Understanding Home Care in BC

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 at (604) 904-2397

I need assistance in my home, who do I call?

There are many private agencies in the Greater Vancouver Area. You may be illegible for subsidized government services – to see if you may qualify for government assistance, ask your family doctor for a referral to your local health region. You can also do a “self-referral” by calling your local health region directly and ask to speak to the “intake coordinator”. Hospital Social Work Department or Discharge Coordinator can provide you with a list of Home Care Agencies in your area. Local community resources may also have list of agencies.

Do I have to pay for home support services?

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.

Do I have to hire a home support worker through an agency?

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.

Is home support services tax deductible?

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.

Do you send workers to facilities such as community care homes and hospitals?

Yes, we often work together with these facilities to provide service to clients requiring extra care.​​

Do I have to sign a long-term contract when I hire Living Well?

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.​

Do you offer casual on-call services when I need extra help?

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. ​​

My mother/father can no longer manage their affairs. What should I do?

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.

How do I evaluate a home support agency?

We suggest that you use the same level of care in evaluating a home support agency as you would with any other service professional. Do not allow price to be the key factor ; many agencies are not accredited and therefore can operate with lower standards. Ask the agency if they are accredited and ensure there are licensed Nurses on staff overseeing all care and medications. In addition, 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.

Do I need to provide meals and a private bedroom for a Live-in Caregiver?

Yes, Live-In Caregivers stay with you on a 24 hours basis (with a daily break) and normally require their own private bedroom. The caregiver is also expected to cook and share meals. This will be discussed with the agencies represented at the time of assessment.