Frequently Asked Home Care Questions

The following are some of the most frequently asked questions by families in search of senior care for their aging parent, grandparent or loved one. If you do not see your question listed below, please do not hesitate to contact us directly at Call (519) 954-2111 where a Care Manager will be more than happy to assist you.

What is home care?

In-home care provides seniors with one-on-one assistance in the comfort of their own home, which enables them to live independently. Home Care Assistance helps seniors maintain their quality of life, and the personal attention they receive vastly improves their safety, health, and happiness. Home care includes assistance with activities of daily living such as meal preparation, bathing, transportation, laundry, medication reminders, light housekeeping, and companionship.

My parents are reluctant to accept home care. Now what?

Convincing older adults that they need help at home can be challenging. While they balk at the thought of losing independence, the opposite is actually true. By having a little help, they are much more likely to retain independence because they remain in control of decisions affecting their lifestyle. Once a crisis occurs (a fall, dehydration, a severe UTI), decisions about their care will be in the hands of others. With professional home care, families can enjoy peace of mind knowing their loved ones are in safe and caring hands.


We have a couple of ideas:


  1. Ask your parents to try home care, at least temporarily. Once they meet their caregiver and see how nice it is to have an extra set of hands, “temporary” almost always becomes permanent.
  2. Come up with another name for “caregiver.” Some of our clients are more receptive to having a personal assistant or a housekeeper/chef.
  3. Ask your parents to at least agree to a meeting with our Care Manager. Once your parents meet our Care Manager and understand that our company shares their goal of remaining at home, it’s a less threatening proposition.

Who pays for home care?

The services offered by home care companies like ours are not covered by the government. The government typically only covers a limited number of visits by a nurse, physical therapist, or occupational therapist after a hospital stay or for homebound clients who have high medical needs.

Why should I use a company rather than hire a caregiver on my own?

Here are the reasons:


  1. With a private caregiver, you need to do the proper screening and background checks. After you hire that person, you then become a supervisor, and it isn’t always easy! We have a very rigorous system for screening and interviewing caregivers, so we hire only the highest quality caregivers. Plus we handle all ongoing caregiver issues so the family never has to deal with it.
  2. When your private caregiver calls in sick or must head out of town to take care of a sick family member, you’re stuck finding a replacement or taking care of your loved one yourself. When you use a company, there are always back-up caregivers available.
  3. Our caregivers are our employees, which means we pay all of their taxes and Worker’s Compensation. Quite a few caregivers are injured on the job, and the Worker’s Compensation Bureau can come to your loved one looking for compensation if your caregiver files a claim.
  4. Our caregivers work under a care plan developed by an expert in the field, and they have a team of supervisors who keep a close eye on the level of care being provided. It takes a lot more coordination than people think. And to get the best care, you should involve professionals.

Most important, however, is the fact that when you choose Home Care Assistance, you are hiring an entire team of people who care. We’re there for the journey!

What’s unique about Home Care Assistance?

The most significant feature of our company is our approach to home care. We’re not interested in “adult babysitting” and we aren’t simply a housekeeping service. We provide ongoing care management to ensure that the care is of the highest standard and that our caregivers are helping our clients lead high-quality, purposeful lives. We are the top senior care provider in Waterloo.


Another feature is that we specialize in live-in care, providing a quality alternative to an assisted living or skilled nursing facility. As you will see on our web site, so many pieces of our philosophy contribute to our success: consistency in caregivers, a proprietary system for screening caregivers, a unique Balanced Care training program, and more. If you decide to interview several home care companies, you need to keep us on your short list. Quite simply, we are the best in the business.

How do you choose caregivers?

One of the reasons we are so successful is our ability to match clients and caregivers. After our initial meeting and assessment with you or your loved one, our Care Manager will have an excellent idea of the level of care needed and the type of personality that would be a good fit. At that point, our care team brainstorms on which of our employees would be a good fit. Nearly 100% of the time, we are right on target with our “matchmaking” skills. However, anytime during the relationship that the client wants to change caregivers — for any reason — we willingly do so.

Do I have to sign a contract?

No. While we have an agreement that spells out expectations, we do not require a long-term commitment to our services. We want you to use us only if you are 100% satisfied. As a matter of fact, we encourage older adults who are undecided about the value of home care to simply give us a try, even if it’s only for a month.

Does home care have to be at home or in home?

Our care goes wherever seniors need it. Our caregivers can even provide one-to-one services for seniors during hospital stays or after admission to an assisted living facility, ensuring that seniors maintain the high level of personal care and companionship they deserve. Our caregivers can even accompany seniors on vacation!

Will the caregiver move in to the senior’s home?

Caregivers stay in the home only for the duration of their assigned shift. Caregivers must maintain a separate residence and are not allowed to use the personal property of the senior without permission from the senior. They may not have visitors or invite family to the home while they are working.

How can I get my family member to accept help?

It’s understandable that most seniors who have been living independently and managing their own public and private affairs are reluctant to accept outside help. To them, it might seem like enrolling in long-term care is the beginning of the end of their freedom. Before you even begin researching various at-home or in-facility care options, you should have an earnest discussion with your older loved one and explain your concerns to them. Avoid overstepping your boundaries by making decisions for them right off the top. This will only upset them and make the situation worse. You have to speak with them in a calm, rational manner and explain to them why you think they might need some assistance at home and that there’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to accepting help with senior care. Don’t try to pressure them into agreeing with you, but provide them with a few options and simply ask them to meet with one of our Care Managers as a personal favour to you. This will help them realize that by accepting help, they’re not surrendering their autonomy to live life as they please, but they’re actively taking steps to exponentially enhance their current lifestyle and living situation.

Why do people need long-term care?

There are countless reasons why long-term care for seniors in Kitchener and the surrounding areas may be required. Some seniors might suffer from physical ailments as a result of a serious illness or old age that prevent them from performing everyday household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, or using the bathroom by themselves. Others might have mental disorders such as dementia that hinder them from taking proper care of themselves, and this can cause their physical health to suffer as well. But most cases aren’t as severe as all that. Old age can take a large toll on people in general and they usually just need help for a few hours a day to go about their routine. Most importantly, extended home care for seniors provides constant companionship, which has been proven to stave off all kinds of mental and physical problems such as depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. Simply having someone around to participate in activities with can encourage seniors to improve their quality of life and get involved in community activities, which is imperative to maintaining their overall happiness.

How common is the need for long-term care among older people?

Just like your elderly loved one might need to be told that there’s no shame in accepting outside help, sometimes you might need to remind yourself of the very same thing. Some people might feel a little bit guilty because they’re not able to provide personal full-time care for their older loved ones. You should know that this is perfectly normal and very common. The fact is that you lead a very busy and full life with work, friends, and family of your own. It’s impossible to do everything all at once and taking care of a senior with mental or physical problems is a full-time responsibility in and of itself. That’s why you should cut yourself some slack if you choose to outsource your long-term care in Waterloo or elsewhere. Remind yourself that you’re only human, and the fact that you’re even taking steps to find a long-term solution is the best type of assistance you can offer.