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Finding Help and Support

Caregivers often find themselves looking for help and support to help them provide care for their loved ones. Frequently, it is at the time of a sudden change of condition, diagnosis of a new condition, accident, fall, emergency visit, hospitalization, or discharge from hospital and can result in a crisis situation, stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. You may find your loved one's needs are beyond what you and others can provide, that your loved one needs additional care and support to stay fairly independent at home or you may be thinking placement in a facility may be the best option.

This section guides you through several decision-making areas; finding help and support in the following areas:

Being Prepared

There are things you can do to be prepared before a change in condition or care transition occurs. These steps include:

  • Use the Contact Information template under Caregiver Tools to record emergency response information; all the names, addresses, phone numbers and areas of specialty or responsibility for each of your loved one's physicians, health care providers (including pharmacists), home care and community support providers and organizations and caregivers. Include the condition or problem treated by each of these physicians or health care providers.
  • Document the emergency contact information for each of the physicians, health care providers, home care providers and caregivers in case of crisis.
  • Make a list of medications (including over the counter and herbs) that your loved one is taking using the Medication Record , from Knowledge is the Best Medicine under Safe Use of Medicines OR the Medication Chart template under Caregiver Tools. Document the pharmacy name and address. Try to use only one pharmacy for your loved one's medications. The pharmacist can then watch for possible adverse drug interactions.
  • Make a list of your loved one's health status, conditions and history including surgeries using the Health Status and History template under Caregiver Tools. Ask you loved one to keep a copy with them and to put a copy on the refrigerator and with each phone.
  • Make sure you and other key caregivers have a copy of all the above documents.
  • Investigate care options that may be appropriate for your loved one. When possible, introduce the subject and options to your loved one slowly, at a comfortable time and place.

Check out Making Decisions for Senior Care - a Personal Experience to help think about options and questions to be considered when looking for help and support.

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Finding Help and Support

Case managers, care coordinators or patient navigators (or RNs or other professionals working with Home Care organizations) can help determine your loved ones needs and options. Hospital discharge planners and supervisors of Community Support and Service organizations can also be of help. See VON's Caregiver Connect Guide, What is the role of the Case Manager? to better understand the role and what it can offer. Check under Home Care below to contact a Case Manager. Or, check with Health Advice or Where to Find Medical Treatment below.

VON's Caregiver Connect Guide presents general information on some options such as:

Community Support and Services

Home Care

What are home care services?

Difference between Home Care and Long-Term Care

Home Care, Supportive Housing/Assistive Living and Long-Term and Continuing Care programs/institutions are provincially-funded health care programs. What services are available vary greatly province to province. There are shortages and waiting lists for many provincially-funded Home Care services and Long-Term and Continuing Care institutions. There may be fees or co-payments required.

You may also need to consider purchasing services privately to support your loved one to help until services or placement is available or to supplement available services. Retirement homes, Supportive living/housing, assisted living or convalescent facilities are alternatives that you may wish to explore. Some retirement homes may not supply 24-hour staff coverage and you may need to consider purchasing home support/personal care services. See Caregiver Resources: Housing and Care Options for available resources organized as Canada-wide and by province.

Most Community Support and Services, Home Care and Supportive Housing/Living options require assessments by the organizations providing and/or funding the services. Long-term and Continuing Care placements also require assessments. Long-term and Continuing Care placements may require a doctor or primary health care provider referral. If you don't have a doctor or primary health care provider, check out Where to Find a Doctor or Health Advice or Where to Find Medical Treatment below. The Caregiver Connect Guide provides some general information on assessments:

Common Assessments explains various assessments done to determine care needs and appropriate options.

Activity of Daily Living (ADL) Assessments

Long-Term Care (LTC) Assessments

Specialty Assessments

Geriatric Assessments for older adults with complex needs to stay independent at home or in the community.

Psycho-Geriatric Assessments for older adults with mental health or dementia issues.

Compiled by: C. Goetz-Perry, RN, MN, PhD, Director, Caregiver Connect, VON Canada, 2011.

