All About Estates

Staying at home longer? Self/Family Managed Care may be an option

This blog was written by Suzanne Singh

Census numbers from 2016 revealed that seniors in Canada were outnumbering children for the first time in the survey’s history (StatCan 2016 census).

It follows that with the tax base getting smaller and demand for health care services increasing, we can expect challenges. Will our aging population find sufficient facilities and resources to house and care for them? Are the waiting lists for desired facilities too long? Are there other options worth looking into?

Some elderly clients may wish to remain living independently in their own homes for as long as possible. Their aim may be to avoid or delay the need to move into long-term care, or simply to remain at home while waiting for availability at the facility of their choice. Oftentimes these clients require assistance to do so.

Some have family and friends who can check in regularly and provide time and services to help out. There are also a number of great service providers for hire offering a full range of nursing and home support services; these options may allow some to stay home and live independently, longer, outside of the long-term care system.

In Manitoba, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority – a governing body for the Province’s healthcare regulation – has been operating a Self/Family Managed Care (SFMC) program, which can, if you qualify, mitigate some of the outlay when purchasing these services.

Following a formal assessment and a signed contract with the WRHA, the program enables clients with assessed Home Care needs to coordinate and manage – on their own – the non-professional services needed to continue living at home and in the community.  Family Managers (and Self Managers) receive funding to purchase services or employ staff which allows the client to stay at home while receiving the care they need. Eligibility criteria must be met.

We often encounter clients who want to remain in their own homes but require some assistance. The SFMC program, and the financial assistance that it offers, has afforded some of our clients the ability to remain in their own homes while receiving the appropriate level of care. In our capacity as their fiduciary we are able to arrange and manage our clients’ SFMC participation on their behalf.

In addition to mitigating the cost of services to the client, alternative home care options could help ease potential lack of room in elder care facilities.

It may be worth looking into similar programs and options that may be available in your own jurisdictions so as to present your aging clients with a more complete array of options to consider as their needs evolve.

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