Canadian home health workers aim to help seniors maintain their independence and improve their quality of life by offering medical services in the home instead of in a nursing facility. Many Toronto seniors receive a combination of both publicly-funded and private in-home care services that help them live out their years in the comfort of their own homes.
14 Community Care Access Centers (CACCs) coordinate services to help Ontario seniors receive care within their community.
In 2015, over 713,000 individuals relied on care provided through a CACC.
There are over 75 home care agencies in the Toronto region.
Family caregivers provide an estimated 80% of in-home care and spend an average of 4 years caring for housebound relatives.
Homemaker services, or companionship services, provide non-medical care to seniors living at home. Care costs vary depending on whether or not you qualify for government support. If you need to hire private care, you can negotiate with your chosen agency to find a price and a schedule that suits your needs.
Personal support workers provide care services with professionalism and compassion, including help with tasks such as cleaning, shopping, personal care and transportation. Personal caregivers are also able to monitor patients for small changes in mood or behavior that could indicate a more serious underlying issue. All Toronto area personal support workers must pass a training course that teaches them how to address a patient’s various care needs.
Home health aides, or nursing aides, provide skilled medical care for housebound Toronto seniors. In addition to basic custodial care, nursing aides are able to offer medical services such as wound care, medication administration, physical therapy, and more.
Home nursing care is a convenient and inexpensive alternative to paying for a room in a local nursing home. Ontario nursing facilities are jointly funded by both the public and private health systems, meaning that residents must make co-payments to cover expenses such as room and board. Patients that receive similar medical care at home do not have to make the same co-payments.
CACCs across the Ontario region help seniors and their families to access publicly-funded home health services. CACC care coordinators assess each client’s individual case to determine the best course of treatment, including the type of care that they will receive and for how long they will receive it. Seniors with advanced or chronic illnesses may require skilled home hospice palliative care, while those who suffer from Alzheimer’s may be eligible to receive specialized dementia care at home.
Many Ontario residents act as a full-time caregiver for a senior friend or relative, which can be a physically and emotionally draining job. Respite care provides temporary relief for informal caregivers that need a few hours off or a short vacation every now and then. Some families choose to purchase privately retained home care services to provide regular support and assistance for a loved one on top of familial and publicly-funded care.
Finding a caregiver is a relatively simple process when you hire through a local home health agency. You can relax while the agency screens and locates the perfect candidate to look after your loved one. Agencies also take care of tedious paperwork, insurance, and payroll duties. You can find online reviews of local agencies by visiting SeniorAdvisor.com or compare Better Business Bureau ratings to find a reputable service. Friends and family might also be able to offer helpful suggestions and recommendations.
If you would like more control over the hiring process, you can always screen and vet your own caregivers. Unlike hiring through an agency, this option allows you to pay friends and relatives for care services. Making a direct hire can be stressful, however, as it puts you in charge of employment taxes, unemployment insurance and other financial responsibilities.
Eligible Ontario seniors can take advantage of free, publicly-funded home health services that are available to all qualifying seniors, regardless of their financial situation. Families that wish to supplement publicly-funded services or who don’t qualify for government aid can turn to the services of locally based private home health agencies for quality care.
Paying for personal support or nursing care can become expensive, but many private insurance policies will help to cover your daily expenses. You can contact your insurance agent to find out what services your policy covers. Veterans that need in-home care can contact the Veteran’s Affairs Canada office to see if they are eligible to receive financial aid.
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