A new agreement between CAMH and LOFT
is offering transitional support and housing for older adults living with
mental health and behavioural challenges.
The first two floors of 30 White Squirrel Way at
CAMH’s Queen Street site now feature 12 apartment-style rooms for Alternate
Level of Care (ALC) clients who no longer require inpatient beds, but need
supportive housing as they transition out of hospital.
McCain Building at 30 White Squirrel Way (Queen Street site), now home to LOFT
“These individuals often remain in hospital
too long because of insufficient high-support housing in the community or due
to long wait times for placement in long-term care facilities,” explains Ann Pottinger, Clinical Director with
CAMH’s Complex Care and Recovery Program. “LOFT promotes recovery and
independence for people with these complex challenges, and its Specialized
Assisted Living Program helps seniors attain
housing and remain independent in a home of their own for as long as possible.”
With community partner-run transitional housing
right on site, it’s expected that hospital beds will be more readily available
for those who need them most.
Modelled after the John Gibson House Stepping
Stone Project, the new CAMH-LOFT
initiative provides residents with temporary housing for three to six months
before finding them a permanent home in the community.
“LOFT is thrilled to launch this new
initiative at CAMH,” says Debra Walko,
Director of Seniors Services at LOFT. “This builds on our current collaborative
work to develop and implement a person-centered model of transitional support
for ALC clients, with the ultimate goal of supporting them in living with
dignity out in the community.”
Personal Support Workers, Case Managers and Life
Enrichment Workers from LOFT are on site and available 24/7 to provide
specialized and enhanced assisted living, serve meals and facilitate a host of
social activities for residents.
In addition to providing the physical space, CAMH
offers weekly check-ins as
well as psychiatric and behavioural support and consultation.
Home for the holidays
The timing couldn’t have been better
for Eric and David, the first two residents of the LOFT space at CAMH who moved
into their new home on December 21st, just in time for the holidays.
With bags in hand, former
CAMH clients Eric (second from left) and David (third) walk from CAMH’s
Geriatric Admission Units (GAU) at
the Intergenerational Wellness Building to the new LOFT transitional housing at
Eric and David received a warm welcome
from the LOFT team, including Program Directors Lindor Uygur and Breanne
Ciacco, who gave the new residents a chance to explore the space, complete
with individual bedrooms and ensuite washrooms, a shared rec room and kitchen.
David (blue coat, front)
and Eric (black shirt, front) are the first two residents of LOFT’s
transitional housing at 30 WSW.
“It’s nice to have a feeling of
personal freedom and my own space here,” said Eric, who had been on the GAU since September 2017. “It encourages
me to keep going; I feel a greater sense of responsibility to look after
Feeling motivated, Eric says he looks
forward to eventually getting back into the community and rekindling a
relationship with his three adult children.
“I feel I have the wherewithal to do
Published on January 10, 2018