Resource Guide for Family Caregivers
Medical expenses

As people age, or as their illness progresses, they often face higher medical costs and a wider range of health-related expenses. Traditionally, we have counted on the government to provide for our medical needs. Because community or long-term care (i.e. home support and facility care) are not covered by the Canada Health Act, most people end up paying for these services through their own means. Examples include home support, equipment (for example a walker, wheelchair, hearing aid, special bed, ramps, lifts, and so on), specialized transportation (for example wheelchair-accessible taxis), prescription drugs, and medical paraphernalia such as an oxygen tent and related equipment, incontinence products, catheters, and heart monitoring or pacing devices. The expenses associated with these services and products can be considerable, which adds to the anxieties of a family already stressed by the realities of deteriorating health. For a person who is caring for a partner in a facility, having to essentially pay for two residences can represent an additional financial burden.