In the BC Capital Region, there are several agencies affiliated with the Vancouver Island Health Authority that participate in an ongoing quality assurance program. The Case Manager can tell you which ones these are.
If, following your assessment by a Long Term Care Case Manager, you are eligible for subsidized home support, you will likely receive service from the home support agency that is designated for your neighbourhood/community. If the care receiver/family has a particular preference about home support agencies, this may be expressed to the Case Manager; however, there would need to be a strong rationale for using an agency outside of the designated geographic one.
A financial assessment will be done to determine eligibility for home support and other home care services.
Something to bear in mind regarding home care is that it probably will not be the same community health worker who comes each time to provide assistance. It may be helpful for families to know this in advance, particularly if the home care assistance involves intimate personal care, such as bathing. If this is a matter of concern, it may be something to discuss with the Long Term Care Case Manager.
Home support hours are authorized within the context of an ongoing care plan. This plan is based on individual needs and therefore the number of hours approved may go up or down as the needs change. If you have questions or concerns about the number of hours of home care for which you or your family member has been deemed eligible, you may wish to contact the Client Relations Office of your regional health authority (also see Section 6 for a more complete discussion of this appeal/review process). Non-subsidized home care generally costs range from $22.00 - 30.00 per hour dependant on the services required.
As noted above, it is the Case Manager (rather than the care receiver/ family) who arranges for the subsidized home support service. If additional/ non- subsidized home support and/or other home-based care services are required, these arrangements need to be made by the care receiver or family.
When arranging for home support privately.
Private home support agencies offer a wide range of services, including case coordination by a registered nurse, personal care by licensed practical nurses or home support workers, assistance with housekeeping and laundry, meal preparation, handyman services, shopping services, companion services, transportation services, and respite services. Not all agencies necessarily provide this full array of services, so it is important to discuss what the agency offers when you make enquiries.
In addition, in the BC Capital Region, some home-based care services are quite specialized. For example, The Foot Friend provides home-based professional nursing foot care. For more information about various private home support and home-based care agencies, contact the Family Caregivers’ Network or check your local yellow pages under Home Support Services.
The Family Caregivers’ Network strongly recommends that you check for references and legal liabilities of home care agencies; the FCNS does not make endorsements of any agencies. If you live outside the BC Capital Region, check your Yellow Pages listings under Home Care, Home Health Services and Supplies, House and Apartment Cleaning, Nurses, Nursing Assistants, Personal Services Bureaus and any other relevant categories.
In arranging privately for home care, it may be helpful to ask particular questions of the agencies you are considering. Some important questions include3:
An alternative to arranging home support service with an agency is to hire an individual to provide home support services. If you are considering this option, some questions you may want to ask of the applicant include:
Rather than going through an agency, some people contract directly with an individual to provide home support services.
In making a decision regarding either the home support agency or the individual, questions that you and the care receiver may ask yourselves include:
3. Source for the questions provided in this section: www.howtocare.com/home_care4.htm