Budget 2022 includes $750 million for home care, an increase of 12 per cent from the previous year. Total hours of care will increase to 13 million this year from 12 million in 2021-22.
In addition, Alberta Health Services is looking for new approaches to delivering home care through a request for expressions of interest and qualifications (RFEOIQ). The process will help identify options to improve client outcomes, enhance health system integration and coordination, increase access to specialized services and fill gaps in service delivery. Alberta Health and AHS will also explore new contract opportunities for congregate co-operative building operators who are interested in delivering home care directly to their residents.
“Albertans want to receive care in their homes as they age, and this funding increase and call for proposals will help us deliver it. We need to keep people living as independently as possible, for as long as possible, and that means more home care. It’s the right care for clients and the best use of resources for the system because giving people the right care at home also helps reduce the demands on hospitals and continuing care facilities.”
“Home care allows clients to stay in their homes and communities longer and closer to their loved ones. The RFEOIQ will help us provide the same high-quality services and identify new areas for innovation. This will result in better and targeted care for clients, including those receiving support for addictions and mental health, complex care, dementia care, palliative care, pediatric care, and care for persons with disabilities.”
“The Health Coalition of Alberta encourages advancements in home care to support the health, emotional and social needs of Albertans and their caregivers. Flexibility and integration of innovative practices are essential to ensure everyone has equitable access to home care that is built for the future.”
“Acknowledging the role of informal care providers, usually family members, is an important consideration to reimagine home care. As we move to new models of home care, we must ensure appropriate, client-focused care and services are accessible and support both caregivers and people with dementia to delay the eventuality of institutional care.”
“I am pleased that the Government of Alberta and Alberta Health Services are taking this step forward to provide innovative solutions to enhance home care for people with disabilities in Alberta. Home care is a vital necessity for Albertans with disabilities to live full, independent, barrier-free lives with dignity and contribute to the life of the province. Improvements to existing home care supports will ensure that Albertans with disabilities can maintain a healthy and regular lifestyle to achieve their full potential and desired outcomes.”
“We appreciate the willingness in this process to hear the voices of those who previously received home care services. Understanding what leads to a positive home care experience is important to consider in province wide improvements, and we commend including this information in this first step toward home care innovation.”
“Transformational change in Alberta’s home care system requires patient-centred models of service delivery that not only address physical and mental health but also the social determinants of health that impact seniors health and well-being. We see this RFEOIQ as a significant opportunity for Alberta’s home care system to move towards collaborative, integrated community-based models of care through this process.”
Albertans who currently receive publicly funded home care will continue to receive the same personal support services through Alberta’s home care program while the REFOIQ process is underway. AHS will extend current contracts with home care agencies for up to an additional year. This will ensure there are no service disruptions for clients while the RFEOIQ process moves forward.
Additionally, congregate living operators (such as seniors lodges, group homes and licensed supportive living providers) where residents receive home care will be invited to directly deliver home care services within the living facility to offer more consistent and integrated care.
Details about the RFEOIQ are available online at purchasingconnection.ca. The deadline for submissions is July 28.
- Home care is a fundamental component of the continuing care system and it plays an increasingly important role, as the majority of Albertans would prefer to remain living in their own homes and communities as they age or as their care needs evolve.
- Alberta’s government offers several publicly funded continuing care options including home care services through the Home Care Program, which AHS administers, coordinates and delivers in the province.
- Home care services can be provided to Albertans directly by AHS staff or contracted service providers (for-profit and not-for-profit), or by private providers hired directly by clients using a client-directed care option such as self-managed care.
- In 2021, there were more than 132,000 unique home care clients in the province.
- Budget 2022 provides a combined $3.7 billion in operating funding for community care, continuing care and home care, an increase of $219 million or 6.3 per cent from last year.