Home and community care services provide a range of health care and support services to people who have acute, chronic, palliative or rehabilitative health care needs. You may need these services if you:

  • Are released from hospital and need short-term care.

  • Have an ongoing or chronic health issue requiring more care than you or you family can provide.

  • Have a health issue that is getting worse and you need support to continue to live at home.

  • Have a health issue that is making it impossible for you to continue to live at home safely.

How to access home and community care services

This section explains:

  • Your home & community care options – Learn more about the services we offer under different scenarios, including long-term care, assisted living, care for adults with developmental disabilities and convalescent care.

  • Who is eligible for services – You must meet citizenship and residency requirements to access these services.

  • How to access these services – Call the access line for your area.

  • The cost for services – Some services are provided free of charge and others include a fee that is based on your income.

All home and community care services at-a-glance

We offer a wide range of home and community care services. All of the services below are accessed by calling our Home & Community Care Access Lines.

Acquired brain injury

We offer services for people who have suffered brain injury due to trauma, stroke, brain tumour, aneurysm or other issues. Search acquired brain injury services in our directory.

Adult day programs

These are supportive community group programs for adults with disabilities and seniors to help them remain at home and provide relief to their caregivers. They offer a range of health, personal, social and recreational activities in a safe, caring environment. This includes help with health monitoring and giving medications, bathing, health education, and exercise groups.

Ambulatory home care nursing clinics

If you are able to leave your home, the clinics provide a broad range of services for people who need nursing treatment and education in self-care management. For example, helping you manage wound care, medications or a chronic disease.

Assisted living

Is a housing and care option for seniors or people with physical disabilities who can benefit from more social interaction and help with meals and personal care.

Caregiver support

This service gives caregivers a break from the emotional and physical demands of caring for a friend or relative. It is available at home or outside of the home through short-term stays for your loved one, called respite, in a care facility or hospice.

Case management

Case managers work with you, your family, and your doctor and other health professionals to help determine the services that will best meet your needs and situation. They will work with you to develop a care plan, arrange services for the appropriate length of time, and identify any costs for the services. They also review and make changes as your care needs change.

Community nutrition

Provides you and your family with nutritional counseling for a wide variety of health conditions.

Convalescent Care

Is short-term care that is available for people who have been in hospital and no longer require acute hospital care but need more time to recover.

Health services for community living

This service helps adults with developmental disabilities access health services, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nursing, nutrition and dental hygiene. We provide referrals to health care providers and advocate for specialist care. We also provide caregivers and families with support and training.

Home care nursing

Nurses provide a range of services in your home or in a community clinic. Their main goal is to teach you and your caregivers how to manage your own health care so that you can live as independently as possible.

Home health equipment & supplies

We can help you access equipment, such as walkers, bath seats, wheelchairs or lifts.

Home support

Provides support for you and your caregivers in your daily living activities including bathing, dressing, exercising, medication administration and more, which includes a flexible option to coordinate your own services.

Hospice palliative care

Hospice palliative care provides comfort and quality of life care for people and their families living with life limiting illness.

Occupational & physical therapy

Physical therapists and occupational therapists provide assessment, consultation, short-term treatment and education to you and your family. These services, sometimes called rehabilitation therapy, are available in community clinics and in your home, depending on your situation. Therapists also share information about aids for personal care (e.g. bath seats, grab bars) and equipment (e.g. scooters, wheelchairs, crutches). They help you improve or maintain your physical and functional abilities and help you set up your home to make it safer and easier to get around.

Long-term care

We provide 24-hour registered nursing, professional care and a secure environment for individuals who have complex health needs.

 

Care options

 

 

Learn more about the different care services we offer:

  • Long-term care

  • Assisted living

  • Hospice palliative care

  • Home care nursing

  • Convalescent care

  • Home support

  • Home health medical equipment & supplies

  • Caregiver support

Which care options are appropriate?

Here are a few scenarios of how we can provide home and community care for you or your loved one.

 

  • Kim had surgery for breast cancer…

    She is going home, but is weak and needs help taking care of herself. We can help by providing:

    • Home care nursing in the first few days home to clean her wound and provide intravenous antibiotic treatment.