References

Caregiver Connect Guide, VON, 2006 updated 2011.

Communication and the Exchange of Information with Health Care Professionals, S. Erickson, 2011.

Addressing Health Care System Navigation: a Position Paper, Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres, 2005.

Financial Issues

See Caregiver Resources: Financial – Finance information and support that may be available government-funded sources is organized as Canada-wide and by province.

Housing

See Caregiver Resources: Housing and Care Options – Housing and some care options that may be available and organized as Canada-wide and by province.

Legal Issues

See Caregiver Resources: Legal – Legal information including Power of Attorney and Advanced/Personal Directives is organized as Canada-wide and by province.

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Where to Find a Doctor

You can call your provincial College of Physicians and Surgeons. They can provide you with names of doctors who are taking on new clients. Please be aware there is a shortage of family physicians in many areas of Canada.

Canada-wide

Please check in your province's tab for information

Nunavut

Government of Nunavut
Department of Health & Social Services
Operations & Professional Practice
Nunavut Government Building
Second Floor, Box 390
Kugluktuk, Nunavut  X0B 0E0

 


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Where to Find Health Advice OR Medical Treatment

This information does not replace Emergency response. In an Emergency, phone 911 or your local emergency number.

Canada-wide

Please check in your province's tab for information

Alberta

HealthLink Alberta

Or, anyone in Alberta with a health concern can call:

  • Toll-free:
    1-866-408-5465 (LINK)
  • Edmonton:
    780-408-5465 (LINK)
  • Calgary:
    403-943-5465 (LINK)

British Columbia

BC NurseLine: Within Greater Vancouver, call: 604-215-4700.
Toll-free elsewhere within B.C. call: 1-866-215-4700.
Deaf and hearing-impaired toll-free throughout B.C. call: 1-866-889-4700.
Health Link BC or dial 8-1-1

Manitoba

Health Links Manitoba

In Winnipeg phone: 788-8200 or toll free province-wide at 1-888-315-9257

New Brunswick

Tele-care OR, dial 8-1-1 for access to bilingual RNs 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Fr: Télé-Soins 811 Nouveau-Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

HealthLine Phone : 1-888-709-2929 or TTY : 1-888-709-3555 – RNs 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Bilingual service available.

NorthWest Territories

Tele-care NWT dial - 1-888-255-1010 or TTY: 1-888-255-8211

Nova Scotia

HealthLink 811 – Nova Scotia – dial 8-1-1 or TTY: 7-1-1

Nunavut

Contact a health centre in your area:
http://canadaonline.about.com/library/bl/blhlthnun.htm

Ontario

Health Care Connect

Fr: Accès Soins

Telehealth Ontario – Health advice or general health information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by an RN. Or, phone: 1-866-797-0000     TTY : 1-866-797-0007

Fr: Télésanté Ontario

Prince Edward Island

Health PEI – click on Health Links for provincial services.

Quebec

Info-Sante' – dial 8-1-1

Saskatchewan

HealthLine Saskatchewan Or, phone: 1-877-800-8002 TTY: 1-888-425-4444

Yukon

Yukon HealthGuide – also provides partnership with Yukon residents to access.

Health Link BC

Yukon Health and Social Services

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Community Support and Services

The Community Support and Services available vary by regions across Canada. It may be best to contact a case manager, care coordinator, your local VON site or find a directory of local community services to determine what is available in your area.

Canada-wide

Community Support and Services, Caregiver Connect Guide, VON, 2006 updated 2011.

VON Sites offering Community Support and Volunteer Programs – scroll through specific programs and services offered and click on VON sites offering these programs.

British Columbia

Home and Community Care, Government of BC.

How to Obtain Services - by contacting BC Health Authorities.

VON Metro Vancouver

Manitoba

Contact the nearest Regional Health Authority.

VON Manitoba

New Brunswick

New Brunswick Home Support Association

Tele-care OR, dial 8-1-1 for access to bilingual RNs 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Fr: Télé-Soins 811 Nouveau-Brunswick

VON Sites in New Brunswick

Newfoundland and Labrador

Community-based Services through the nearest Regional Health Authority.

