Q&A

Do you have questions about arranging senior care?

Below you'll find answers to many of the questions we hear most often.

Below Click on the question to be taken to the answer:

Note: If your elder care situation is urgent, please call the Eldercare Home Health office at 416 482-8292.

“When should we contact Eldercare Home Health?”

You can call us at any time. The earlier the better. Unlike almost any other care provider, we always try to see our clients before we start providing care.If you can give us a few days notice that usually works best. It gives us a chance to do a detailed assessment and gives the family a chance to meet us and ask any questions that may come up.We take a holistic approach to providing elder care, and there are many details need to be attended to in order to ensure a positive outcome. One of the most important is having a good client – caregiver match. Allowing for the time needed to make a detailed assessment and to meet the client and family means we are that much further ahead in being able to make the best possible caregiver match.

That said, sometimes it unavoidable and we are called in at the last minute.

In those situations we ask for as much information as can be provided over the phone. We then arrange care and one of our Nurse Supervisors, a Registered Nurse specializing in Gerontology, goes out to meet the client at the first opportunity.

“Is there a charge for the initial assessment?”

The assessment is performed by one of our Nurse Supervisors, a specialist in Gerontology. The Nurse meets with the client and usually the family. When appropriate she will also meet with the hospital team, the Doctor, Physiotherapist, etc. to discuss care requirements and objectives. A thorough medication review is also performed.If a client is returning home from the hospital, the Nurse Supervisor will usually go to the home, assess it for safety and accessibility, and where necessary, make recommendations for changes intended to help make the return home as comfortable and safe as possible.There is no charge for the initial assessment.

“Do you see people in the hospital and retirement homes as well as in their own homes?”

Yes. We often find that families want, or need supplemental care.Hospitals, much as they may like to, often are not able to provide the level of care our clients are comfortable with. We work with the hospital staff to ensure that our clients receive the level and quality of care they expect, and are entitled to.Retirement homes are not usually equipped to care for clients who need significant levels of care. We help by providing the care required, which enables clients to remain in a setting they are comfortable with.

See a comparison of non-medical care to Eldercare Home Health

“What happens if we end up needing less care than we thought we would?”

For clients returning home from the hospital, we often start off providing anywhere from 8 hours to 24 hours of care per day(depending on the situation). Once everyone is settled and a routine has been established it’s not unusual for us to actually recommend a reduction in hours of care.

“What happens if we end up needing more?”

Client’s care needs often change during the time we are with them. Some of our clients are with us for a very short period of time, usually to help them recuperate after a fall, surgery or an illness. We also have many long term clients who have been with us for a number of years. Making sure the appropriate amount of care is provided as their needs change, is part of our responsibility.

“Is there a minimum number of hours you’ll arrange care for?”

The minimum number of hours for a single shift is 4. We provide care up to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

“Can you co-ordinate the schedule so that it works with the hours that are covered by Homecare (Community Care Access Centre or CCAC)?”

We can almost always work with Homecare (The Community Care Access Center or CCAC) to come up with a scheduling solution that makes the most sense for everyone. A number of our clients have actually come to us through Community Care Access Centers.

“How many hours of care do clients typically need?”

Everyone is different. Some clients only require 4 hours every other day for a few weeks, others need care 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

It depends on a number of factors: the client’s health, the client’s level of activity and expectations, family support available and, if they’re not at home, the environment (nursing home or hospital, and what kind of care they are able to provide).

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“How old are your clients?”

Our clients range from their early 60s right up to just over 100 years old. Most of our clients are in their 80s and 90s

“What do you mean when you say you take a holistic approach to providing Elder care?”

We believe that providing a care solution is about helping people feel happy, safe and comfortable. It means taking the time to match the right caregiver(s) to the client, that the environment the client is, or will be living in is as safe and comfortable as possible. That their medication is appropriate, that their needs are taken care of. That someone is listening and will respond should they have any questions or concerns. And ultimately, for you, it means peace of mind.

“How are your caregivers hired and what are their qualifications?”

Lisa Wiseman, the President of Eldercare Home Health interviews all staff personally. Lisa determines who is hired.

Lisa has over 20 years of experience hiring and managing staff, both at The Baycrest Center and Queen Elizabeth Hospital (now known as The Toronto Rehabilitation Center), and of course here at Eldercare Home Health.

All applicants are interviewed on site, in our offices. All applicants have their references checked and credentials reviewed.