    • Home support to help with bathing and dressing.

    • A Registered dietitian to ensure adequate nutrition to facilitate wound healing and strengthen the body.

    • Nursing care at a nearby ambulatory home care nursing clinic for follow-up care once she is physically able to leave her home.

    • Ongoing support by connecting her to a support group for women recovering from similar surgery, which also benefits from exercise therapy provided by a community physiotherapist.

  • Shirley has grown frail over the past six months…

    She is also having challenges with shortness of breath, lapses in her short-term memory and she recently fell, fracturing her hip. She was in hospital for 10 days, spent time in convalescent care and then was discharged home. We can help by providing:

    • Home care nursing to visit and provide care of her surgical wound while monitoring her overall condition.

    • Home support to assist with her dressing and personal care.

    • A Registered dietitian to ensure adequate nutrition to facilitate wound healing and strengthen the body.

    • Occupational therapy to provide suggestions on safety equipment that needs to be installed in her home.

    • Physiotherapy to provide her with strengthening exercises and arrange for her to borrow a walker.

    • Case management for an assessment of her longer term care needs for personal care, monitoring of her shortness of breath and blood pressure, prevention of falls, socialization and nutrition support.

  • Susan has terminal lung cancer…

    She wants to die at home and have as much time with her children as possible. We can help by providing hospice palliative care, such as:

    Home care nursing

    • Visit frequently and regularly assess Susan’s status.

    • Manage equipment such as the pump that provides her with pain medication.

    • Registered dietitian to discuss possible approaches to nutrition to meet Susan’s wishes, and to make her as comfortable as possible.

    • Connect with her family doctor to improve symptom relief.

    • Consult with the specialized hospice palliative care team about medication concerns and other end-of-life care issues.

    • Set up end-of-life care counselling with a hospice social worker.

    Occupational therapy

    • To show her how to move in and out of bed safely.

    • To show her how to adjust her position and to arrange for equipment paid for by the BC Palliative Care Benefits Program.

    Physiotherapy

    • To provide her with chest therapy.

  • Darcy became a quadriplegic several years ago…

    After a long period of rehabilitation, he returned to his own home and lives independently with support from his family and friends. He is dependent on others for his personal care needs. We can help by providing:

    • Case management that helps him apply for Choice in Supports for Independent Living, allowing him to self-direct the home support services he needs. His case manager regularly reassesses his needs and helps him change his service contract as needed.

    • An occupational therapist who helps him get equipment to support his comfort, independence and mobility.

    • A community physiotherapist who helps him move around.

    • A Registered dietitian to provide appropriate nutrition support and monitoring, helping Darcy maintain a healthy weight.

  • Terry has advanced dementia…

    Terry and Jamie have been together for more than 40 years. Terry has advanced dementia. Jamie has arthritis and was recently hospitalized for complications from diabetes. They are finding it increasingly difficult to manage their daily activities and medications, but want to remain in their home as long as possible. In their situation, we can help by providing:

    Case management

    • Complete a detailed assessment of their needs

    • Arrange support, such as home support and community pharmacy.

    • Arrange for Terry to go to a local adult day program so Jamie can have a break.

    • Provide Jamie with information on diabetes management and help plan for their future by evaluating their situation on an ongoing basis

    • Provide Jamie with information about their options, such as assisted living and long-term care.

    Home support

    • To assist with Terry’s daily care, such as dressing and feeding.

    • Community pharmacy services to help organize their medications so that it is easier to take them properly.

    Home health dietitians

    • Help explore options, funding, and resources such as home meal delivery to ensure that healthy food is accessible.

    • Optimize and monitor nutrition status of Jamie and Terry

Long-term care

Long-term care

Long-term care homes provide professional care and supervision to adults in a supportive and secure environment. The services are available to people with complex care needs, and physical and/or mental health conditions who cannot live safely and independently at home.

What services does long term care provide?

All long-term care homes in Vancouver Coastal Health provide:

  • Provide 24 hour professional nursing and personal care

  • Accommodation in a safe and secure environment

  • Nutritious meals

  • Medication management

  • Laundry

  • Recreational activity programs

  • Support and relief for families and loved ones who are providing care

  • The primary language spoken is English, but our staff members make every effort to honour and support each elder’s unique cultural, ethnic and language backgrounds

  • Is Long-Term Care Right for Me?

