If you have a family member who is ill or elderly, they may be able to remain in their home, with some assistance, instead of being hospitalized or admitted to a nursing or long-term care home. The extent of the service required will vary.

Depending on the circumstances, you, your family or friends may be able to provide some of this help. This is an area where you should have an open and honest discussion with everyone involved to determine if this is a practical solution. Your loved one’s needs might be relatively modest and can be met without putting unreasonable demands upon anyone else’s time. In other cases, you may decide that outside help is required. Some of the areas of assistance to be considered are:

Live-in assistance

Their condition may be such that they will require more constant care with an attendant in their home for most or all of the day. The relative costs of having your loved one live in a residential facility would need to be considered, as well as the emotional factors since many older adults are attached to their homes and are very reluctant to move to a care facility.

Adult daycare

Many communities offer facilities where seniors can spend their days in a safe, social environment.

Respite Care

If you or other family members provide in-home care for your parent, there are Respite Care programs where a qualified attendant will visit periodically to provide care for your parent so the primary caregiver can ‘take a break.’ This can be an essential service for the caregiver(s) to prevent the build-up of stress.


Your family member may be able to manage to make themselves breakfast and lunch but do not feel up to making an evening meal. You and your family may decide that you can do some periodic shopping to keep them supplied with essentials and provide an evening meal. However, family schedules and proximity can make providing regular meals impractical, so a popular alternative could be ‘ordering from a meal delivery service or a similar program in your community.


If your loved one is ill but still able to get around, you will need to consider the extent of their mobility and needs. Devices such as canes and walkers can greatly assist people with reduced mobility. Electrically powered scooters are another option. If they are relatively mobile, they may want to get out periodically to shop or attend doctor’s appointments. You and other family members or friends may be able to arrange a schedule to make these trips. If this is not practical, many communities have organizations that provide transportation services for those with limited mobility and volunteer drivers who can take the patient to doctor’s appointments or therapy sessions.

If they can still drive their car, you should consider getting a disabled parking sticker to minimize their walking. The appropriate provincial ministry will require a signed statement from a qualified health professional that the applicant qualifies on medical grounds.

Home and garden care

If they are able and prefer to remain at home, they will probably require some assistance in maintaining their home and garden. You and your family members may be able to arrange an acceptable schedule and list of responsibilities. Required assistance will probably include laundry and cleaning, as well as, garden maintenance, snow removal, etc.

If family and friends cannot manage these things, local volunteer services may be available to assist infirm/disabled persons. You may have to make arrangements with local companies that will require paying commercial rates, which must be factored into the budget.

Visiting and monitoring

When your loved one is at home, you will want to regularly arrange for visitors to call. This will help confirm they are managing okay on their own and provide some important social contact.

Where to start

Your advisor has access to a great deal of information on the support services available. For example, in Ontario, the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care is an excellent place to start learning about the options available to assist people in finding and funding in-home care.

For more information on planning at-home care for your loved one, contact your Scotia Wealth Management relationship manager today.