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Home and community care

Home and community care
Home and community care

How to get help for patients and seniors who need support living at home.

Home care
Home and community services support people of all ages who require care in their home, at school or in the community.

Seniors, and people with complex medical conditions, can often stay in their own homes if they have some support.

If you qualify, the Ontario government pays for a wide range of services in your home and community.

If you don’t qualify for funding, you can get help from private companies for a fee.

How to arrange home care and community services
Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) arrange all government-funded services for seniors living at home. CCACs are responsible for deciding who receives care, the level of care you need and for how long. CCACs do not arrange care through a private company.

To start this process:

1. Call your Community Care Access Centre
You will be introduced to a case manager or care coordinator.

To contact your local CCAC:

use your postal code online
call 310-CACC (2222)

2. Check if you qualify for government-funded services
Your case manager will determine if you qualify.

If you don’t qualify, you can arrange and pay for services through a private company. Your CCAC can help you find private services in your community.

3. Tell the case manager about your needs
Your case manager will tell you what services your CCAC can provide and what’s available in your community. Government-funded services are delivered by health professionals and personal support workers who are under contract with your CCAC.

4. Arrange a home visit
Your case manager will need to visit your home to assess your health.

If you qualify, your case manager will create a customized home care plan that meets your specific needs. If your needs change, your case manager can reassess your health and adjust your plan of care.

5. Apply for care
If you qualify for government-funded care, your CCAC will coordinate your application and select the provider for you.

To arrange private care, you must apply directly to the service provider.

If you don’t qualify
If you don’t qualify for government-funded services, you can appeal the CCAC decision through the Ontario Health Services Appeal and Review Board (HSARB). You can also contact the Board if a service you previously received has stopped or been reduced.

Contact HSARB:

416-327-8512 (Toronto area)
1-866-282-2179 (toll-free)

Types of services in your home
In home services are made up of:

1. Health care professionals
You can arrange to have health professionals visit you in your home. They can assess your needs, provide care or help you to care for yourself by providing:

nursing care – including help to take medications, change bandages and clean wounds, recover from an injury or health problem, check your health, create a care plan
physiotherapy – including help for back pain, mobility problems, blood circulation, pain relief and relaxation
occupational therapy – including help to make day-to-day activities easier and make it easier to move around in your home
speech-language therapy – including stroke recovery for seniors who have difficulty speaking or understanding speech
social work – including help for caregivers to cope and manage stress, help for families to address conflicts
healthy eating – including help to assess eating habits and create a healthy eating plan
home healthcare supplies – including dressings, walking aids, braces, cushions

2. Personal care
You can arrange for licensed care professionals to help you with your daily care or help you safely manage these activities yourself. They can help you with:

  • washing and bathing
  • mouth care
  • hair care
  • preventative skin care
  • routine hand or foot care
  • getting in and out of chairs, vehicles or beds
  • dressing and undressing
  • eating
  • toileting
  • taking you to appointments

3. Homemaking
To help maintain a safe and comfortable home, homemaking services can assist you with routine household activities including:

  • housecleaning
  • doing laundry
  • shopping
  • banking
  • paying bills
  • planning menus
  • preparing menus
  • caring for children

4. End-of-life care at home
If you or a loved one requires end-of-life care at home, there are many programs in Ontario that can help you. You can request:

  • nursing and personal care
  • medical supplies, including low-cost medication for seniors through the Ontario Drug Benefit Plan
  • tests
  • hospital and sickroom equipment
  • transportation to other health services
  • help to manage pain
  • home hospice services – including in-home visits and respite care by trained volunteers

Types of services in your community
Many communities have services just for seniors. You may have to pay a fee for some of these programs or you may find there is funding available. Some of
these services are offered only in larger communities. You can find:

  • adult day programs – including social, fitness and other healthy activities
  • transportation services – for people who don’t have public transportation or need help to use it
  • community hospice services – including counselling, support groups, yoga and art classes, grief support
  • residential hospices – where end-of-life care is provided in a home-like environment for those who can no longer stay in their own homes. People in residential hospices receive a wide range of palliative services to keep them comfortable.

Exercise and falls prevention classes
These classes help seniors stay active, healthy and independent. They focus on improving strength and balance to prevent injury and falls. They are led by fitness instructors, trained peer facilitators or support workers – not a registered physiotherapist

You may find classes offered in your community or long-term care homes.

To find a class near you call the Seniors’ INFOline:

1-800-387-5559 (TTY)

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