Considering Home Health Care in Canada? Here Are the Basics

Home health care is a program designed to help seniors and older adults, even young people with injury or illness, lead more independent lives. Home care assistance is just as effective as the care provided in a skilled nursing home or a hospital, but it’s more convenient and less expensive. It covers a broad range of services and usually delays the need for long-term care in a nursing home.

Is Home Health Care The Same As Home Care Services?

Home health care and non-medical home care services are not the same, though many people will use both terms interchangeably. At a basic level, home care assistance is just as the name suggests — medical care offered at a patient’s home as opposed to a hospital or nursing facility. Home care services, on the other hand, refer to activities such as home cleaning and related chores. The former is designed to help an individual recover from illness or injury. It’s medical in nature.

In Canada, you need a license to become a home care professional. Most of them are trained home health aides, therapists, and nurses. They are employed by home care agencies and hospitals. These professionals work under the instructions of a doctor. Some of the services provided by home health care professionals include skilled nursing, speech therapy, as well as physical and occupational therapy.

What to Expect From a Canadian Home Care Service

Ensure that the nurse sees you as many times as the doctor instructs. The home care assistance agency will work closely with your doctor and will keep him/her updated every step of the way. The program cannot start sans the consent of your doctor. It’s only after the doctor has referred the service to you that the agency can visit you and collect relevant information about your health.

Cost of Home Care in Canada

The cost of home care assistance in Canada is contingent on the patient needs and the level of coverage. The needs of a patient regarding medical equipment, medication, and ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) can have an enormous impact on the total cost of the service. Usually, the Canadian government through the Medicare program will cover some basic costs, but it’s very unlikely that this will be enough. Supplemental insurance may be available beyond certain basics, but it depends on which province you come from.