Given the choice, most of us would prefer to remain in our own homes or
apartments rather than make a move to a retirement residence or long-term care
home. In some cases, this is not possible because we can no longer live
independently...safely. Home Health Care and Community Support Services, are
intended to allow you to live in your own home safely and as independently as
possible through the provision of a variety of care and supportive services.
The best place to go to access these services is through your local Community Care Access Centre
There your needs will be thoroughly 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
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. Finding an appropriate Home Health Care and Community Support Service provider takes time and research but you're already
off to a great start. TheCareGuide.com's search tool and self-guided needs
assessment tool can help you quickly find the providers in your area that offer
the services you require.
What to Look For
Choosing a Home Health Care and Community Support Service provider is
different from choosing a retirement residence or long-term care home since
service delivery is more intangible - there are no “bricks and mortar” that you
can touch and feel. As a result, much of the search process will need to be done
on the Internet and over the telephone. However, it may be possible to visit the
offices of the provider - is the office professional in appearance? clean and
well organized? - you can tell a great deal about a provider by the condition of
their premises. You may also have a friend or relative that uses their services
who can tell you about the quality of the services. It may also be a good idea
to check with the Better Business Bureau or the Ministry of Health to see if
there have been any complaints made about the provider.
Here are some questions to ask when speaking to Outreach Providers of
- Is the company bondable?
- Is the company a member of any industry associations or organizations which
strive to ensure its members provide quality services?
- What services does the provider offer? Will these services meet all of your
needs now and over time?
- Can the provider assist you in obtaining other services which it does not
- What do the various services you require cost? (if not funded through the
government’s Home Care Program)
- When are the services available - weekdays or weekends, morning, afternoon
- How often are your needs assessed and your care plan evaluated?
- What are the company’s hours of operation? Is there someone available to
answer questions or respond to a crisis?
- Will the same person be providing services to you? Do you have any choice
regarding the person who provides your services? What happens if the person
providing the services becomes ill or does not show up?
- What qualifications do the persons providing the service have?
- Can the provider speak your language or cater to your specific ethic
Hopefully the above list of questions and things to look for shopping for
a Home Health Care and Community Support Service Provider will help you. You may
want to print this guide and have it with you to ensure that you ask all the
questions you intended to.