Behavioural Supports in Ontario Special Update

Part 2 – Angels Among Us

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.

The goals of our local BSO System Navigators are to help patients and their families:

  • Become informed about their health care options
  • Make informed decisions
  • Access the services they need

The end result is a smoother journey through the health care system and clearer communication between everyone involved.

“It’s like being a Guardian Angel,” said Jillian Heard, BSO System Navigator.  “I advocate for those who cope with responsive behaviours, while guiding and watching over caregivers who are on their respective journeys through an often complex, complicated, and un-coordinated system.”

 - Jillian Heard, BSO System Navigator - 

Jillian recently advocated on behalf of a caregiver who felt that quality of life was not taken into consideration for either her husband or family.  Frustrated and unable to move forward with important client-centred decisions, Jillian brought together multiple service providers, including the Alzheimer Society, to:

  • Collaboratively consult on the case
  • Provide support to the caregiver and family
  • Educated all parties involved  on possible interventions 

“The patient was not transferred to another facility, which would have created a financial and transportation hardship for the caregiver and her family,” said Jillian.  “Not only did the client need more time to adjust to medications, the caregiver and family needed more time to understand all of the options in order to make informed decisions.  Collective decisions were made and most importantly, the client, his primary caregiver and family were treated with the dignity and respect they deserved.”

While the Behavioural Supports in Ontario (BSO) Project is designed to make system improvements, it does it with a main focus on patients. As Gary Switzer, CEO of the Erie St. Clair LHIN recently said, “a tremendous amount of energy, passion, and commitment has been demonstrated by our providers and LHIN staff to ensure that BSO is a success. In short, it’s delivering on our LHIN’s vision of better care, better value, and better experiences for patients and their families”.


Click here to read Part 1: Helping Seniors and Their Families