As you explore your options, you may be wondering: What’s right for me? How do I decide what kind of care I need? Which options will enable me to live my life with the most independence?
Some people choose to use a combination of home and community support services to stay in their own home for as long as possible. Others choose to move to a place that offers certain types of care as well as the social supports that come with living with other seniors.
Finding what's right for you will depend on your personal situation. Here are some factors to consider:
Your need for support is one of the most important factors in determining the option that is right for you. Different types of home and community support services and residential settings offer different levels and types of care.
Each care option has advantages and disadvantages. What one person considers an advantage, another might consider a disadvantage. For example, if you are looking for residential care, do you enjoy being part of the hustle and bustle of a busy urban place, or would you prefer a more rural setting? Understanding your personal preferences is a key part of the decision making process.
For many people, family and friends can be an important source of support. In some cases, you may be able to meet some or all of your needs with the help of family and friends. Often, people combine help from people they know with help from service providers or agencies.
To ensure that resources are directed to those who need them the most, there is a process for determining your eligibility for service. The government sets eligibility criteria for services provided by CCACs to establish the range of persons the service is designed to serve, and how priority decisions will be made. Eligibility criteria for other types of services are either set by the government or by the provider organization. You can find out the eligibility criteria by talking to your local CCAC or directly to the individual provider organization.
Where you live can affect the availability of service. Some services are widely available throughout the province; while other services may only be available in a particular area or region. Some specialized services are more likely to be available in cities than in rural areas. One of the purposes of having Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) across the province is to have the funding decisions made by people who know the community and can decide what the community needs most.
Although many community services are free or low-cost for eligible clients, your financial situation may affect your choice of service. There are a number of ways to make service costs more affordable. Many people find that using a combination of family, community, government and privately-funded service is a cost-effective strategy. A CCAC can provide information about the availability of financial subsidies for the service options you are considering.
Do you know whether you have to make decisions in the next six months, three months, or few weeks? The level of urgency will affect the time you have available to research the options and arrange for care. If you only have a few weeks to make a decision, then you will need to move quickly towards arranging your care, and if necessary, selecting a provider.
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