How Do You Qualify for Home Care in Alberta?
Whether you prefer to remain in the comfort of your own home or move to a residential care home or another nursing facility as you age, you may need assistance.
Or perhaps you’re wondering about an elderly relative?
We all know that comfort and health become increasingly challenging as we age. As such, home care from trained professionals is often required in addition to the help you get from family members or residential home staff.
Home care can provide an added “layer” of peace of mind for loved ones.
What services does home care provide?
Home care is normally provided when spouses, parents, grandparents, or other close relatives age or become sick and unable to adequately care for themselves.
It is very varied and ranges from skilled nursing and medical assistance to help around the home and meal preparation.
That’s why it’s usually provided by organizations that specialize in this area of care, like All About Seniors.
Specifically, it usually covers services such as:
Personal Care: help with using the toilet, dressing, bathing, and grooming.
Palliative Care: ensuring the quality of life and full support and comfort to those saying goodbye.
Foot Care: to keep patients as active as possible.
Medication Assistance: initial or ongoing help with managing medication.
Dementia Care: support for the patient and the family with specialized dementia care.
Light Housekeeping: assistance with dusting, vacuuming, laundry, etc.
Companionship: meaningful relationships from friendly faces are important for wellbeing.
Fall Prevention: recommended changes around the home to prevent falls.
Stocking Assistance: support when changing compression stockings.
Meal Preparation: eating the right foods at the right time is important.
Occupational Therapy/Physiotherapy: connecting patients with qualified local practitioners.
Does Alberta Health Services provide home care?
Yes, Alberta Health Services does provide free access to home care services, regardless of age, diagnosis or the length of time that support is required by the patient.
This is provided through the Alberta Health Services Continuing Care program to anyone with a valid health care card.
If you’re a resident in Alberta and meet the guidelines, you may qualify for home care with state assistance.
Many services are publicly funded and are free to eligible Albertans under the Home Care Program. Others, like homemaking assistance, may be available but there is usually a co-payment fee for these services.
Obtaining free home care from the state via the Home Care Program is not an automatic process. Understanding the guidelines helps.
The program provides personal and health care services for Albertans of all ages and is designed to “supplement, not replace, the help and support received from family, friends, and another community supports.”
This can be short-term or long-term care, depending on your needs.
The program covers people who want to remain independent in their own homes for as long as possible, as well as those who choose to live in private residential settings, such as in a supportive living facility.
How do you qualify for home care?
To be eligible for home care, you must satisfy a professional assessment that you have an “unmet need for care”.
This usually means meeting some of the following criteria:
- Aged 65 years or older
Problems with functional independence (the ability to manage the normal activities of daily life)
Your income status and whether or not you smoke will also be taken into account, in most cases.
How do you access free home care in Alberta?
To find out whether you qualify for home care in Alberta, you will need to contact Alberta Health Services via their Health Link line at 811.
You can arrange an assessment by an AHS professional, who will check whether you have unmet care needs.
Doing this as early as possible in the process will help ensure that you won’t be disappointed or left without care at a time when it’s really needed.