If you are a caregiver for someone with a health condition, disability or care needs associated with aging, you can take a break, with our help.
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Types of respite care
As a caregiver, you need a break from time to time. We can help you by providing relief caregiving while you’re away. This is called respite care.
The person you care for can receive care:
- at home
- during a short stay at a long-term care home
- at an adult day program
Respite care at home
The person you care for can get services at home in your absence.
A personal care worker or health care professional (e.g. nurse, physiotherapist, occupational therapist) will provide the following services:
- personal support (e.g. oral care, bathing, dressing, assistance with medications, mobility)
- homemaking (e.g. cleaning, laundry, preparing meals)
- professional (e.g. nursing, physiotherapy)
The number of hours you can receive for respite care at home varies by service and your unique situation.
Your local Home and Community Care Support Services organization will perform an assessment to determine whether you are eligible for respite care provided through home care. Home and Community Care Support Services can also refer you to other respite options in the community. Call the Home and Community Care Support Services at 310-2222 from anywhere in Ontario.
How to qualify
Qualifying for respite care at home is based on the needs of the person you’ve been caring for.
The person you care for must – at a minimum – have:
- a valid Ontario health card (i.e. be covered by OHIP)
- a home properly equipped for the services needed (e.g. shower chairs, transfer benches)
Depending on the service needed, there are other qualifications.
For the person you’ve been caring for to receive homemaking services during your break, they must also need personal support services. Homemaking services are not offered on their own as part of respite care.
Your local Home and Community Care Support Services organization can help you find an organization to provide only homemaking services. Call Home and Community Care Support Services at 310-2222 from anywhere in Ontario.
Professional services must be necessary for the person you’ve been caring for to remain at home or to return home from hospital, long-term care home or other health care facility.
Costs for respite care at home
You may qualify for respite care at home provided by Home and Community Care Support Services, in which case the costs are fully covered by Home and Community Care Support Services
If not, other health and community organizations provide these services for a fee.
Search the Home and Community Care Support Services listings of those organizations using your postal code.
Short stay in long-term care home
While you are away, the person you care for can stay for up to 60 days in a long-term care home. They cannot be admitted for more than 90 days in a calendar year.
How to qualify
Qualifying for respite care in a long-term care home is based on your needs and the needs of the person in your care.
To qualify, you must:
- need to be away for more than one day (e.g. vacation), or
- need to be in hospital, or
- be experiencing a health issue is preventing you from continuing to provide care
The person in your care must:
- need nursing care around the clock, or at frequent intervals, including
- on-site supervision
- assistance with daily living
- monitoring to ensure their safety, well-being and ability to stay in the community
- be at least 18 years old
- covered by OHIP (with a valid Ontario health card)
Costs for short stay in long-term care home
We pay for all personal support and nursing care provided in a long-term care home.
Only accommodation costs (e.g. room and board), have to be paid.
Adult day programs
If you need a day or a few days off, the person you care for can attend an adult day program. These programs offer structured and supervised activities in a group setting.
How to qualify
The person you care for needs a referral from Home and Community Care Support Services for all publicly funded adult day programs. The Home and Community Care Support Services coordinator assigned to the person you care for can help you get a referral.
Each program may require different things to qualify.
Costs for adult day programs
For most programs, a fee will have to be paid for each day the person you care for attends the program.
Applying for respite care
You apply for respite care through Home and Community Care Support Services organizations.
Find your local Home and Community Care Support Services organization by:
- calling 310-2222 from anywhere in Ontario (no area code or 1-800 needed)
- using a Home and Community Care Support Services map
Once you connect with your local Home and Community Care Support Services organization, a representative will:
- go over all the qualifications with you to ensure eligibility
- arrange any necessary assessments of the person you care for
- e.g. assessment needed for personal support services
- help you complete any necessary application
- e.g. applications needed for short stays in long-term care homes
- schedule the service(s) (e.g. dates and times, entry into home, transportation) if you are approved for respite care