VON Sites in Newfoundland

Nova Scotia

Contact Information for Continuing Care Programs – including some community support services . Toll-free in Nova Scotia 1-800-225-7225.

Nova Scotia Community Organization Network Directory

VON Sites in Nova Scotia


Nunavut

To contact the Home and Community Care Program, of the Nunavut Department of Health and Social Services, call Nunavut Director Health Information
Nunavut Phone: 867-975-5902.

Ontario

Contact the nearest Community Care Access Centre using the CCAC locator.

Community Support Services – information on community support services that may be available in your area by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Ontario Community Support Association - Home and Community Support Services

VON Sites in Ontario

Prince Edward Island

Contact the Home Care Program and its offices:

Souris
17 Knights Lane
(Souris Hospital)
Tel:  (902) 687.7096

Summerside
310 Brophy Avenue
(Wedgewood Manor)
Tel:  (902) 888.8440

Montague
6 Harmony Lane
PO Box 490
Tel:  (902) 838.0786

O'Leary
14 MacKinnon Drive
(Community Hospital)
Tel:  (902) 859.8730

Charlottetown
115 Murchison Lane
(Hillsborough Hospital)
Tel:  (902) 368.4790

Provincial Home Care Director
Mary Sullivan
243 Harbour Drive, Summerside
Tel:  (902) 888.8005


VON PEI

Saskatchewan

Contact your nearest Health Region; or, call the Ministry of Health's Community Care Branch at (306) 787-4587.

VON Saskatchewan

Yukon

Home Care Offices listed in Home Care Program Brochure OR
Phone: (867) 667-5774
Toll free (in Yukon): 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5774
Location: 3168 - 3rd Avenue, Whitehorse



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Home Care

Canada-wide

Home Care, VON's Caregiver Connect Guide, 2006 updated 2011.

What are home care services?, VON's Caregiver Connect Guide, 2006 updated 2011.

Difference between Home Care and Long-Term Care, VON Caregiver Connect Guide
2006 updated 2011.

Government-funded and Non-government Resources

VON Sites Offering General Home Care Nursing – many of these sites also offer specialty home care nursing. See VON Sites Offering Nursing and Professional Services - these services may be offered under government-funded programs or purchased privately.

VON Sites Offering Private Duty or Shift Nursing – these services may be offered under government-funded programs or purchased privately.

VON Sites Children Services – these services may be offered under government-funded programs or purchased privately.

VON Sites Offering Personal Care, Companion and Home Support Services – these services may be offered under government-funded programs or purchased privately.

Alberta

To request an assessment for Home Care or Long-Term Care call HealthLink Alberta:
Toll-Free 1-866-408-5465.

Seniors Living Options Assessment (for Home Care and Long-Term Care – questions answered about types of care options that are available.

Frequently Asked Questions about Home Care

Home Care - Alberta Health Services

 

British Columbia

Home and Community Care, Government of BC

How to Obtain Services - by contacting BC Health Authorities.

Manitoba

Home Care Program – general information.

To arrange an assessment, contact the nearest Regional Health Authority.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Community-based Services through the nearest Regional Health Authority.

Provincial Home Support Program through the nearest Regional Health Authority.

Nova Scotia

Contact Information for Continuing Care Programs – including home care

Toll-free in Nova Scotia 1-800-225-7225.

Home Care Programs


Nunavut

To contact the Home and Community Care Program, of the Nunavut Department of Health and Social Services, call Nunavut Director Health Information.
Nunavut Phone: 867-975-5902

Ontario

Government-Funded Resources
Contact the nearest Community Care Access Centre using the CCAC locator.

