ACE can give legal advice to the older adult whose rights are in issue on complaints about home care, and on the review and appeal of decisions to reduce or deny home care services.
Free home care services are available in Ontario through Home and Community Care Support Services (HCCSS), (formerly the Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) or the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC)). Seniors and people with complex medical conditions of all ages can often stay in their own homes if they have some support. To qualify for free personal care services in your home, you must need help with some activities of daily living. Activities of daily living include things like getting out of bed, bathing and dressing, using the toilet, eating a nutritious diet, or walking.
Examples of homecare services include:
- Professional health care services: nurses and therapists who treat injuries like wounds or help with your recovery after an operation or a stroke
- Personal care: personal support workers (PSWs) who help with personal care like bathing, hair, nail and skin care, eating, getting dressed and other activities of daily living
- Homemaking: PSWs who help you with household activities like light housekeeping and laundry, if you qualify for personal care services
How to apply for home care and access to community services?
- Call your Home and Community Care Support Services organization online or by calling 310-2222
- Check if you qualify for government-funded services. A case manager will determine if you qualify.
- Tell the case manager about your needs.
- Arrange a home visit.
- Apply for care. If you qualify for government-funded care, Home and Community Care Support Services organizations will coordinate your application and select the provider for you.
You may qualify for a weekly visit or several visits a week. The government sets limits on how many hours of care you can have each month. If you qualify, the Ontario government pays for a wide range of services in your home and community. If you don’t qualify, you may be eligible for community support services that often have a client co-payment. You can also get help from private companies for a fee.
The Home Care and Community Services Act and the Connecting Care Act, 2019, regulate the structure and activities of the HCCSS. The Home Care and Community Services Act includes a Bill of Rights for persons who receive home care, and it says if you don’t qualify for government-funded services and believe that you should, you can appeal the Home and Community Care Support Services organization’s decision through the Ontario Health Services Appeal and Review Board (HSARB). You can also contact the Board if a service you previously received has stopped or been reduced.
To report harm, neglect or other complaints about home care in Ontario, call the Long-Term Care ACTION Line:
Hours of operation: 8:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., 7 days a week
If you do not receive a satisfactory response, you can contact the Patient Ombudsman:
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.:
Toll free: 1-888-321-0339
Box 130, 77 Wellesley St. W.
Toronto, ON M7A 1N3
393 University Ave., Suite 1801
Toronto, ON M5G 1E6