There are a number of government programs designed to offer seniors assistance with their home repairs. If you or a senior you know needs home repairs done but doesn’t have the budget required to do them properly it’s a good idea to investigate the Federal and Provincial programs that are available.
If you or your elderly family members have chosen to remain at home independently, health issues, low income and old age may make it problematic to maintain the home. It can also prove difficult for children or relatives to help out often, especially if distance is a factor and in fields where professional expertise is required. Hiring private companies is an option, but can be challenging if you don’t know what to look for. With these obstacles to consider, this situation may have you wondering: How can I remedy this problem and keep my home intact, all while keeping costs manageable?
WHO CAN I LOOK TO?
Aside from receiving help from family, friends and neighbours, the Government can provide services. They can be offered by the federal and provincial government, or may simply be Community-funded organizations and programs. The Federal Government has several programs available to all Canadians, while each province has different subsidies for seniors. No matter which program you decide to use, they can all make maintaining a safe and well-cared for home easier and less expensive.
WHAT KIND OF CARE IS AVAILABLE?
Home care for seniors is a broad topic; many different options are available in Canada.
Federal initiatives provided by Service Canada include the Home Adaptations for Seniors Independence Program and the Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program which provide financial assistance for seniors in need of home repairs.
As mentioned above, provincial programs vary depending on the province. However, the idea behind the programs is generally the same- to provide seniors with subsidies that will help pay for specific home repairs or adjustments. In Alberta, for example, seniors can choose from a list of subsidized repairs, including common repairs for roofs, electricity and plumbing. However, in Nova Scotia, helps subsidize home accessibility through such renovations as installing ramps or widening doorways. Similar of programs are available in other province as well.
Community programs are not-for-profit, mostly government-funded, organizations. Often, the people working in these programs are volunteers, who willingly donate their time to help seniors. As a result, community care is usually more affordable than private care. Repairs, cleaning, Meals-on-Wheels and most commonly, snow and lawn care are all services that community associations are likely to provide. The Snow Buddies Program, created by the Community Support Services of Niagara, a free initiative which helps clear snow from seniors’ driveways, is one of the many examples of volunteers and Community Programs making a difference. Community Programs and Organizations differ from city to city, so some research may be required to find one in your area that provides the services you need.
HOW DO I TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THESE SERVICES?
Make sure you or your relative meets the requirements of the program. Most require you to be above a certain age and many government programs have additional eligibility concerns for subsidized repairs. The large majority of programs require you to fill out an application, which can easily be downloaded from the programs webpage. You may be required to provide a medical referral or estimate to be eligible for certain government subsidies.
HOW CAN I LEARN MORE?
- Read about Federal aid through or Service Canada
- Check out the Ministry of Health Websites for your province for provincial services
- Use the Comfort Life Senior Care Advisor and read about Support Services