| Jul 09, 2009

Back to HomeFeature Article - July 9, 2009 Community Support agencies partner with the SMILE program

Staff from Land O'Lakes Community Services

The Seniors Managing Independent Living Easily (SMILE) Program is intended to assist frail seniors to remain in their own homes and out of hospital and long term care homes.

"Home is where seniors want to live and with the right supports in place many seniors are able to stay in their own home longer," says Judith Layzell, SMILE Program manager. "The SMILE Program serves only those seniors who, due to increasing frailty, are at risk of losing their independence and who require significant support with functional activities of daily living."

Once an individual is admitted to the program, services relating to the functional activities of daily living such as meal preparation, housekeeping, errands, transportation, and outdoor chores can be provided. A key benefit of the program is that it can help the client find services or the client can find the services they need on their own. There are some guidelines about who can provide services but ultimately, this program promotes wellness, independence and choice.

The program works in cooperation with local community agencies known as SMILE Partners.

In Lennox Addington & Frontenac the following agencies are SMILE partners: Southern Frontenac Community Services Corporation, Northern Frontenac Community Services, and Land o' Lakes Community Services.

SMILE Partners will have special training to provide information about community resources and to determine a potential client's eligibility for the program. Then they can help seniors access the program if appropriate.

"We are receiving a lot of referrals from the public. Self referrals are the highest percentage of our referrals – which was unexpected! Many of these self referrals are not eligible for this program," says Layzell. “The SMILE Program is intended to support those frail seniors with multiple unmet needs who will end up in crisis if they can't access additional service. Seniors who only need assistance with one or two services, for example outside chores and housekeeping, will not be eligible for the program. We encourage these seniors to approach their local community support agency to determine what services are offered in their community.”

Home support agencies provide a variety of services to help support seniors and the disabled adult at home. Some of the services they provide are meal on wheels, diner's club, transportation to medical appointments, friendly visiting, and security checks. For a complete list of services provided, please contact your local home support agency.

The program is funded by the South East Local Integration Network (SELHIN) and managed by VON Canada Ontario. For more information contact your local SMILE partner or call the SMILE office at 1-888-866-6647

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