An Introduction to Home Health Care in Canada

As many families age and grow many will start to think about the best way to find the best home health care for their parents and elder loved ones. There are many topics and choices in home health care to look at and consider.

Should we bring Mom or Dad into our home and care for them?
Should we find a care facility for them?
Should we hire someone to go to their home and take care of them?

Each question has merit and poses a host of other questions with it. Knowing where to start is important, so listed below are some resources you can find on the internet that can provide some basic information and give you some ideas.

Elder Care Resources, Canada
Help for Mom – Canada’s Elder Care Advisor – Free Referrals
Guide to Seniors Housing in Canada/Retirement in Canada

This is a small sampling of what you will find. It may be difficult to be objective about what needs to be done and it is advisable to talk to the person directly and consult with their physician to determine what type of care they may need. Is this a temporary or more permanent decision? Your discussion with the senior person involved should include a talk about their finances. It is important to know what the cost will be, what services are included and so forth. Do they have insurance or medical coverage that can cover the cost? Will you need to contribute also?

After you have gathered some information about places that provide Home Health Care Toronto, you will want to contact them for informational materials such as pamphlets and handouts. Please take the time to check the reputation of any company before you agree to place anyone in their care.

If it is decided that in home health care is best, be sure to investigate the agency and make sure their employees are thoroughly screened, with no criminal offenses or complaints and are properly trained and licensed. You and your family member should establish guidelines to follow and it is advised that you check in regularly to see these are being met and that your senior person is happy and being well treated. The positive for having someone come to their home and provide care is that the person can remain in a familiar environment with all their own things, in their neighborhood with their friends and acquaintances and with access to shopping and other conveniences they are accustomed to.

If you choose the option of in home care, please go and visit periodically to see how things are going. You can stop by without notice if you are close enough to the person who needs home health care. It is also advised that you continue to include them in family gatherings and special days and that you have an opportunity to speak to them without the caregiver present. If they are happy and well cared for at home, they will thrive and appreciate the extra help while being able to maintain their independence. A care giver can provide services such as meal preparation, bathing and dressing assistance, housekeeping, transportation to shopping or medical appointments and companionship. Be sure to ask the care giver for their impressions of how things are progressing also.

If the decision is made to consider an assisted living community, please collect some literature and again, check their reputation and comment history. Make an appointment to go and tour the facility and view how the residents are treated and how they respond to each other and the staff.

If you would prefer to have your family member come to live with you, please bear in mind that this will put the responsibility of home care on the entire family. Make sure everyone understands that this may mean a change in some routines and considerations. Does someone have to give up their room for their Grandparent? Will it restrict friends from dropping by or the family from entertaining or even going on a vacation? Please ask yourself these types of questions and consider the extra work and time needed to provide proper care. It is important to remember that the role of a caregiver can be very emotional and tiring even while you are providing the love and nurturing that is needed. Be sure to take care of yourself also.

This introduction to home health care is provided to give you some basic information that you can build from. Making sure our beloved seniors get the best care possible is a big responsibility, so take the time to ask for information from the experts and medical personnel. You are just getting started.

Overview of Home Health Care Statistics in Canada

Home health care services are being accessed more regularly by people in Canada and the United States. A primary reason why home health care services are being accessed at an ever higher rate rests in the fact that people want to maintain as much independence as possible. Home support services provide older Canadians this opportunity.

Use of Home Health Care Services by Gender

Women over the age of 65 are significantly more likely to take advantage of Home Health Care Toronto service than is the case with their male counterparts. Home health services usage by women is 55 percent higher than for men.

There a number of reasons for this deviation in usage. There is evidence to suggest that when both spouses are living, a husband is more apt to access home health assistance for his wife. On the other hand, a wife is a bit less likely to access these services for a husband. The theory is that when it comes to more minor issues, a female spouse seems more willing to provide necessary assistance and not seek out professional aid for her husband.

Relationship Status and Home health care

When it comes to home health services, a significant percentage of women were over the age of 85 and widowed when they first sought assistance of this nature. The primary spousal relationship was not the only one considered when home health services were analyzed.

Over 85 percent of home health patients over the age of 65 actually have a primary caregiver outside of the home. Thus, this out-of-residence primary caregiver typically is significantly involved in the process of obtaining and assisting with the individual or individuals provided trough a home care agency.

Unlike women, men over the age of 65 in home health care were far less likely to have an out-of-residence primary care provider. Men over the age of 65 are three times as likely to have their spouse serving as a their primary caretaker than is the case with women over that age.

Types of Home Health Services

By far the most common type of home health service provided to people over the age of 65 is skilled nursing. About 84 percent of all services provided fall into this category.

Physical therapy accounts for about 40 percent of services provided. Wound care accounts for about 14 percent of home health services provided to people over the age of 65. Some individuals receive multiple types of services.