    To be eligible you need to:

    • Be 19 years of age or older.

    • Have lived in British Columbia for three months.

    • Be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status (You must be a landed immigrant or are on a Minister’s permit approved by the Ministry of Health Services)

    • Be unable to function independently because of chronic, health-related problems or have been diagnosed by a doctor with an end-stage illness.

  • How do I apply?

    Priority for long-term care is always given to those with the highest need and the greatest risk.

    If you are at home, you can access this service by contacting your local Home Health and Community Care Office where a Case Manager will determine your needs and eligibility.

    1. Contact your local Home Health and Community Care Office at the central intake number

    2. A case manager will determine your needs and eligibility

    3. We aim to locate a care home that you have identified as one of your prefered care homes

    4. We will notify you when an interim or preferred care home becomes available

    5. When offered a bed in your preferred care home, you will be expected to move with very short notice – often within 48 hours of a bed becoming available

    How do I apply for long-term care after a hospital stay?

    If you are assessed as needing long-term care following a stay in the hospital and none of your preferred care homes are available, your health care provider will assist you to return home with appropriate care and services in place while waiting for a suitable publicly subsidized long-term care bed. If you prefer, you may also move into private pay long-term care while awaiting for a suitable publicly subsidized long-term care bed.

    How do I apply for private pay long-term care?

    Private pay long-term care services are paid for by the resident and not funded by Vancouver Coastal Health or the province. An assessment by Vancouver Coastal Health staff is not needed for admission to private pay care. Depending on individual circumstances, private pay long-term care may be the right option for either temporary or permanent care.

    There are many private pay care facilities to choose from, each offering a variety of services and features. Some homes have both publicly subsidized and private pay rooms. You can contact the BC Care Providers Association or visit The Care Guide website to find additional listings and information.

    It is important to know that choosing to pay privately on a temporary basis does not guarantee you will be transferred to a subsidized bed in the same building.

    Approximate care costs, overall affordability and the type of care required should be carefully considered when choosing a private pay residence. It is best to contact these residences directly for detailed information about availability, costs and services.

  • How do I choose a long-term care home?

    When choosing a long-term care home, we encourage you to take some time to think about what is important to you in your home environment. Then check out the different long term care homes, average wait times, and services available at each care home to find the best match for you.

    General Information

    • Introduction to Long-Term Care Handbook

    • Accessing Publicly Subsidized Long-Term Care Homes – VCH booklet

    Location specific information

    • Long-Term Care at a Glance Matrix – List of all care homes

    • Long-term care home wait times

    • Links to each long-term care home are listed at the bottom of this page and include additional details.

    When you have narrowed the search to your top few choice:

    • Contact the care home (s) directly to arrange a tour. You may want to take a family member or trusted friend with you for the tour.

    • When you visit the care home, ask if they  have additional information to share about the care available and costs as well as any extra charges that may apply for special services e.g., hairdressing, dental check-up, podiatry.

    Other tools to help you decide:

    • Long-Term Care Quick Facts Directory – BC Senior’s Advocate

    • Home and Community Care Policy Manual – BC Government

    • Long Term Care Inspection Reports – Access reports by Licensing Officers who conduct inspections regularly

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

    What is the cost for long-term care?

    Publicly-subsidized long-term care costs a monthly fee based on 80% of your after-tax income, with set minimum and maximum rates.

    As long-term care is considered your home, you may be required to pay additional fees for services or items you would pay for living on your own. For example, there may be additional fees for things like equipment or aids, optional activities, and hairdressing services. You will be told about all fees before you move in.

    How long does it take to move into my new home?

    The search for a long-term care home that best meets your needs starts as soon as the case manager or care provider completes your assessment. You are welcome to wait at home for your preferred care home.

    It is important to let the case manager know if you experience changes in your health while waiting for a bed. Your case manager is best able to help you plan what to do next if you find staying at home more challenging.

    How should I prepare to move into a long-term care home?

