Behavioural Supports in Ontario Special Update

Part 1 – Helping seniors and their families

The Behavioural Supports in Ontario (BSO) Project is a $40 million dollar provincial investment addressing the needs of older adults with responsive behaviours due to mental health, addictions, dementia and other complex neurological conditions.

BSO is enhancing services for elderly Ontarians with complex and “responsive” behaviours wherever they live – at home, in long-term care, or elsewhere.

Responsive behaviours are aggression, wandering, agitation, as well as others, and for many people are the trigger for a crisis visit to hospital and transfer to long-term care.


In the following video, Gary Switzer, CEO, Erie St. Clair LHIN, discusses the current successes and upcoming opportunities of the Behavioural Supports in Ontario Project.


BSO in Erie St. Clair

Locally, Erie St. Clair has received $2.4 Million dollars towards helping us address the three pillars of the provincial strategy:

  1. Improve system coordination so that patients and families are better linked to the care and supports they need, when they need it
  2. Provide interdisciplinary care with specialized teams who know and understand how to care for people with responsive behaviours
  3. Build system capacity so that we can better meet the needs of patients and families across the entire health care system.

One of the most significant impacts BSO has had locally is that seniors, and their families, who are coping with complex and disruptive behaviours now have more support from better trained staff. This has helped to alleviate patient stress, family stress and improve their overall quality of life. Additionally, BSO is also improving patient flow in hospitals by reducing Alternate Level of Care (ALC) challenges and helping people receive the right care, at the right place, at the right time.

Next Steps

The BSO Project has several targets it is working to achieve. One of our larger targets is to provide advanced BSO training to over 1,000 staff. Currently, the ESC LHIN region has surpassed the 550 mark and this number continues to grow every day.
By reaching this milestone not only will we have improved service capacity in our region, we will also have a strong base of people who are able to provide advanced training to new colleagues. This means we will no longer have to go outside of our LHIN for expertise; we will have "grown our own BSO experts".


Click here to read Part 2: Angels Among Us