then be considered.

Erie St. Clair CCAC - Choose Home First 

Essentially, Home First is about providing the right care,
in the right place, at the right time.


We know that when given a choice, most seniors prefer to be at home than in a hospital, where they are more comfortable, where there is a lower risk of acquiring an infection, where they are less likely to experience a loss of mobility or function, and where they tend to heal more quickly.  We also know that in Ontario, an estimated 37 percent of people in long-term care homes don’t need to be there. With some additional supports, some seniors live at home longer.

Home First also continues the shift in health care, started with the Aging at Home Strategy, to focus more on community-based care and less on acute care.  

In short, Home First will:

  • Get better results for seniors
  • Make better use of health care services
  • Eases pressures on hospitals
  • Reduce long wait times in our hospital emergency rooms 

Resettlement Program a success

One component of Home First is the Resettlement Program.

The Resettlement Program is funded by the Erie St. Clair LHIN and is helping to reduce the number of patients at local hospitals waiting for a home in long-term care or care in the community.

I cannot tell you what a godsend this program was. We would not be in the shape we are in today had it not been for this program. I cannot emphasize this enough. In our stay at different hospitals I see people waiting; these people could be waiting or recovering at home. This is where people do well; they need to be in their home,” said Gerald.

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Patient Success Story - Penny

Home First enabled Penny to heal at home. Used to living comfortably at home with her husband, a fall from a ladder left Penny faced with the possibility of needing long term care.

Why Home First

Too often, seniors in our LHIN are waiting in hospitals and entering long-term care homes with health care needs that could be safely met in the comfort of their own homes with proper support.

Home First Facts

Studies have shown that, when appropriately managed, care in the home maintains an individual’s independence while lowering the demand for hospital services and long-term care  - care that is more costly to provide. Cost estimates include:

  • Acute care hospital bed: $800-$1000/day;
  • Long-term care bed: $150/day;
  • Assisted living services to a group of seniors: $35/day.

Home First helps to reduce the demand and wait list for long-term care by properly assessing high needs seniors after their acute episode and ensuring that only those who truly need long-term care are applying to be admitted to a long-term care home.

The province’s 14 LHINs and CCACs are partnering to implement the Home First philosophy all across Ontario.