Messages, News (2021-2022)

December 2021

Direct Funding Can Enhance Home Care for Elders

By John Lord, December 7, 2021, Seniors for Social Action Ontariogranny-g0b3e8f325_1920

There is growing interest among senior’s advocates for direct individualized funding to be a key component in a transformed elder care system. Directly-funded home care is an option that many elders need and want.

In most home care programs, people receiving support have little say about who or when staff come into their home. Many elders have expressed frustration with not being able to influence the way their personal supports are provided. It is also not unusual for home care recipients to have several different workers coming in and out of their home.

Direct funding provides government funds directly to the person needing support or to the family. The person/family can then choose who will provide support to them as well as when and how that assistance will be utilized. The recipient of direct funding can self-manage (hire, provide direction, deal with payroll) or they can assign those roles to another person or an agency. Direct funding also expands workforce capacity since people can hire neighbours and others in their network.

People with disabilities and their allies have long been advocates for direct funding. All provinces now have some form of direct funding for people with physical or developmental disabilities. Few of these programs are comprehensive and most do not fulfill all the support needs of disabled citizens. Nevertheless, with forty years’ experience with direct individualized funding, much has been learned that could benefit home care for elders. 

To continue reading the entire article, you can link to the pdf document here: Direct Funding Can Enhance Home Care for Elders

To learn more about Seniors for Social Action Ontario (SSAO), go to their website:

A Message from the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario    Fall News Brief – September 2021

Reflections: Past and Present


The Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario’s Leadership Group has had some good conversations and gatherings over the last few months with: people and families; independent facilitators, partners and allies; executive directors and provincial leaders, and the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services (MCCSS). Many thanks to the leaders who have helped us – you know who you are! It has been a busy and productive time.

For many of us, it has also been a time of remembrance. Given all that we have seen and experienced in the last months, we are also remembering key leaders who have passed away. As we wrestle with this new environment where hopes for social justice and pro-active reform abound, those who worked with the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario (IFCO) for change are being deeply missed.

Malcolm Jeffreys, Judith Snow, Peter Dill, Beth French, and Richard Ruston are names that keep coming up as we reflect about what IFCO accomplished and learned because of each of these amazing leaders. Their courage, innovation, commitment, and wisdom were predominant within ‘our’ movement to enhance citizenship, self-determination, inclusion, and the use of individualized funding to increase choice and control for people living with disabilities. Their names continue to be mentioned as we collectively think about ways to work together at moving individualized funding into the future.

These leaders had an integral part in the positive change that happened within Ontario – through the 80’s, 90’s, and the early 2000’s.  We would now call it ‘major change’ in looking back – change that led to many people able to:

  • choose lives as full citizens,
  • be in control of their funding and their supports,
  • choose their relationships paid and unpaid,
  • live in their own home option with supports, and
  • follow their passions on a day-to-day basis.

. . . .  We know that the earlier years of innovation have been stalled for awhile now. But the good news is that there are current examples and pockets around the province that can bring hope and knowledge into our future planning. What does having these pockets mean? Having them means there is a collective “we” made up of different stakeholders with long-time, lived experience who know how to successfully do this!

To continue reading: IFCO Message, Fall News Brief, Sept. 2021

April 2021 News

Why Ontario doesn’t need ‘more’ institutionalized supports for seniors and others living with disabilities

For decades the Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario (IFCO) along with many other provincial organizations, service agencies, people and families have supported the closure of institutions for people with disabilities.  They have done this knowing there are other options that can provide what is required for people to be successfully supported. This meaning: viable alternatives and supports in people’s homes, neighbourhoods, and communities.

We have seen this to be successful with people with disabilities. We know it can also be successful with seniors and others who by default have ended up in long term care homes. It would take intention, commitment, and investment directed to other approaches. It is doable. It has been demonstrated in other locales and countries.

hands-5708597_1920Individualized, personalized support created and directed by the person (with support from their family or friends if needed) is the opposite to institutional care environments. Currently millions of unpaid caregivers in Canada are ‘holding up our systems of support’ by contributing more than $30 billion in unpaid labour to our health systems (Ontario Caregiver Coalition website).  Reports over the years have shown us that others receiving expensive government funded supports (people living in long term care facilities) are NOT experiencing the following: good health and well-being, dignity, a sense of self-worth, and control over their lives. The Individualized Funding Coalition for Ontario would be remiss not to add our voices to others in saying, “There is a better way”.

To continue reading this message and to read the information alert/report from Seniors for Social Action Ontario (SSAO) and a paper on the work being done in Denmark,
Click here to read on.

A Message from the Co-Chair for 2021

Individualized Funding Models Do Work

By Yona Frishman  

It is with great excitement that I share with you my recently acquired knowledge about a comprehensive study on individualized funding.

The study is called: Individualized funding interventions to improve health and social care outcomes for people with a disability: A mixed‐methods systematic review

  • This study is a review of 73 studies on individualized funding for people with disabilities.
    They include 4 quantitative studies, 66 qualitative and 3 based on a mix-methods design.
  • The data refers to a 24 – year period from 1992 to 2016, with data for 14,000 people.
  • The review authors searched for studies up to the end of 2016. Studies that were carried out in Europe, the US, Canada and Australia.
  • This review was published in January 2019.marigold-1522592_1920

The aim of this review was to examine the effects of individualized funding on a range of health and social care outcomes. It also presents evidence on the experiences of people with a disability, their paid and unpaid supports and implementation successes and challenges from the perspective of both funding and support organizations.

The review provides an up-to-date and in-depth synthesis of the available evidence over 25 years. It shows that there are benefits of the individualized funding model. This finding suggests that practitioners and funders should consider moving away from skepticism, towards opportunity and enthusiasm . . .

To continue reading this message and to learn more about
the research and the authors, Click here to read on.

Pictures from Pixabay