    BC’s long-term care policy ensures people with the greatest assessed need have priority access to a long-term care home. When you are offered a bed in one of your preferred care homes, you will be expected to move with very short notice – often within 48 hours. Vancouver Coastal Health has the following suggestions to help you transition more smoothly to your new home:

    • Contact the long-term care home and request a copy of their handbook for helpful tips and suggestions about what to bring with you

    • Have friends and family ready to assist you with your move

    • Pack a bag with some essentials so you can relocate quickly

    What if I want to change care homes?

    If you do not get into one of your preferred care homes initially, you will be offered an interim care home. If you accept the interim care home, you will keep your place on the waitlist for your preferred care home. When a new bed becomes available in one of your preferred locations, you will have the choice of accepting or declining it.

    What language will they speak at the facility?

    At all of our care homes, the primary language spoken is English but our staff members make every effort to honour and support each elder’s unique cultural, ethnic and language backgrounds.

Is long-term care right for me?

Long-Term Care is the BC Ministry of Health term for what you may know as Extended Care, Nursing Home Care, Long-Term Care or Geriatric Care Facility.

Vancouver Coastal Health believes the best quality of life is achieved by remaining in one’s own home environment for as long as possible. To this end, the Home Health and Community Care Case Manager will complete an assessment and help you explore options that will allow you to manage in your home.

When you are no longer able to stay at home with assistance, your local Home Health and Community Care office is available to assist you with options.
To be eligible you must:

Be 19 years of age or older.

Have lived in British Columbia for three months.

Be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status*.

Be unable to function independently because of chronic, health-related problems or have been diagnosed by a doctor with an end-stage illness.

*You must be a landed immigrant or are on a Minister’s permit approved by the Ministry of Health Services.

Access to Long-Term Care is based on a person’s assessed need and risk. Long-Term Care is for adults with complex health care needs requiring 24-hour professional care due to physical disability or mental or behavioural conditions, including brain injuries or dementia.
Services provided in long-term care

24-hour professional nursing and personal care

Accommodation in a safe and secure environment

Nutritious meals

Medication management

Laundry

Recreational activity programs

Support and relief for families and loved ones who are providing care

The BC Ministry of Health also provides a resource called Planning for your care needs: Help in selecting a long-term care facility.

All Long-Term Care facilities in British Columbia must provide care that meets established standards. Our Vancouver Coastal Health Community Care Licensing office ensures these standards are met.

How do I access long-term care?

 

 

How do I access long-term care if I am living at home?

You can access this service by contacting your local Home Health and Community Care Office where a Case Manager will determine your needs and eligibility. Priority is always given to those with the highest need and at the greatest risk.

What is the cost for long-term care?

Publicly-subsidized long-term care costs a monthly fee based on 80% of your after-tax income, with set minimum and maximum rates.

As long-term care is considered your home, you may be required to pay additional fees for services or items you would pay for living on your own. For example, there may be additional fees for things like equipment or aids, optional activities, and hairdressing services. You will be told about all fees before you move in.

How long does it take to access a facility?

The search for a long-term care bed that best meets your needs starts as soon as the Case Manager completes your assessment. We aim to locate a bed in your preferred care facility.

It is important to let the Case Manager know if you experience changes in your health while waiting for a bed.

How should I prepare to move into a facility?

BC’s long-term access policy ensures people with the greatest assessed need have priority for the first appropriate bed in a long-term care facility. When you are offered a bed in your preferred care facility, you will be expected to move with very short notice – often within 48 hours. Vancouver Coastal Health has the following suggestions to help you transition more smoothly to your new home:

  • Contact the long-term care facilities in your area and request a copy of their Resident Handbook.  It offers helpful tips and suggestions about what to bring with you

  • Have friends and family ready to assist you with your move

  • Pack a bag with some essentials so you can relocate quickly

What if I want to change facilities?

If you do not get into your preferred facility initially, you will be offered an interim care facility. If you accept the interim care facility, you will maintain your spot on the waitlist for your preferred care facility. When a new bed becomes available in your preferred location, you will have the choice of accepting or declining it.

How do I access long-term care after a hospital stay?

