Local Health Integration Networks (LHIN)
Understand care options in your community
There are 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) in the province of Ontario whose role is to plan, integrate and fund local health care, and improve access and patient experience. For anyone needing health care services at home, at school or in the community, Local Health Integration Network (LHINs) are the place to turn. These are especially pertinent to seniors and families who are considering the need for supported living programs or long-term care options. LHINs work with families to help them make informed choices about care, where and when they are in need.
Find home care services now
LHINs provide "one-stop shopping" that assesses eligibility and meets the needs of people seeking support. This includes:
- Providing visiting professional health services that allow people to remain in their own homes as long as possible
- Authorizing all admissions to all long-term care facilities funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
- Managing and co-ordinating service planning through agencies supplying home care services, such as the Red Cross and Victoria Order of Nurses
- Providing information on, and referral to, all other long-term care services, including volunteer-based community services
- Providing information regarding retirement residence options.
What happens once I contact my local LHIN?
A case manager will be assigned to you to help you navigate the complexities of the health-care system and link you with the right information.
What exactly does a case manager do?
He or she will:
- Meet with you to identify and assess your needs on numerous factors, for example, diagnosis, mobility, frailty, safety and family support available. Seniors should be candid and realistic with a case manager. People with more urgent needs are given priority.
- Explain what options, services and providers are available and how services are delivered so that you can understand and manage your short and long-term healthcare goals. Different home and community support services and residential settings offer varying levels and types of care. Availability is determined by waiting list length.
- Determine what you can afford and explore cost-sharing option, such as combining help from family or friends with community, government and privately funded services-then develop and implement a service plan.
- Authorize and arrange for delivery of government-funded home and community support services, including co-ordination of multiple services.
- Monitor services on an ongoing basis.
- Handle the discharge of services when they are no longer required.
- Manage the admission process to a long-term care facility, if and when required.
- Get you on appropriate waiting lists. The level of urgency affects the time available to research options and arrange for care. If it happens that you're ineligible for funded home care, the case manager is also responsible for exploring other available options and making the appropriate referrals to those other services.
Community and home health-care services include:
- Homemaking (light housekeeping, laundry, grocery shopping, meal preparation)
- Personal support (help with bathing, dressing, mobility, grooming, hygiene)
- Physiotherapy, occupational therapy
- Speech and/or language therapy
- Social work
- Medical supplies and dressings
- Hospital and sickroom equipment
- Laboratory and diagnostic services
- Transportation to other health-care services
- Eligibility for drug coverage under the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan.
Historical ties with the CCAC
Local Health Integration Networks were begun as Community Care Access Centres (CCAC), with transfer of services taking place in June 2017. Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) were established across Ontario in January 1998. During their tenure, CCACs answered to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and were governed by independent, incorporated, non-profit boards of directors. The change in name came under Government of Ontario’s Patients First: Action Plan for Health Care.
How do I find a LHIN?
Their website is a central hub with links to local LHINS across the province. Start here: lhins.on.ca.
How do I qualify?
To be eligible for service, you need a valid Ontario Health Card and must live in the region of your local LHIN.