I recently received an invitation to an OpenLab webinar series about innovative approaches to aging-in-place.

The first, “Taking Charge: New models for Aging in Place, Designed by Seniors, for Seniors“

The second, “Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities – the OASIS Model”

Oasis was founded a decade ago in Kingston, Ontario by Christine McMillan

Now Christine McMillan has moved to Toronto and …

Toronto’s own Oasis is in the works, and McMillan, with the help of OpenLab, a think-tank within the University Hospital Network, has already secured funding for the project from the Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network.

It will be run where McMillan now lives, at 400 Walmer Rd.

Personal Support Workers

One of the most amazing features Oasis came up with was to hire their own PSWs (Personal Support Workers) to cover the members in the building, saving the province a ton of cash and administration by not having to schedule multiple service visits to each individual as they would otherwise have to do. The Province still foots the bill but for that single PSW who gets to deliver service to people who know them. As a PSW, myself, I can attest how welcome that situation would be. Continuity and familiarity with people’s needs and preferences adds to comfort and efficiency for all.

“The idea behind the program is to bring services directly to buildings with a large percentage of seniors living in them. The residents themselves choose, develop and manage programs they’d like to use.”

Better model of care

Sue Lantz, a policy expert and consultant who specializes in aging, caregiving, and collaborative models of health and community care, believes the Oasis model gives seniors a more powerful voice and allows more customized solutions to their needs.

“I just loved the project and loved the people and thought it was a brilliant blueprint for the way we can move forward as boomers age.”

In other living situations, such as a long-term care home or a retirement home, services are delivered on a one-on-one basis and on a schedule seniors can’t usually control, Lantz said.

“The innovative part of Oasis is that some of the services are situated in the building for more hours of a day, and the individuals can tap into that resource as they need it, and it’s more flexible, and it’s also more reliable,” she said.

Read more:

How a program from Kingston can alleviate isolation among Toronto’s seniors