Many Seniors find that home health care is the best option for ongoing, consistent care. It is also more affordable than you think.
The Globe talked to dozens of clients, front-line staff and representatives of unions, community groups and non-profit and for-profit providers. The common thread was a broken system.
Homemakers and Nurses Services Program (HMNS)
Homemaking services, such as light housekeeping and laundry, are provided through community agency contracts to individuals who require assistance with household activities due to illness, disability or age and have limited income. Applicants undergo a financial assessment to determine eligibility. The service is free of charge to eligible clients.
Prior to managed competition, non-profit organizations delivered 80 per cent of home care services. Two such organizations, the VON and the Red Cross, held home support and nursing contracts for the regions of WR and WD, respectively. Both had been in operation for decades. Managed competition commercialized the sector, by tying award of home care contracts to a competitive “request for proposal” process.
Many interviewees expressed concern that the resulting waiting lists and priority codes would create a gap between those requiring home support and those who receive it. This gap could lead to the need to move into an institution, which carries its own cost.
Publicly Funded Home Care
Publicly funded home care programs in Canada subsidize a specified number of hours per week for care at home by personal support workers. These programs are often based on a model of self managed care where consumers take an active role in defining their own needs and determining how those needs should be met.
These programs are governed by the Home and Community Services Act, which defines home care as “services provided in the consumer’s place of residence to assist in the daily living activities.” Consumers can choose to self manage their own home care services through a client managed stream or a delegate managed stream where they assume all payroll responsibilities of an employer and report spending to CILT.
This study uses qualitative phenomenology to explore the experiences of persons with dementia who navigate publicly funded home care in Ontario, Canada. Findings suggest that the current system may contribute to financial risks for unpaid caregivers by underfunding and limiting access to quality home care.
Private Home Care
More and more families are choosing private home care to supplement government-funded home care programs. Private home care agencies offer a variety of services, from companionship and housekeeping to around-the-clock nursing care. These services are typically paid for out of pocket or through long-term care insurance. In addition, many Canadians can claim tax credits for personal and family caregiving expenses through Revenue Canada.
The cost of private home care can vary depending on your needs and the type of assistance you need. You may need to schedule a meeting with the agency to get a feel for the company. During this visit, you can discuss your care goals with a member of the staff.
For example, a client named Elsa had mobility issues. Her daughter would call to check on her a couple times a week, but she needed more help than that. Fortunately, Nurse Next Door was there to provide the non-medical home care she needed.
Home care costs depend on the amount of help your loved one needs. Are they looking for assistance with basic daily tasks like taking medicine or washing their clothes? Or do they need a more complex level of care such as home health aides or nursing services? An agency will perform a needs assessment to assess your loved one’s requirements and recommend the best type of care.
The average cost of private home care in Ontario is between $28 and $35 an hour. This rate varies by agency, and some require a minimum number of hours per week. Some insurance companies may also cover some home care services.
Depending on the client’s needs, some agencies provide home health care services with RPNs or RNs. The hourly rate for an RPN is $45-$60 while the cost of an RN is $55-$80. Some agencies offer discounts if you hire a nurse for more than a specified number of hours.in home nursing care toronto