There are many care options available in the Toronto area to help you or your family member continue to live a healthy, fulfilling life. What is the right care solution for you or your loved one?
Independent living is best for adults who require minimal to no outside care. Some choose to move to an independent-living home/apartment with a supportive community and appealing amenities, while others continue to live an independent life at home. If you choose to stay home, talk to MEDability about barrier-free home modifications to make your home safer and more comfortable. Consider purchasing safety products like grab bars, handles, shower chairs, and other bathroom safety products, medical glow tape, automatic door openers, and other products to improve daily living.
Assisted living is appropriate for adults who do not require 24-hour care, but need help with everyday tasks like dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom. In assisted living facilities, your care team will help with a range of activities, including grooming/hygiene, housekeeping, and meal preparation.
Long-term care facilities are for adults who require 24-hour care and support and are unable to live independently in the community. In addition to 24-hour access to caregiving, adults in long-term care facilities have a care team that includes physicians and other healthcare professionals.
Home Health Care
Also known as in-home care, home health care is the preferred option for adults who need some assistance and prefer to receive care at home. For adults who need help with everyday tasks or want the social comfort of a caregiver, home health care is an appealing option. A home health care service will try to match you with a caregiver who is a good fit in terms of personality. Depending on your care needs, the caregiver can assist with grooming, bathing, cooking, light housekeeping, and errands, or they may be mostly there as a social companion.
Tax Credits for Those Claiming the Disability Tax Credit
You can claim full-time Attendant Care. You can claim as eligible medical expenses the salaries and wages paid to all employees performing the following duties:
- Food preparation
- Housekeeping services for a resident’s personal living space
- Laundry service for a resident’s personal items
- Health care (Registered Nurse, Practical Nurse, Certified Health Care Aide, Personal Support Worker)
- Activities (social programmer)
- Salon services (hairdresser, manicurist, pedicurist) if included in the monthly fee
- Transportation (driver)
- Security for a secured unit
If you are receiving attendant care services in your home, you can only claim for the period when you are at home and need care or help. For the expense to be eligible as a medical expense, you must be eligible for the Disability Tax Credit or provide a written certification from a medical practitioner that states the services are necessary.
It does take a few months to process the Disability Tax Credit, but do ask your family doctor to complete the form if you or a loved one is eligible. It also significantly reduces your taxable income. If you have been eligible for some time and have not claimed the credit, you can go back 10 years and retroactively claim the credit for each of the 10 years.
Adult Day Program
Adult day programs are best for adults who require minimal to no outside care, but can benefit from social and therapeutic activities in a group setting to combat loneliness, isolation, and depression. Adult day programs are typically offered by the city or they are housed in care facilities, community centres, or hospitals. The key to adult day programs is the social aspect, offering activities and services in a supportive environment. Learn more about Toronto Adult Day Programs.
Finally, there is the option of respite care. Respite care is temporary care for a short period of time (say, a weekend or a week) to provide some relief for regular caregivers or family members. It can be helpful if the caregiver is going out of town, or it can simply be a period of rest to allow the caregiver to recharge and avoid caregiver burnout.
These are the most prominent care options, however it is up to you and your family to decide the care solution that is most appropriate and will most improve your way of life. It is important to be proactive and talk with your family about this topic before a decision needs to be made.
If you have any other questions about care solutions or home medical equipment, MEDability is here to help. Visit us in store in Markham or give us a call at 905-471-5224 Ext. 23 to learn more.