Most of our staff are prepared at the Personal Support Worker (PSW) level. Many of our staff are Nurses and Doctors in the countries from which they came.

Lisa looks for people who are genuinely interested in working with the elderly and have the qualifications to do so. She looks for individuals who are positive, confident and responsible and who understand the responsibilities associated with working with the elderly.

Because of our demanding hiring process only 10 – 15 % of applicants end up working with Eldercare Home Health on an ongoing basis.

“What about Payroll, insurance, government remittances?”

Our staff is hired by us and is on the Eldercare Home Health Inc. payroll. We take care of all government remittances associated with being an employer. All our staff are covered by Workers Compensation. Our goal is to make having caregivers working with you and/or your family as worry free as possible.

“What is 24/7 RN supervision – and how do your clients benefit?”

All our staff are supervised by a Registered Nurse. The importance of RN supervision when working with elderly clients cannot be understated.

Our RNs have the knowledge and experience that comes from years of working with elderly clients. Our RNs understand medications (medication often has a significantly different affect on the elderly) and their assessment skills are specifically attuned to the often very different situations that the elderly find themselves in.

In addition to regular client contact, an RN is on call 24/7 to caregivers who may find a client’s health status has changed suddenly. They’re also available 24/7 to clients and their families for urgent matters.

“What is an advocate and why do we need one?”

An advocate is someone who supports or speaks on behalf of another. Our Registered Nurses are medical professionals. They know what is normal, what to expect, and what can be done. They know how to access the available resources within the healthcare system and how to communicate with other health care professionals to advocate for our clients – to help ensure that they receive the best care possible.

“What is the cost of hiring your service?”

We do everything we can to ensure that our clients receive what we consider to be unmatched value for their care dollars.

We know you’ll find our rates to be very competitive – although it is our feeling that there really are no comparable services available in Toronto (learn why below). Call us at 416 482-8292 for our current rate.

  1. Unlike most other services, we provide an on-site, no-obligation assessment by a Registered Nurse. We know how difficult it is to decide on the best path when dealing with an unfamiliar situation. Especially when it’s the health of a family member. You want to feel that you’ve made the most informed decision and that you’re doing what’s best.
  2. We look at the whole picture when arranging care. Yes, the client’s health status is first and foremost, but what are the resources available to the client to help keep them on track? There are many questions and each client has their own specific needs:
    • Are there family members living in the house, or is the senior living on their own?
    • Is there a medicine cabinet full of prescriptions (possibly outdated) and over-the-counter medications that should be reviewed by a pharmacist?
    • What about mobility aids? Would the client benefit from having them, who will arrange for them?
    • Are there any unsafe conditions at home – a client who smokes in bed (unsafe in itself), are smoke detectors in place, are there loose carpets, steep stairways etc.?
    • What kind of physiotherapy is possible, and has it been put in place?
    • Who will be helping the client follow through on the physiotherapy regime and what happens if the client has a setback?
    • What happens if the client falls at night and no-one is home?
    • Is the Doctor involved up to date with respect to the latest medications and treatments for the client’s condition? Often our RN’s are more current than family physicians about the latest drugs and treatments for the elderly because they work with them every day.
  3. We follow through – we make sure that what is
    supposed to happen, happens.
Do you hire or place “live-in” caregivers?

Eldercare Home Health Inc. does not hire or place live-in caregivers.
Read more about the pitfalls of hiring live-in caregivers in this article about Live-in caregivers by Lisa Wiseman, the President of Eldercare Home Health and a Registered Nurse.

Helping you manage

Lisa, thank you. We are all very grateful for what you and your staff did for both our parents. We know how demanding an assignment it was at times. Having Registered Nurses overseeing my father’s care made all the difference – it’s hard to imagine how we could have gotten through the last four years without Eldercare Home Health. If you are ever asked for a reference, please feel free to contact me, although your reputation may make that unnecessary. All the best to you.

~ Florence, client’s daughter

Have a question not listed above?

Email your question to Lisa Wiseman (Eldercare Home Health President and Registered Nurse) at: asklisa@eldercarehomehealth.com.

Lisa will normally respond within 24 hours.

FREE assessment by a Registered NurseCall Now! 416 482-8292

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Call Now!

In summary: Eldercare Home Health has been providing quality elder care (also called elderly care, senior care, home care, or in home care) to seniors in Toronto, Ontario since 1995.