Understanding Home Care in BC is important. We have compiled questions and answer which are most commonly asked and hope they can assist in helping you decide and plan for the future. If there are additional questions not covered below, please don’t hesitate to give us a call a 604 904 2397.
Understanding Home Care in BC
There are many private agencies that provide home care services. To see if you may qualify for government assistance, ask your family doctor for a referral to North Shore Community Care, a division of Vancouver Coastal Health or call 604-986-7111 and ask to speak to the intake coordinator (see “Links” page). Lions Gate Hospital Social Work Department as well as the Seniors’ One Stop provides a list of private agencies operating on the North Shore.
Home support services offered by government agencies and community groups are normally either partially or fully subsidized, depending on your income level. If you hire a private agency directly you will be expected to pay the full cost yourself. Living Well makes every effort to ensure that clients receive any assistance to which they are entitled. Payments for home support services by insurance companies to be negotiated as part of your insurance claim.
No, you can hire a home support worker directly. This may be someone you know, or you can find someone by placing an employment advertisement. Please keep in mind that if you hire a worker directly, you become the employer, and you must register with the Canada Revenue Agency and WorkSafe BC as an employer and withhold and remit payroll taxes.
No, Living Well’s services are provided on an as needed basis. You can temporarily or permanently cancel our services at any time with 24 hour notice.
Usually there are no additional costs for our services. Exceptions include:
Ferry costs for Bowen Island clients
Aids to independent living such as wheelchairs and grab bars
Mileage charges for transportation to shopping and appointments
Prior to starting services, a supervisor will visit your home, conduct an assessment and assign a caregiver who meets your needs. However you can call the office and request a different caregiver at any time.
Yes, Live-In Caregivers stay with you on a 24 hours basis (with a daily break) and normally require their own private bedroom. This should be discussed with the supervisor at the time of assessment.
Yes. Please call the office and register as a client. Prior to your first visit, a supervisor will visit your home and conduct an assessment. We require a minimum of three business days’ notice before your first visit. Subsequent visits should be booked at least two business days in advance.
Yes, we often work together with these facilities to provide service to clients requiring extra care.
Yes, some of our caregivers speak other languages. Please call our office for more information.
Most services are billed on an hourly basis. Live-in caregivers and overnight caregivers are billed on a daily basis. Please call our office for more information.
Your home support and personal care services are deductible under certain conditions. We recommend, that if you intend to deduct your home support costs, you check with your tax advisor or directly with Revenue Canada first.
A: MSP is designed to cover primary medical care. Extended care services such as home support are outside the scope of this program.
Hiring a Home Support Worker
We suggest that you use the same level of care in evaluating a home support agency as you would with any other service professional. Look for agencies with strong ties to the local health-care community. Ask community groups and local agencies for referrals, or check with friends and family. Senior Centres can often provide additional guidance. A reputable agency will always do an assessment prior to providing services, and check back with clients and family members on a regular basis to monitor care issues. Interview more than one agency and compare their services and fees.
A reputable agency only hires workers who are legally authorized to work in Canada, and does not hire contract workers. This means that the agency pays its workers vacation pay, payroll taxes, WCB premiums and provides benefits.
A reputable agency will always qualify its workers prior to hiring them by checking references and conducting a thorough background check. Your agency should also continue to monitor its workers at clients’ homes. As with any service provider, you should always pay attention to the work your home support worker is doing and communicate any problems to the agency or directly to the worker.
Abuse And Neglect
We suggest that you call your local community health centre and ask for assistance. On the North Shore call 604-983-6700
Some older adults are unable to manage their financial affairs. If a trusted family member is not available, the BC Public Guardian and Trustee normally takes over management of their finances. Call 604-660-2421.
You should consider asking your parent to sign a Representation Agreement and/ or a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney only gives you the authority to manage their financial affairs, while a Representation Agreement will include a Living Will, which will allow you to also manage their health and personal care. As this area is complex, you should always obtain qualified legal advice before entering into one of these agreements.