Home care services for seniors in Toronto Central and the GTA are usually provided through one, or a combination of the following:
Home care services through the CCAC
In Ontario, Community Care Access Centres (CCAC) bring government paid for services to people at home, in institutions and in schools.
The CCAC contracts out the provision of home care – they do not provide services themselves. The CCAC arranges community based care for the public – seniors, children, teens and adults. Anyone can contact the CCAC for information or to make a referral.
Care is paid for by the Ontario Government.
The amount of care you are eligible for is determined by a CCAC Community Care Coordinator and may be different from what you feel is needed.
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Home care services for seniors through private care agencies
There are two types of private care agencies.
Most private care agencies describe themselves as “non-medical” services. They are often owned by people who have an interest in providing services to seniors but do not have medical credentials. Many of these services are franchises and some are US based.
Because there are no medical professionals on staff, the level of care that clients receive is limited to what a Personal Support Worker (PSW) is capable of providing.
There are many non-medical services to choose from. Legitimate companies are concerned about their reputation, carry insurance and pay staff properly.
The level of care these “non-medical services” offer is limited to what a caregiver trained as a PSW can provide. Caregivers do not have the training, credentials or skills to deal with many of the challenges that seniors with chronic diseases are often faced with, as a result they also they may not be able to act proactively to prevent complications.
Eldercare Home Health
Eldercare Home Health is an example of the other type of private care agency. Unlike non-medical providers, we do have medical professionals on staff.
We assign one of our Registered Nurse Case Managers to each of our clients. The Registered Nurses case manage and supervise all client care. Hands on care is provided by caregivers trained as Personal Support Workers (PSWs) who are supervised by the Registered Nurses. Ongoing Case Management and Registered Nurse supervision is provided at no additional charge.
Registered Nurse case management with Eldercare Home Health includes:
- Assessment by a Registered Nurse
- Liaising with other healthcare professionals on a professional level
- Medication review and consulting with Pharmacist
- Creating and implementing the care plan
- Selecting and coordinating PSW caregivers
- Advocating for our client
- Family meetings
- Regular client visits
- Reviewing and monitoring client status
- A Registered Nurse is on call 24/7, at no extra cost
Eldercare Home Health has been providing home care services for seniors in Toronto and the GTA since 1995. We work only with seniors. We provide home care in a variety of settings – in private homes, Retirement Homes, Nursing Home and Hospitals.
Because we are hired directly, you can access the level of care you need – from 4 to 24 hours per day. We value consistency as much as you do, and work to make it a reality. We answer to you – read what our clients say about our home care. See a comparison between “non-medical” providers and Eldercare Home Health
Care must be paid for privately.
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Live-in and other direct hire caregivers
These are arrangements where the caregiver is contracted directly by the client or by the client’s family or power of attorney to provide care. Often this arrangement is seen as a more affordable alternative to hiring a private agency to provide care.
There are a number of rules that apply to how live-in caregivers must be paid, hours they are allowed to work etc. It is important that anyone considering hiring a live-in caregiver be aware of and follow these rules.
Direct hire caregivers usually must be set up as employees and payroll remittances must be remitted to the government. They should be covered by WSIB, and they should have a Vulnerable Sector Screening Program – Police Reference Check
It is very important that applicants be interviewed and screened, and that references are contacted. Credentials need to be reviewed. Many caregivers may be foreign trained Nurses but their credentials may not be recognized here in Ontario. Nursing standards are not consistent throughout the world. In addition, many foreign trained Nurses have very minimal “hands on” Nursing experience.
Anecdotally their appears to have been a significant increase in the number of caregivers who are actively seeking to work in this manner. There are reports of “caregivers” wandering the halls of some Toronto Hospitals attempting to hire out their services.
Often, unfortunately, both Live-in and direct hire arrangements are “under-the-table” – where no record keeping is done and payments are made in cash. This type of arrangement leaves both the caregiver and the senior they are caring for at significant risk.
Done properly Live-in and direct hire arrangements can result in some cost savings.
Caregivers are generally not supervised. Often caregivers may be nice, well meaning people but do not have the training or skills to deal with chronic illnesses like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s or recognize the need for pro-active intervention. Both caregivers and clients can be at risk if the working relationship is not “above board” – legal. Live-in caregivers are not a good solution for seniors who are up day and night. The administrative responsibilities for setting up the caregiver as an employee, paying the caregiver and government remittances etc. can be onerous.
If you have questions about home care that have not been covered above, please contact us. We’re here to help.
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In summary: There are a variety of home care services (sometimes called homecare services), solutions available to seniors and their families in Toronto. Understanding the options is the first step in making an informed decision.