- Education and social support services
- Home care services
- In-home and community companion/activity and respite programs
There are a number of community services available to support you in your own home. These services can assist you by providing meals and nutritional counseling, assisting you with personal care, providing help with household chores, providing medical and therapeutic care, and providing companionship and meaningful activities in the home.
Frequently asked questions
What types of services are available to me in my home?
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There are a number of community services available to support you. Services can support you at home by providing meals, personal care and help with household chores and activities. The best place to start is with the Local Health Integration Network where your needs will be assessed and the most appropriate services will be recommended. Depending upon your needs, some of the services may be covered under Ministry of Health funding, regardless of your financial situation.
You may also access a service provider directly or wish to retain additional services, in which case you usually must pay for the full cost of the services. Depending upon your financial situation and the individual service provider, subsidies may be available. Services that are available to you in your community include:
Meal and nutritional services
- Home delivered meals for those living in the community or senior centre, or services that provide nutritional advice.
- Meals on Wheels provide nutritious hot and/or frozen meals under the supervision of a dietitian and delivered on a short or long-term basis. Special diets can be taken into consideration.
- EatRight Ontario connects you with a registered dietitian for free advice on healthy eating, through telephone or e-mail
Personal care services
- Bathing, grooming, assistance with dressing, toileting, and transfers.
- Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) for Canada support workers can provide personal care
- Red Cross Community Health Services provide high quality and professional personal support and home care services to allow seniors and other members of the community to maintain comfort and independence while living in their homes
Household chore services
- Meal preparation, grocery shopping, errands, light housekeeping and laundry
- The Seniors Managing Independent Living Easily (SMILE) program assists eligible clients to set up a care plan to support them in their activities of daily living, practical supports, such as meal prep or delivery, home help, snow/yard work, laundry, transportation. It does not hire service providers directly.
- VON support program helps people with such routine but often physically challenging tasks as doing laundry, grocery shopping or making meals, to help keep people living at home
Medical and therapeutic services
- Nursing services, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, speech and language pathology, medical supplies and equipment support etc.
- VON professional nurses go to homes to do physical assessments, help with symptom control, provide medical or nursing treatments, rehabilitation therapy, education and counselling to individuals and families
- Red Cross offers community medical services and equipment loaning
- March of Dimes Recycled Rental Equipment Program provides short or long-term rentals of wheelchairs, crutches, ramps, lifting equipment and other devices
Companion/Activity programs in the home
- Friendly visitor programs such as the Alzheimer Society Volunteer companion program offers respite services in the home and visiting companionship to isolated seniors to reduce loneliness and provide safety checks. This can be a personal visit or through a phone call. Contact your local Alzheimer Society for more information.
- VON services, in some cases, is provided by volunteers who provide companionship and might help in doing errands, but don't provide personal care or cleaning
- If you are a Veteran, you may be eligible for the Veterans Independence Program. This is a national home care program provided by Veterans Affairs Canada. The program was established in 1981 to help clients remain healthy and independent in their own homes or communities. Visit the Veteran's Affair Canada website for more information.
Source: The information above comes from Care Planning Partners Inc. (2011). Tips On Choosing Home Health Care & Community Support Services in Ontario.
How can I access home care services?
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Most community home care services can be accessed through your local Local Health Integration Network (LHIN). They can provide you with service if you are living in your home, have a valid Ontario Health Card and require support. When you call, a case manager will talk with you about your needs and the services they provide. Depending upon your needs, some of the services may be covered under Ministry of Health funding, regardless of your financial situation. Your family can also call the LHIN to request support for you.
They can also discuss your options with you if living at home is becoming too difficult, such as:
- Short-term care in the home
- Supportive housing
- Permanent placement in a long term care home
They can also help connect you to other support services in your community, arrange short term respite care to allow time off for a care partner and help you and your family members apply for admission to a long term care home.
Private and charitable organisations also provide different home care services in the home that are available for a cost. These services vary across communities. To determine what is available in your community check the "Home Health Care Services" section of your yellow pages.
For more information on programs and services for seniors in Ontario, you can view a "A Guide to Programs and Services For Seniors in Ontario", published by the Ontario Seniors' Secretariat, or order a paper copy.
Source: The information above comes from:
The information above comes from Care Planning Partners Inc. (2011). Tips On Choosing Home Health Care & Community Support Services in Ontario.
Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre. (n.d.) The Waterloo Wellington CCAC & You. Ontario, Canada: Waterloo Wellington Community Care Access Centre.