For those who need home care, there are options to the traditional home care that is arranged by the local regional health authority. It is not well known, but it may be appropriate for your family’s situation.

It is taking over the management of the home care for yourself or for a family member. If interested, you would contact your Home Care Case Coordinator for more information.

Self-Managed Care enables clients with assessed Home Care needs to accept full responsibility for their personal care as Self Managers. Individuals who choose this option rather than receiving their service through the regular Home Care Program are responsible for coordinating, managing and directing the non-professional services they need to remain living at home and in the community.

Family Managed Care enables the families of clients with assessed Home Care needs to accept full responsibility for their family member as a Family Manager. The Family Manager is responsible for coordinating, managing and directing the non-professional services needed by their family member.

Hiring of family members is not allowed except in unique circumstances (communication or cultural barriers, or the nature and degree of the care required, or rural or remote location).

You would be funded for the home care service, but you would find a home care agency or employ staff to provide the non-professional services such as companionship visits (respite care), meals, light housekeeping and laundry, and personal care assistance such as transferring to and from a wheelchair, and with your personal care, such as bathing, dressing, and toileting.

You continue to be eligible for Home Care’s professional services such as Nursing and Community Therapy Services.

One of the biggest challenges to Self/Family Managed Care is the payroll administration: If you choose to employ staff as a Self/Family Manager you take on full responsibilities as an employer including: Registering with Canada Revenue Agency, Employment Insurance, Workers Compensation, making required payroll deductions etc. A payroll company may be hired to assist with these employer obligations. Alternatively, you may choose to engage a personal care agency to provide the care.

I have had a few clients that have arranged for Family Managed Care and it has worked well. It allowed them to hire one or two people to provide some respite care for the spouse (the main caregiver) so the spouse could leave the home a few times a week for shopping or other social activities and know that someone was in the home to provide companionship and supervision and know the family member was safe.

The main reason for seeking this type of solution was to ensure consistent care givers. Some recipients of home care find it challenging to have too many different home care providers; it can be confusing.

In one situation, it was a well-known neighbour that provided the respite care. The spouse issued the bi-weekly paycheque after I helped her determine the deductions for CPP, EI and income taxes. She also looked after the monthly remittance (sent the form and the monthly payroll deductions to Canada Revenue Agency). I helped her with the T4 tax slips that she issued each January.

If this is too much administration for you to handle, you can hire a payroll company to assist with these employer obligations.

Or you can choose to engage a personal care agency to provide the care.

To apply for the Self/Family Managed Care you or your family member need to be a client of the regional health authority Home Care Program and be eligible to receive Home Care attendant/homemaker services. Contact your Home Care Case Coordinator to discuss your interest in the service.

A couple of reminders: First, Service Canada is in Ste Anne the third Thursday of the month (November 16) at the Manitoba Bilingual Service Centre, 30 Dawson Road (next to my office); they can help with your Canada Pension Plan or Old Age Security questions, and EI and Social Insurance Number issues and more.

Secondly, the monthly Death Café’s have been very well attended and well received. Some past participants have said: “very informative and love the cozy environment for a frank discussion of sensitive topics”, “a wonderful resource for information about subjects that are usually taboo!”, “excellent opportunity to discuss end of life information”.

Previous Death Café topics have included: Power of Attorney, Executor & Will, Natural Death, Palliative Care, Hospice, Funeral Planning, Personal Care Home, Home Care, Terminal Sedation, Eulogy, Obituary, Link Charity, Family Conferences, Compassionate Care Contracts, and more.

We have two more in November including one specifically for Baby Boomers. If you are interested in attending either one, please call our office for dates and times.

Anni Markmann is a Personal Income Tax Professional and Certified Financial Planner; living, working, and volunteering in our community. Contact her at 204.422.6631 or 36 Dawson Road in Ste Anne (near Co-op) or