Accessing In-Home Health Care through your Community Care Access Centre*
Are you caring for an aging parent?
Are you concerned about a loved one’s ability
to continue living independently at home?
Are you facing surgery or cancer treatment?
Are you or a loved one in need of palliative care services?
Community Care Access Centres*, or CCACs as they are commonly referred to, are the ‘front door’ to community-based and in-home health care services in Ontario. Funded by the Ontario government and paid for by your OHIP dollars, CCACs are also the coordinator of placement into long-term care facilities such as retirement and nursing homes, a topic we will address directly in a future Forum.
There are 14 CCACs in Ontario, each covering a different region. You can find the CCAC in your area by going to www.ccac-ont.ca, calling 310-CCAC (2222) or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. You do not need a doctor’s referral to CCAC. You can contact them directly for your own needs and on behalf of a relative or friend. Although CCACs are closely associated with care for seniors, their coordination services are used in connection with many health situations involving both adults and children, and frequently used in conjunction with hospital discharge.
The CCACs themselves do not provide services. Their job is to ensure you are aware the services that exist in your local area and connect you to these on an ‘as needed’ basis.
This is done through each CCAC’s ‘Case Managers’ or ‘Care Coordinators’ who assess each situation individually to make the necessary recommendations and referrals that will create a care plan for you or the person you have referred to them. Once this is in place they will continue to check-in and make any necessary adjustments to this.
The types of services coordinated by CCAC include –
Medical supplies and equipment
Other services, related to helping seniors continue living in their own home, include –
Meal delivery and dining programs
Personal support (help with bathing, dressing, etc.)
Homemaking and home help
Adult Day Programs
More specialized services include –
Acquired brain injury
Mental health and addictions
Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia
In every case the recommendations and referrals made to you will be based on the availability of the above-mentioned services in your area.
Our Recommendation –
Because CCAC services are in such heavy demand, and because this grows daily with our ‘graying’ population, we suggest you connect with your local CCAC early on if you anticipate a need for their services.
Important to know —
You do not need a doctor’s referral to CCAC. Just pick up the phone and call on behalf of yourself, a relative of a friend
CCACs can arrange short-term care for a family member in a retirement or nursing home facility to either give you a rest from caregiving or allow you to go on vacation
You can use any of the services coordinated by CCAC in conjunction with private in-home care
There may be a fee for some of the community services CCAC refers you to. There may however be subsidies available in connection with these. You will be advised of all of this by CCAC.
*Community Care Access Centres (CCAC) are Ontario-based. If you or a family member lives in another province please search that provincial government’s web sites for their CCAC equivalent.