Specialized Mental Health and Addiction Services for Seniors
Dunn Avenue Supportive Housing Services serves older adults and seniors living with mental illness and/or physical disabilities living in two large Toronto Community Housing apartment buildings in Parkdale. It is the goal of this program to enable clients to live independently in their community by providing a wide range of services and supports within their own home.
Many Dunn Avenue clients are extremely vulnerable or at-risk, having special needs arising from cognitive impairments, mental health and addiction issues, physical health challenges, and severe social isolation and histories of homelessness are not uncommon.
The program is located in two Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) apartment buildings in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood and serves about 80 men and women at any given time. This program is part of LOFT’s wider partnerships with local acute care and mental health hospitals and works in a formal partnership with TCHC.
Dunn Avenue Support Services
Dunn Avenue supports at-risk and vulnerable men and women aged 55 and older with a range of services geared toward promoting recovery of dignity, health and independence. Dunn Avenue’s personal support workers provide clients with assistance with daily activities including meal preparation, light housekeeping, laundry, personal care, medication support, caregiver relief and escorts to appointments. Staff are on site 24/7 and emotional and crisis support are available at all times.
Psychogeriatric case management services are available, providing clients with assistance navigating the health care and social services systems. Clients are assisted in gaining access to social services and health care providers and LOFT staff ensure that every client has both a primary medical care provider and professional support for their mental health issues.
Dunn Avenue’s social and recreational program, like all such programs offered by LOFT, supports the development of a sense of community within the program and the natural networks of mutual support that benefit community members. Dunn Avenue’s social/recreational activities are open to all interested residents of both buildings and to members of the surrounding community, promoting health in the general community and reducing stigma in the program.
Dunn Avenue Services Supporting Mental Health
In partnership with local acute care and mental health hospitals, Dunn Avenue provides specialized services for men and women, aged 60 or older, with a diagnosed mental illness or dementia. The age criterion is lowered to 55 in cases where the individual is currently homeless or has been discharged from hospital within 10 days of referral. Psychogeriatric case management services are available for all clients of this specialized service.
Dunn Avenue Community Re-Integration
Within the program, 19 supported housing units are allotted specifically for clients referred from acute care and mental health hospitals, emergency departments or transitional housing programs. These housing units provide intensive case management and support clients in stabilizing their health and, for those who have been hospitalized, recovering life skills and self-confidence to enable them to regain their independence. These community re-integration units offer permanent housing. This differs from the community re-integration project at Crosslinks Seniors and The Stepping Stone Project at John Gibson House, which are both short-term transitional housing services.
The building at 245 Dunn Avenue, and the nearby 85 Spencer Avenue building are home to a diversity of cultures and family situations. LOFT Community Services is currently the only community support agency located within these buildings.
Read George’s Story - a resident of Dunn Avenue.