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Choosing to Stay at Home: Considerations for Home Care

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

An elderly couple dancing in their home.
Learn about finding home care providers, cost considerations, personalized experiences, respite care, freedom of choice, and the level of care available.

What is home care?

Home care allows people to live safely in their homes while receiving assistance or medical care to live independently. No matter how much care you require, anyone can receive home care.

How to find home care

There are several ways to find home care, and you can look up home care in your area on the internet and gather information about the company. You can talk to others you know who are receiving home care and ask questions to see if it would also suit your care needs. You can contact the LHIN (Local Health Integration Network) and inquire about home care, and they will give you a lot of information and help you with the application for home care and subsidy from the government. For example, an extended hospital stay due to illness, injury, or accident may request you apply for in-home care until you fully recover. They will have the LHIN speak to you about your in-home care options and help you set it up. If you want private home care, you can put out a job posting on many job sites, such as Indeed or contact agencies that can help you find PSWs.

Things to consider when choosing to stay at home.

  • If you are considering remaining in your home and wanting to receive care, there are some things to consider.

  • Can I take care of my needs outside of visit times?

  • Are family members or loved ones able to assist if needed?

  • Are my socialization needs being met?

  • Am I able to maintain personal care?

  • Am I able to maintain my home?

  • Can I look after meals?

  • Can I take my medications on time and in the correct dosage?

If you can manage some of these tasks on your own or have help from family or loved ones staying at home may be a good fit for you. However, if your care needs are more significant and complex, consider whether you can manage between visits or if the family can help.


If you do not qualify for a subsidy, you can hire private home care, and the price varies depending on the care services needed. Some services cost extra such as transportation or adult day programs.

Personalized experience

Each care plan is tailored to the individual, including how many visits per week and how long each visit is. Therefore, this care plan can easily be adapted to accommodate changing care needs. For example, staying in their home can make the individual feel happier and more comfortable in a familiar setting and help them remain independent. In addition, staying in their home gives them a greater sense of privacy and security.


Remaining in your home can often mean family members or loved ones are there to help you. In-home care visits provide respite care for family members and loved ones. It allows the individual to interact more with others and includes companionship with PSW. They can also participate in an adult day program where they spend the day with others.

Freedom of Choice

Being able to stay in your home gives you more freedom when choosing. You can choose your own meals, what you would like to do that day, and even how you have your home furnished. There may need to be a compromise regarding home furnishings, depending on the level of care you need and the changing safety features to allow you to remain at home. In addition, you have the freedom to have visitors whenever you want; there are no set times for when they can visit you or how long the visit lasts.

How much care do you require?

You can apply for home care no matter what your care needs are. They can adapt a care plan for you to meet your needs, including how many visits per week and the duration of the visit. Medical care is monitored during visits, and clients are given a medical assistive device they can use in an emergency. PSWs will assist with personal care, medication reminders, light housework and meal prep. Nurses can come to help with medical care and more complex care needs.


On average, the waitlist time for in-home care is five days after applying. Those who have more urgent and complex care needs may have to wait longer until the capacity of their care needs can be met. Those who need more complex care are often placed at the top of the waiting list and given priority. Based on the care assessment and how much time and visits you require will also factor into the waitlist time. One advantage is this is the shortest waitlist compared to other facilities such as retirement homes and long-term care homes.

In-home care is a great option to receive care while remaining in your home to help you stay as independent as possible.

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