Gweneth Gowanlock had to retire early to take care of her husband, now 78, when he was diagnosed with dementia.
For five years, the Mechanicsville couple, both former public servants, have been depending on community day programs to help their family cope.
“For me, it means I have five hours to myself, which is a blessing,” said Gowanlock. “I just can’t say enough about that. I go grocery shopping. Sometimes I just go read a book somewhere or do something like that.”
The provincial government announced $11 million in additional annual funding for community-based services in the Champlain region on Wednesday.
Helping seniors and those needing mental health and addiction services, an estimated 3,000 more people will be served in Eastern Ontario, plus an additional 65,000 hours of care, said Champlain Local Health Integrated Network CEO Chantale LeClerc.
The announcement transforms “our healthcare system as we know it,” said LeClerc.
In addition, the move aims to “improve quality of life and help people stay healthy at home, making important contributions to their communities,” said LeClerc.
Providers such as the Ottawa West Community Support Services, Champlain Community Care Access Centre, Montfort Renaissance, Carefor Health & Community Services, and Rideauwood Addiction & Family Services will benefit.
Almost $7.2 million will help seniors with moderate to high needs avoid hospitalization or get home sooner.
“We can do more work, we can make life better for families that get caught with illnesses,” said Ottawa-Orleans MPP Phil McNeely.