If you are assessed as needing long-term care following a stay in the hospital and the first appropriate bed is not available, your case manager will assist you to return home with appropriate care and services in place while waiting for a suitable publicly subsidized long-term care bed. If you prefer, you may also move into a private pay  setting while awaiting for a suitable publicly subsidized long-term care bed.

How do I access private pay long-term care?

Private pay l care services are paid for by the resident and not funded by Vancouver Coastal Health or the province. An assessment by Vancouver Coastal Health staff is not needed for admission to a private pay residence. Depending on individual circumstances, private pay long-term care may be the right option for either temporary or permanent care.

There are many private pay residences to choose from, each offering a variety of services and features. Some residences have both publicly subsidized and private pay rooms. You can contact the BC Providers Association or visit The Care Guide website to find additional listings and information.

It is important to know that choosing to pay privately on a temporary basis does not guarantee you will be transferred to a subsidized bed in the same building.

Approximate care costs, overall affordability and the type of care required should be carefully considered when choosing a private pay residence. It is best to contact these residences directly for detailed information about availability, costs and services.

 

Choosing a long-term care facility

When choosing Long-Term Care facility, think about what is important to you in selecting your new home.

A good place to start is our Long-Term Care Facilities at a Glance Matrix.

Tours

If possible, it is best to visit each facility you are considering for Long-Term Care.

Long-term care facilities typically have policies about facility tours and pre-admission visits. These policies are developed to protect the privacy and dignity of residents who call the facility home.

Please do not drop by and expect a staff member to stop what they are doing to provide a tour. It is better to check with the facility first and arrange a convenient time to visit so that staff are available to show you around and provide an overview of the services that are available. You may also want to take a family member or trusted friend with you when you visit.

When you visit, ask for a copy of the admissions contract/agreement that describes the care and accommodation that is available. The agreement should also describe the costs of available services as well as any extra charges that may apply for special additional services (e.g., hairdressing, dental check up, podiatry).

Other sources of information

Many facilities have information brochures available that provide an overview of their services and approach to care. If you have access to a computer, you may also check if the facility you are interested has a website, as many have helpful information online.

Long-trem care facilities map

We have a number of long-term care homes in our region. A list of the facilities and number of publicly funded beds at each can be found in our Long-Term Care Facilities at a Glance Matrix. View the listings below for more details and photos:

Assisted living

 

 

If you need help with meals and personal care, particularly if you are living alone or feeling isolated, assisted living services may be an option for you. Assisted living is a housing plus health services option if you are still relatively independent but need a little extra help. It is one of the many Home and Community Care services we offer.

Assisted living services available

We provide subsidized assisted living service. Your monthly contribution to assisted living services covers:
  • Accommodation: includes a private, lockable apartment or suite that you furnish with your own belongings. Buildings also have common dining and socializing spaces.
  • Hospitality services: includes two meals a day (lunch and supper), weekly housekeeping, weekly laundering of linens (towels and sheets), social and recreational opportunities and 24-hour emergency response system.
  • Personal care services: includes assistance with bathing, grooming, dressing and medication management.

Are you eligible for assisted living?

This service is for seniors and people living with physical disabilities. You must:
  • Be eligible to receive Home and Community Care services. Visit the Eligibility page for more details.
  • Be able to direct your own care and make decisions.
  • Be able to live independently but require help with daily activities.
  • Be able to communicate and be understood by others.
  • Not behave in ways that place the safety of others at risk.
  • Be able to take direction in an emergency and use the emergency response system.
  • Not be managing well in your home with the available services.

Access to subsidized units and their cost

Visit the How to access services page and Costs page for home and community care services.

Access to non-subsidized units

There are also privately operated, non-subsidized assisted living sites where we have no involvement in the funding or access process. Refer to the Seniors Housing Directory of BC for more information. You can also look in the phone book under Retirement Communities and Homes. The B.C. Seniors Advocate website is another good resource.

Have feedback about assisted living care?

We welcome feedback about your care. Contact the Office of the Assisted Living Registrar or call 1 (866) 714-3370.

Learn more about our subsidized assisted living facilities

We have a number of subsidized assisted living homes in our region. The listings below, from our Locations & services directory, include details and photos of each facility.