Home Care in Ontario
Overview of Home Care in Ontario
These personal care experts are able to provide a wide range of assistive services to seniors – from light housekeeping and companionship, to long-term or acute care in their private residence. Assistance with daily activities such as bathing and dressing are offered, as well as nursing services and a diverse variety of specialized therapies – including paediatric assistance, palliative care, physiotherapy, and rehabilitation services.
Boasting over 12 million residents, nearly a third of Canadians call the province of Ontario home. 14.2% of the population are senior citizens – who enjoy world-class healthcare, outstanding recreational amenities, and easy access to world class cities such as Ottawa and Niagara Falls. The largest metropolis in the province is Toronto, which is home to almost 4 million people. 12.4% of the city's current population are citizens. Projections expect that demographic to grow to 20%+ by 2036.
Costs of Home Care in Ontario
Home Care is available on either a part-time and full-time basis. Since each homecare scenario is unique, seniors are encouraged to customize the services they wish to receive according to their personal and budgetary requirements.
Government Programs and Subsidies for Ontario Home Care
Home Care subsidies are available to seniors throughout the province of Ontario, via Community Care Access Centres which are funded by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. In most cases, these subsidies are administered by the Local Health Integration Network. Low-income retirees who are CPP recipients can apply for the province's Guaranteed Annual Income System, which provides financial assistance to eligible candidates.
Several financial assistance programs are available for Ontario seniors seeking to make their homes safer and more accessible. Up to 10,000$ in income tax credits are available for senior citizens through the Healthy Homes Renovation Tax Credit – to assist with the cost of safety-oriented upgrades such as non-slip flooring, easy-to-operate door locks, and hand railings. Additional funding can be applied for via the Ontario Renovates Program, which provides up to $3500 of funding in the form of a grant for low-to-moderate income seniors requiring accessibility-related renovations – including ramps, chair lifts, and bath lifts.
Regulations of Home Care in Ontario
Seniors seeking advocacy and assistance can contact the Ontario Home Care Association (OHCA), who have been representing Home Care providers through the province for over 40 years. They endorse and encourage the principals which are stipulated within the Canadian Health Act, and ensure that all members of OHCA adhere to these rules.
Home Care services operating within the province of Ontario are subject to annual inspections from the Long-term Care Home Quality Inspection Program. The Community Care Access Corporations Act provides detailed procedural standards for all Home Care providers in the province.
A second Bill of Rights intended specifically for Home Care recipients is included in the Home Care and Community Services Act, which protects a senior's abilities to consent or refuse service, as well as providing a zero-tolerance policy when dealing with issues of elder abuse or neglect. All client-sensitive health information is protected by the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, who outlines the specific responsibilities required of each Home Care provider.
Written by Josh Byer
Image by madame.furie of Flickr