Getting Started with Retirement Care

I need support arranging care for myself or a loved one. Where do I start?

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Getting Started

Arranging care for yourself or a loved one can seem complicated.

To get started, there are four steps when arranging care services. 

1) Request for an assessment for services from a local home or community care office 

2) Prepare for your assessment or services 

3) Develop your unique care plan 

4) Begin your care services

1. Request an assessment for services from a local home or community care office

When you or someone you know needs care, you can contact your local home or community care office to request an assessment for services. If you’re already working with a health care professional, including a doctor, nurse, pharmacist or social worker, they can make a referral for you. Once your local home and community care office receives a request for assessment, either from yourself or a health care professional, you will be contacted. The health care professional from the local home or community care office will work with you to determine your eligibility for services and/or arrange for an assessment if it is necessary. If for any reason you or your loved one is not eligible for home and community care services or you do not require an assessment for services, you will receive a referral to other resources.

2. Prepare for your assessment of services

An assessment for services with a health care professional is a meeting to talk about your current living situation and assess your unique health care needs. 

To prepare for your meeting, you will need to have: 

• Your health care card

• Your family doctor and the best number to reach them at 

• A close relative or friend that the care services office can contact 

• Information about any prescription medications you are taking 

• Your pension cheque stubs 

• Your income tax return or notice of assessment


The health care professional will also work with you to answer the following questions: 

• Am I eligible for care? 

• What services are needed to meet my unique health care needs and situation? 

• How long will I need care services for? 

• Will the services cost me anything? If so, how much will that be? 

It is important to remember that you and your loved one have the right to consent to care by your health authority. Make sure your questions are answered and explained so you have an understanding of the next steps ahead. 

To prepare further for your meeting, Cared Upon recommends you have: 

• A list of questions you have about home and community care services 

• Documents or any information that could be helpful to further assess your unique health care needs 

• A family member, close relative or friend to attend the meeting with you. It can be helpful to have an extra pair of ears to provide support or ask any questions you might miss.

3. Develop your unique care plan

Once it is determined that you are eligible for services, a health care professional will work with you to co-create a care plan that meet your unique health care needs. This plan will serve as a guide for everyone on your caregiving team. As your care situation evolves and changes, your care plan will be updated by the health care professional.

4. Begin your care services

The time it takes to begin your care services will depend on the urgency for the need of the particular care service. This will be determined by the health care professional during your assessment for services meeting. Many health care professionals use an “urgency criteria” to prioritize access to care services. The urgency criteria will vary depending on where you are located and whether you are accessing home or community care. 

Generally, this is based on: 

• Is there an urgency to access health care needs right now? 

• What is the current availability for home and community caregivers and support? 

• Is there a potential risk from abuse, neglect, or self-neglect that requires assistance in managing your day-to-day needs?