How Do I Access Home Care In Alberta?
To access home care, designated supportive living or long-term care, the first step is to contact Alberta Health Services by calling Health Link at 811. Once connected with an AHS health professional you will have a conversation about your or your loved one’s unique situation. The health professional may ask questions about what’s important to you and how your current challenges are impacting you and your life. If a referral for a service or type of care is required, the AHS staff member will help coordinate that for you as well.
Client Directed Home Care Invoicing
Have you heard of Client Directed Home Care Invoicing? Previously, your only option for having your choice of home care services paid for was to submit invoices to Alberta Health Services (AHS) to have them reimbursed through the Self Managed Care program. Now individuals receiving AHS Public Home Care, including Self Managed Care (SMC), will be given the option to choose who they want to provide these essential services, including respite and homemaking services.
With Client Directed Home Care Invoicing, you can choose where and who to provide your care from a list of AHS approved providers. Not only will your approved homecare provider (that’s us, at Saige Homecare!) do all the billing on your behalf directly through the Blue Cross of Alberta, we will also be able to better accommodate your unique care requirements and preferences, as well as offer personalized home care services not offered through AHS. Learn more here.
How Do I Qualify for Home Care in Alberta?
If you’re looking to receive home care, you’ll need to undergo a professional assessment to determine whether you have an “unmet need for care.” Basically, this means you need some help with certain aspects of your daily life. To meet this criteria, you might need to have mobility issues, trouble with functional independence (which means you need help with regular activities like cooking and cleaning), or medical instability. It’s also common for individuals aged 65 or older to qualify. Additionally, your income level and smoking status may be taken into consideration in most cases.
Is Public Or Private Home Care Better?
The public or private debate is a common one among seniors and their families. Many people think that private care is better because it’s tailored to their needs and provides more individualized attention. While this may be true for some, public Alberta Health Services care provides a valuable resource to many older adults who can’t necessarily afford private care.
However, now you can have the best of both worlds. With CDHCI you can hire an approved agency who will tend to your family needs as a private home care provider would, but with public funding to offset the vast majority of the cost.
A private home care agency will often have longer visits and continuity with the same caregivers. This is essential in building trust and relationships, improving socialization, building positive routines, and further overcoming any reluctance to have care in place.
There are many care related services that a private agency will do, but public home care will not:
- Companionship and socialization (longer visits, building relationships)
- Transportation and accompaniment on errands
- Homemaking and light housekeeping
- Direct communication and updates to family members
- Specific schedules and times that work for you
Public home care in Alberta can be accessed by individuals who need assistance with everyday tasks such as bathing, dressing and medication management. This is an important resource for many seniors who are living at home alone or with family members who are not able to provide the care needed due to work, school or other commitments. If you are currently receiving AHS home care, you can speak with your case manager about switching to the CDHCI program so you can choose your own provider.
Private home care like Saige Homecare offers similar services but with a more personalized approach with registered nurse management and oversight, than the public system can provide. We understand the importance of treating each client as an individual and providing customized care plans that meet their specific needs while respecting their wishes whenever possible.
Contact Saige Homecare to speak to a home care expert to help you learn about public funding options and how to get started.