SMILE PROGRAM ( Seniors Managing Independent Living Easily)

SMILE is a home and community support program managed by VON with Community Partners. This program provides support for daily living to seniors who are at risk of losing their independence due to increasing frailty.

SMILE lets you select the services you need offering you and your loved ones options in managing the care you receive ensuring you are able to remain in your own home for as long as possible.

Seniors Managing Independent Living Easily (SMILE)

To gether with a group of seniors, the South East LHIN created SMILE in 2008 as part of the Government's Aging at Home Strategy, VON Canada-Ontario was chosen as the regional management centre to administer the SMILE program.

The SMILE Program makes it possible for frail seniors, who are at risk of loss of independence, to remain in their own homes. The program provides access to services for these seniors and their caregivers.

Dignity is a matter of choice, and the SMILE program offers seniors options in managing their own care. Seniors can choose what services they need, when they need them and who will provide those services.

Since the goal is to reduce barriers to accessing services in a self managed model of care, providers of service selected by SMILE clients may include:
  • A traditional community support service provider
  • A recognized business providing services related to community support services (cleaning or laundry services)
  • Non-traditional providers, individuals or other groups

Members of the client's household or family may not provide service funded by SMILE. With the right supports in place, maintaining independence is possible and staying at home is made easy. Now, that is something to SMILE about.

Who is Eligible? 

To be eligible the senior must meet the following criteria:
  • Require assistance with multiple household tasks and activities due to either a functional or congnitive impairment
  • Be over 75 years of age or living with a disease of aging
  • Live alone or with a caregiver unable to assist
  • Be at risk of admission to hospital or long term care home

SMILE assists the seniors by providing:
  • Access to a core basket of services no matter where they live in the region
  • The option to have the help of a client coordinator
  • A choice of who will provide the needed services
  • Flexibility as to when services will be provided and how
  • Annual budgets that contribute to the cost of care plans

Services funded by the SMILE program include the following:
  • Meals
  • Routine housekeeping
  • Respite
  • Shopping 
  • Laundry
  • Running Errands
  • Transportation to and from health care appointments
  • Seasonal outdoor chores (snow shoveling and grass cutting)

How Will Clients Receive Funding?

Once approved for the SMILE program, clients have the option to:
  • Pay for the services themselves and submit receipts to the SMILE Program for repayment or
  • The service provider can bill SMILE directly

SMILE program services are funded by the South East LHIN. There is no set fee for any service authorized by the SMILE program.

Click here to see the SMILE - Better Health in the SE LHIN Video

Click here to see the SMILE Brochure