Non-government Funded Resources

VON Sites Offering Case Management

Prince Edward Island

Contact the Home Care Program and its offices:

Souris
17 Knights Lane
(Souris Hospital)
Tel:  (902) 687.7096

Summerside
310 Brophy Avenue
(Wedgewood Manor)
Tel:  (902) 888.8440

Montague
6 Harmony Lane
PO Box 490
Tel:  (902) 838.0786

O'Leary
14 MacKinnon Drive
(Community Hospital)
Tel:  (902) 859.8730

Charlottetown
115 Murchison Lane
(Hillsborough Hospital)
Tel:  (902) 368.4790

Provincial Home Care Director
Mary Sullivan
243 Harbour Drive, Summerside
Tel:  (902) 888.8005

Saskatchewan

Home Care – provides general information about Home Care assessment by a Case Manager. Home care in Saskatchewan is under the Ministry of Health's Continuing Care branch. Fees are based on income.

Contact: Director of Community Services of Manager of Home Care for the nearest Health Region; or, call the Ministry of Health's Community Care Branch at (306) 787-4587.

Yukon

Home Care services – general information

Contact:
Home Care Offices listed in Home Care Program Brochure OR Phone: (867) 667-5774
Toll free (in Yukon): 1-800-661-0408 ext. 5774
Location: 3168 - 3rd Avenue, Whitehorse

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Long Term and Continuing Care

Canada-wide

Alzheimer Care: Assessing a Long-Term Care Facility, Alzheimer Society of Canada, 2010

See Caregiver Resources: Housing and Care Options

Long-Term Care (LTC) Assessments, VON's Caregiver Connect Guide, 2006 updated 2011.

Making the Decision to Move to a Long-Term Care Facility, Alzheimer Society of Canada, 2010.

Alberta

Government-Funded Resources

To request an assessment for Home Care or Long-Term Care call HealthLink Alberta: Toll-Free 1-866-408-5465.

Seniors Living Options Assessment (for Home Care and Long-Term Care) – questions answered about types of care options that are available.

Long-Term Care - Alberta Health Services – description of services.

Where to Find Continuing and Long-Term Care Facilities

Non-government Resources

Long Term Care in Alberta, 2010, Manulife Financial (working with TAKINGCARE Inc., an organization that promotes and supports caregiver wellness and wellness for seniors) provides information on retirement and nursing homes.

British Columbia

Government-Funded Resources

How to Obtain Services - by contacting BC Health Authorities.

Non-Government Resources

Long Term Care in British Columbia, 2010, Manulife Financial (working with TAKINGCARE Inc., an organization that promotes and supports caregiver wellness and wellness for seniors) provides information on retirement and nursing homes.

Manitoba

Government-Funded Resources

Aging in Place/Long Term Care Strategy – to access long-term care placement scroll down and contact nearest Regional Health Authority.

Non-Government Resources

Long Term Care in Manitoba, 2010, Manulife Financial (working with TAKINGCARE Inc., an organization that promotes and supports caregiver wellness and wellness for seniors) provides information on retirement and nursing homes.

New Brunswick

Government-Funded Resources

For Long-term care assessments/placements, contact a Case Manager at the nearest Regional Social Development Office.

Fr: Bureaux régionaux de Développement social

Listing of Long-term care facilities:

Licensed Nursing Homes in New Brunswick

Fr: Foyers de soins agréés

Residential Services and Long-Term Care resources

Fr: Services résidentiels et Soins de longue durée

Non-Government Resources

Long Term Care in New Brunswick, 2010, Manulife Financial (working with TAKINGCARE Inc., an organization that promotes and supports caregiver wellness and wellness for seniors) provides information on retirement and nursing homes.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Government-Funded Resources

For assessment or placement in Nursing Homes or Personal Care Homes contact the nearest Regional Health Authority.

Information about Nursing Homes and Personal Care Homes.

Information on Long Term Care Services.

Non-government Resources

CareGivers of Newfoundland and Labrador provides private home support programs and client care managers.

Long Term Care in Newfoundland and Labrador, 2010, Manulife Financial (working with TAKINGCARE Inc., an organization that promotes and supports caregiver wellness and wellness for seniors) provides information on retirement and nursing homes.

NorthWest Territories

Government-Funded Resources

Long-term Care – general information on long-term care services.

Long-term Care Facilities

Process for LTC Admission

Non-government Resources

Long Term Care in Northwest Territories, 2010, Manulife Financial (working with TAKINGCARE Inc., an organization that promotes and supports caregiver wellness and wellness for seniors) provides information on retirement and nursing homes.

