Home care is a vital part of Montreal’s health system. However, it has never been prioritized in the hospital-centric system of the province, which explains why many seniors find themselves in long term care residences when they could be living independently at home with proper support. The development of a strong home care network would ease the pressure on residential care and make financial sense for both Quebec and its seniors.
In Quebec, the majority of professional home care is delivered by CLSC staff, subject to resource availability. Non-professional home support services, such as housekeeping and laundry, are contracted out by CLSCs to private companies that offer household service agencies. The regime d’assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ, or health insurance board) provides grants through the “Financial Assistance Program for Domestic Help Services” to help seniors pay for these services.
Many seniors and their family caregivers prefer to hire independent workers rather than relying on CLSC staff. This is particularly true if the senior’s loss of autonomy is gradual, as it allows them to maintain their social and professional ties while benefiting from a more flexible schedule. The private home care industry is booming in Canada, especially in Ontario and Quebec.
If you’re a family caregiver helping a loved one, be sure to consult your local health authority and the Commission des normes, de l’equité, de la santé et de la sécurité au travail (CNESST, or labour standards, pay equity and workplace safety) for information on tax credits. You can also get a form from your healthcare provider to give to your employer as proof that you are a caregiver. Montreal home care