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Home First is a patient-centered philosophy focused on keeping patients (especially high-needs seniors) safe in their homes for as long as possible with community supports.  Home First is about providing the right care, in the right place, at the right time and at the right cost to ensure successful transition back to a home or community setting.

Under the Home First philosophy, the discharge plan from hospital is always home.  Only when returning home with support is not possible or safe, are other options considered.

After a hospital stay, many patients can continue their recovery safely in the comfort of their home if they receive the appropriate homecare services.  Your health-care team will work with you and your loved ones to determine the most appropriate resources and support available to you. 

Why Home First?

Ontario hospitals are experiencing significant patient flow issues along with the rest of the health-care system. Patients who can recover safely at home help improve timely hospital access for those who truly need it.  If acute beds are not available, people who come to the Emergency Department and need to be admitted may experience a delay in being transferred to a more appropriate unit in the hospital, or patients may have their surgery delayed.

How will Home First help me?

Recovering at home once medically stable can have a positive impact on your quality of life.  Being in a familiar, comfortable setting can:

  • Help you make better decisions about your future.
  • Help you move around and get stronger.
  • Help prevent possible exposure to other illnesses.
  • Help community-based supports come to you.
  • Help make sure you don’t go into long-term care too early.
  • Be more affordable than staying in the hospital.

Early on in your hospital stay, members of your health-care team will begin to plan for the type of care you will need once you are ready to go home.  We work closely with you, your family, and our community partners, including Home and Community Care Support Services (HCCSS) to help create a plan that addresses your care needs when you leave the hospital.  Remember, you and your caregivers play an important role in making these plans.

We will do everything possible to support you and your family as you transition from hospital to home.  If you have questions or concerns about your discharge plan, please reach out to a member of your health-care team.  We are here to help.

Last updated on: January 23rd, 2024