Nova Scotia

Government-Funded Resources

Contact Information for Continuing Care Programs – including long-term care
Toll-free in Nova Scotia 1-800-225-7225; Out of province callers, call 1-902-487-0640.
Long-term Care – general information on continuing care services.

Non-government Resources

Long Term Care in Nova Scotia, 2010, Manulife Financial (working with TAKINGCARE Inc., an organization that promotes and supports caregiver wellness and wellness for seniors) provides information on retirement and nursing homes.


Nunavut

Contact Nunavut Director Health Information
Nunavut Phone: 867-975-5902

Ontario

Government-Funded Resources

Contact the nearest Community Care Access Centre using the CCAC locator.

Fr: Emplacement des CASC

Checklist for Choosing a LTC Facility, provided by CCACs

Fr: Choix d'une maison

Directory of Long-Term Care Facilities

Fr: Répertoire des maisons de soins de longue durée

Long-Term Care Homes – provides general information on long-term care facilities in Ontario by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Fr: Foyers de soins de longue durée:

Non-Government Resources

Long Term Care in Ontario, 2010, Manulife Financial (working with TAKINGCARE Inc., an organization that promotes and supports caregiver wellness and wellness for seniors) provides information on retirement and nursing homes.

.

Prince Edward Island

Government-Funded Resources

For Long-term Care assessments or placement contact: Home Care Offices, under PEI Department of Health and Wellness.

Long-term care facilities – general information on long-term care facilities.

Non-Government Resources

Long Term Care in Prince Edward Island, 2010, Manulife Financial (working with TAKINGCARE Inc., an organization that promotes and supports caregiver wellness and wellness for seniors) provides information on home care and nursing homes.

Quebec

Government-Funded Resources

Placement of adults in long-term care centres - admissions to nursing homes or centres d'hébergement et de soins de longue durée (CHSLD) are arranged through local CLSCs.

Fr: Placement d'un adulte en centre d'hébergement public ou en ressource d'hébergement appropriée

Fr: Répertoire des CLSC

For Seniors:

Seniors Referral Line (Montréal region)
A free telephone referral service for persons 65 or over and family members who are their caregivers. You can obtain information about health, social, government, municipal and regional services as well as community services and public utilities services.
Phone: 514 527-0007, Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Fr: La ligne Référence-aînés (région de Montréal)
Ce service téléphonique est offert gratuitement aux personnes de 65 ans ou plus ainsi qu'à leurs proches aidants. On y donne des renseignements sur la santé, les services sociaux, gouvernementaux, municipaux et régionaux ainsi que sur des services communautaires et d'utilité publique.
Tél. : 514 527-0007, du lundi au vendredi de 9 h 00 à 16 h 30

Non-Government Resources

Long-term Care in Quebec, 2010, Manulife Financial (working with TAKINGCARE Inc., an organization that promotes and supports caregiver wellness and wellness for seniors) provides information on home care and nursing homes.

Saskatchewan

Government-Funded Resources

Special Care Homes – general information on Special Care Homes (nursing homes).

Contact your nearest Health Region to arrange an assessment or get information.

Non-Government Resources

Long Term Care in Saskatchewan, 2010, Manulife Financial (working with TAKINGCARE Inc., an organization that promotes and supports caregiver wellness and wellness for seniors) provides information on retirement and nursing homes.

Yukon

Government-Funded Resources

Residential Care Programs – general information and under the Continuing Care Branch of the Department of Health and Social Services.
Continuing Care residential, respite and day programs are accessed by contacting the Admission/Assessment Coordinator at:
Phone:  (867) 667-8961
Toll free (in Yukon): 1-800-661-0408 ext. 8961
Location: 109 Copper Road

Non-Government Resources

Long Term Care in Yukon, 2010, Manulife Financial (working with TAKINGCARE Inc., an organization that promotes and supports caregiver wellness and wellness for seniors) provides information on nursing homes and subsidized home care

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