Supplement with private caregivers

Ultimately, you may have to supplement government-provided care with private care. Private home care can set you back $20 to $30 an hour or so for basic personal support with meals, housework and bathing, for example, and $40 to $70 per hour for nursing care. Often there’s a two-hour minimum.

To keep costs down, Angelakis suggests piggybacking two tasks – for instance, if your dad needs help cleaning the house, arrange to have a personal support worker (PSW) arrive in time to remind him to take his medication.

And, she says, “make sure you’re getting the right level of care from the right provider.” Care from a registered nurse is expensive and unnecessary for routine tasks like dressing changes or giving medications that can be carried out by a (cheaper) registered practical nurse. And even an RPN’s expertise isn’t required for doing light housework.

At We Care, and most other providers of home care, says Angelakis, a case worker will work with you to put a “care plan” in place that effectively allocates public and private sources of care. While there’s no national organization that lists home care providers, you can check Home Care Ontario  for connections to homecare providers in Ontario and Alberta. (For other provinces search the name of your community or province along with "home care.")

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Camilla Cornell

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