Home Care services in Nova Scotia include home support (meal preparation, light housekeeping or personal care), nursing care (dressing changes, IV care, medications, etc.) and respite care, so the caregiver gets a break. These services can be accessed through Continuing Care or through private care providers.
If Home Care is needed you may want to consider introducing services slowly so your loved one can get used to having someone new in the house. You can talk about the benefits (for everyone) and what aspects of it make your loved one uncomfortable or anxious. If they are resistant, have a talk about why that may be so. Be genuine in your desire to understand. Again, try to see it from their perspective … What if someone was telling you that YOU needed home care?
If your loved one is reluctant, ask them to try it just for a while to see how it works out. Talk a bit about realistic expectations – the home support worker is not going to clean exactly the same way and there will be different people coming to the house. On a positive note, the workers coming to your home may be very interesting to talk with. It may be a relief to have someone else mop the floors, clean the tub, and change the bed.
Tread carefully though. If the issue is forced, this can feel like an invasion of privacy and the result may be refusal of service. Your loved one, or any other individual, cannot be forced to receive services.
If your loved one agrees to try Home Care, you can contact Continuing Care or a private care provider to request an assessment. It is important to be honest with yourself about what your challenges are. When the assessor or Care Coordinator arrives don’t be surprised to find that your loved one may overstate their abilities. It is in our nature to want to make a good impression.
If your loved one is not presenting an accurate account of what they can or cannot do, if they have some cognitive impairment that affects their self-awareness, that’s okay. It would embarrass them and diminish their dignity to call them out in front of a stranger. Perhaps you could walk the Care Coordinator or assessor to their car and explain that what they have just been told is not altogether accurate and that you would like to share what you have witnessed. Be sure that you do not understate your needs. Your input is essential to the assessment.
Here are a few links that will help you connect with Continuing Care and other private home care providers in Nova Scotia.
- Accessing services from Continuing Care
- Home Care fact sheet
- Home Care fee structure
- Private home care providers
Both the Caregiver Benefit and the Supportive Care Program may assist with the financial aspects of caregiving and may help you keep your loved one home as long as possible. Be sure to ask about your eligibility when you contact Continuing Care for an assessment. For information on other provincial and federal programs please visit our Resources page.
If you are wondering whether it is time for Home Care, it probably is time for some kind of services or increase in services. Of course, we would all like to be there whenever we are needed by our loved one, but that may not be a realistic expectation.
Now is the time to be clear on what you can and cannot contribute to your loved one’s care. For example, if you have a full-time job and your loved one expects that you will be there to provide meals each day, they may need to compromise on their expectations. That is a reasonable request for you to make.
It may be helpful to work through our Where to Begin guide to determine what activities or tasks can be accomplished by your loved one, by you, and what may be given over to a paid care provider.
When you have made the decision to contact Continuing Care, please give us a call. We can help by providing fact sheets on other Continuing Care programs so you are better prepared for your conversation with them.