For many older adults, the ability to remain independent in their own home is a huge concern. Even when age-related limitations start to affect your independence, it is important to know that there are a variety of programs and services designed to help older adults continue to live in their own homes with some outside support. There are also housing options that provide programs and services for older adults who need assistance to live on their own.
Home Care services, such as meal preparation, nursing, physiotherapy, and personal care can be accessed through the Saskatchewan Health Authority. Assessment coordinators examine each case individually to determine needs and coordinate available services. Assessments and some services, such as nursing or therapy services, are provided free of charge. Provincially established rates for other services, such as meals and home management, are based on income and number of services received. People can apply for subsidies to help cover these costs.
Individualized Funding (IF) may also be available to individuals living in their own homes. This program, provided through the Home Care program, allows for direct funding to eligible individuals who then are responsible for arranging and managing their own support services. Approved support services, such as personal care or home management, can be included.
Professional health services, such as nursing or therapies, are not included in individualized funding. People can continue to access these through Home Care.
For some individuals, such a program can be a good fit as it allows for greater flexibility and control. Individuals must be prepared and able to manage the responsibility of hiring, scheduling, reporting and accounting for their approved support services.
Respite services may be available. Many older adults are the primary caregiver for a spouse that requires support to remain at home. In other cases, adult children may be responsible for providing that extra care to an older adult. Planned and emergency respite services are available to provide relief for a caregiver. Day programs can also provide a break for caregivers and provide things such as rehabilitation services and social opportunities. Availability is limited.
Other government services and programs can help you address some of the challenges of independent living. For example, the Home Repair Program provides financial assistance to low-income individuals for repairs or modifications needed to address accessibility issues. Social Services also offer a variety of services and programs for seniors, such as government housing programs available to older adults living in small communities and select rural and northern communities.
In addition to services and programs provided through the Saskatchewan Health Authority and other government departments, there are a number of community-based groups, volunteers and private businesses that may offer services designed to help older adults in their own homes. Some groups may be not-for-profit organizations, while others may be for-profit businesses.
There are also a number of housing options, such as retirement communities (assisted living), low-income housing programs and personal care homes that provide a variety of living arrangements with a range of services and programs. Some private businesses, such as personal care homes, must be licensed, while others may not have that requirement. In the case of private businesses, rates are not regulated – they are determined between the operator and the client.