In British Columbia, if you are looking to arrange home and community care services for a loved one, it is important to know what steps to take – including contacting the correct authorities, preparing for assessment, and figuring out what is involved with making decisions about care services.
Contacting The Correct Authority
The first step when looking into home and community care is to contact the correct home and community care office for the area. In some cases, a health care professional such as a doctor or social worker can make this request on your behalf – this may be the best option for someone who is currently in hospital and does not believe they will be able to care for themselves properly upon return home. Depending on where you live, you will be required to contact one of the following offices:
- Fraser Health
- Interior Health
- Island Health
- Northern Health
- Vancouver Coastal Health
Preparing for Assessment
Once the home care office received a request, they will be in contact to determine eligibility for services. They may need to conduct a needs assessment, during which a health care professional will visit to determine the situation and assess the level of need. Their job is to determine:
- Eligibility for home and community care services;
- Best services to meet needs;
- How long services will be required for; and
- Costs, if any, for the services.
For the assessment, you should have your BC Services Card available as well as recent medical history, income information, and a reference who is a close relative or friend. Because the service is income-based, you may need to supply previous years’ tax information.
The person running the assessment is available for any questions you may have about home and community care services during the assessment. It is important that this person fully understand health and care needs to ensure they develop an appropriate care plan.
If you are eligible for services, a health care professional will work with you to develop a care plan that meets your needs.
It is important to note that individuals who are assessed as having the highest care needs or as living at the highest levels of risk may be seen as having a greater urgency will receive priority access to care services.