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Improving the Quality of Life for Toronto Seniors Through Supportive Housing

Before Merna Was Connected to Cota

Merna moved to a Scarborough TCHC building thirty years ago. She supported her family by working at a variety of jobs across the city until her own complex health challenges caught up with her. It eventually became harder to manage living on her own.

Merna had two knee replacements and was confined to a wheelchair in a unit that was not accessible. At the time, a PSW from another organization visited three times a week to provide in-home care and a friend in the building helped with cooking and groceries. A situation that Merna felt was not ideal and took its toll on her wellbeing. During one emergency visit to the hospital, a doctor told her that she was having a heart problem and kidney failure. This is where she met Nalan, a Geriatric Mental Health Case Manager at Cota, who received a referral from a housing coordinator at TCHC.

Goal Setting Plan

Nalan and Merna put together an action plan that included both short term and long-term goals:

Minimize safety risks at Current Residence

Nalan arranged for an organization to conduct a series of assessments based on Merna’s current place of residence

Increase homecare services to support Merna with her complex health challenges

Nalan advocated to have an increase in the number of hours a PSW spent with Merna offering homecare

Connect Merna to a day program to enhance her social connections

Nalan registered Nalan for a Day Program by applying for a subsidy and organized the travel to and from the program in order to meet Merna’s needs of wanting to engage with her community.

Find an accessible senior dedicated residence that offers daily supports

Nalan rigorously advocated on Merna’s behalf to find an accessible residence dedicated to elderly folks and didn’t accept second best as an answer.

Nalan’s tireless efforts were well rewarded when she was able to find Merna a new unit that met all her needs

Cota staff showing what an accssible unit looks like
Nalan, Cota Case Manager, demonstrating the accessible features in the tenants kitchen

Housing makes a huge difference. Being in a supportive home reduces (1) the likeliness of emergency visits and (2) the costs of operating nursing homes.

Nalan (Geriatric MH Case Manager, Cota)

How Supportive Housing Improved Merna's Quality of Life

Since being housed, Nalan reports that Merna is a different person, “her eyes sparkle, and she is happy for the first time in a long while. She is motivated to do things on her own and looks forward to living a fulfilling life in her new home.” 

Through Nalan’s dedication and Merna’s resilience, they were able to accomplish Merna’s recovery goals.

Watch here for the full story:

Thank you to...

On behalf of Merna and Nalan, we thank Toronto Community Housing Corp. for working with Cota to support Merna’s housing success and TransCare for their ongoing support onsite in Merna’s new home.


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