In today’s blog article, we are going to talk about planning for long-term care needs and resources that are available to help you in BC. In British Columbia, there are five Health Authorities: Fraser Health, Interior Health, Island Health, Northern Health, and Vancouver Coastal Health. Everything listed below is available in all the health authorities, however, the method of implementation may be slightly different. For that reason, it’s important to start with your family doctor no matter where you live in BC.

Your Family Doctor

The first resource to use is your family doctor. Your family doctor will be well acquainted with what is available near you, not just for long-term care, but also for assessing your long-term care needs. Some areas have teams of individuals that will come to your house to assess care needs, and sometimes a social worker is assigned to a case and becomes the lead caseworker.

So, if you are concerned about long-term care needs, think you need more care for yourself or a loved one, or think an assessment is in order, then start with an appointment and conversation with your family doctor. If someone needing long-term care is already hospitalized, then all of these resources are available within the hospital framework.

Care in Home

In all cases, the health authorities have as a first priority to keep you or your loved one in your home. If at all possible, the health authorities would rather arrange for more care to come to you, then for you to leave your home to be in a long-term care environment. So, be aware that this is how health authorities operate.

Assessment

The next priority is assessment. Care cannot be provided without a good understanding of what the individual needs. If you are helping someone else access care, it is useful to keep a journal for a few days or weeks, noting in what areas that person needs help, such as food preparation or eating, dressing, bathing, toileting, management of medications, as well as that person’s orientation within space and time.

Budgetary Considerations

The budget of the person needing care will also be discussed. All provinces have both private and publicly subsidized options for long-term care. Be prepared to discuss if you can afford to pay for long-term care and/or how much you can afford to pay.

Legal Paperwork

Our best advice is, in preparation for the need for long-term care, make sure you have all the appropriate medical-decision-making documents completed, and note that the paperwork needed in BC is specific to British Columbia. You will want to designate someone to help make decisions for your care if you are unable to, and you may wish to also prepare a power of attorney, which would allow someone to, for example, pay your bills for you if you are unable to. This is something you can discuss with your family doctor or caseworker, but papers need to be executed with the help of a notary or lawyer.

The good news is that Canada in general, and British Columbia, specifically, have excellent long-term care solutions for those who need it. With the help of your family doctor and/or caseworker, there are good solutions at hand.

H&H Total Care Services is a privately held company based in Surrey, BC, that is a leader in providing senior and young adult residential care services. With communities in both British Columbia and Alberta, H&H Total Care Services offers a wide range of compassionate care services from independent living to long-term complex care.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about our range of care services, please feel free to contact us.