Effective April 1, 2021, subsidized home care in Ontario has a new name. It’s Home and Community Care Support Services. None of the health care services the agency provides are changing.
Home and Community Care Support Services is funded by the provincial Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to provide three services to Ontario residents:
Coordinated access to long-term care homes
Information and referral services
The agency has gone by a couple of different names over the years: community care access centre (CCAC) and, more recently, local health integration network (LHIN).
When you first contact Home and Community Care Support Services, a care coordinator will assess whether you or your family member is eligible to receive in-home services. The menu of services includes
diagnostic and laboratory services
social service work
personal support and homemaking services
These services are provided at no cost to you by separate agencies contracted by Home and Community Care Support Services.
Often, Home and Community Care Support Services can assist you with the purchase or rental of medical supplies and dressings as well as hospital and sickroom equipment. They can also help you get drug benefits, if you’re eligible.
What’s actually available to you
Even if you’re eligible to receive home care, the amount of service you receive may be different from what you feel you or your family member needs. There are a few reasons for that.
First of all, there are caps on the amount of service any individual can receive. For instance, provincial regulations stipulate that no one can receive more than 120 hours of publicly-funded personal support and homemaking services in a 30-day period.
In reality, the amount of personal support any individual receives is usually much less than that. That’s because there’s a high demand for these types of services across the province and only so many public dollars available to cover them. Plus, there’s a shortage of personal support workers.
Another reason you may not receive as much service as you think you need is that you’re not in a high-priority group, such as patients being discharged home from hospital.
Certain types of services may also be difficult to obtain. For instance, you may have a hard time getting standalone homemaking services because the people who would provide them – personal support workers – are directed to focus on providing personal support.
Using private-pay home care to fill the gap
You may choose to supplement publicly-funded home care services with home care you pay for out of your own pocket. In most communities, you’ll find a number of different companies who provide these sorts of services on a fee-for-service basis, some of whom all provide contract services for Home and Community Care Support Services.
If you require a lot of care, the cost of private-pay home care can exceed what you’d pay for room, board, and comparable services in a retirement home or long-term care home.
More about Home and Community Care Support Services
You’ll find an overview of how Home and Community Care Support Services coordinates access to long-term care homes in a future blog post.
In the meantime, if you’d like to learn more about home care, retirement homes, or long-term care homes in Ontario, a good place to start is our Roadmap to Long-Term Care in Ontario course.