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Home support


COVID-19 update

Like all industries, Home Support is experiencing staffing challenges due to the current Omicron variant, seasonal illnesses, and the COVID-19 global pandemic. Our commitment is to provide you with the best care possible, and Vancouver Coastal Health is working on contingencies plans and when necessary prioritizing care needs. If you have questions or concerns, please call your care team. Learn more at VCH COVID-19.

Care at home to support your independence and quality of life

Our philosophy is that home is best, as most people wish to remain in their own home for as long as possible. We are committed to quality of life by supporting independence, health, and wellness through the delivery of person and family-centered care. 

Home support services can be provided on a short-term basis, such as after leaving the hospital or as part of end-of-life care, or over a longer period, such as several months or years.

Learn more by reading our home support pamphlet or or visit the BC Gov home support webpage.

Home support is care at home to help you remain independent and enhance quality of life. Our services supplement how you care for yourself, in addition to supports provided by your family, friends, community, or other available services.

Our services are personal support services provided by community health workers (CHWs) to clients who require assistance with daily living activities such as: 

  • Bathing, dressing and toileting

  • Helping you move around or get in and out of bed safely

  • Heating and serving meals

  • Providing a break for your caregiver

  • Helping you take your medication

Examples of services that home support does not provide include: 

  • Extensive cleaning and cooking

  • Banking, handling your money, and financial transactions

  • Errands, personal shopping, and driving to appointments

  • Yard work, home maintenance

  • Companionship, child care, and pet care

  • Services that involve heavy lifting or climbing

There may be other programs or community organizations that are able to assist you with these tasks. HealthLink BC provides listings for health services across the province. For help searching the directory, call 8-1-1 to speak with a health service navigator. 

How to qualify: 

  • Be a Canadian Citizen, Permanent Resident, or have a Temporary Residence Permit

  • Be a resident of British Columbia for at least three months

  • Be age 19 or older

  • Have a health condition(s) that impacts your ability to function or requires care (including end-of-life care)

  • Have been assessed as requiring personal assistance and/or respite for your caregiver through a clinical assessment by a Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) clinician

  • Have agreed to pay the client rate (if any)

Visit our home and community care page for more eligibility information.


Step 1: Contact

  • If you are at home, call the number for your city or region at the bottom of this page. 

  • If you are at the hospital, your care team will coordinate services. If you have questions, talk to a member of the hospital team (e.g. transition services team, social worker, or nurse). 

Step 2: Assessment

We will work with you to assess your eligibility for home support services, how long you might need these services, and the cost (if any). 

Step 3: Develop a care plan

If you meet the criteria, we will work with you to develop a care plan that meets your needs and can be updated as they change. 

Visit our how to access services page for more information.

Although the government subsidizes home support, you may need to pay for some of the cost. This is calculated based on your income and is guided by Ministry of Health policy. Your situation can be reviewed if the cost of service results in severe financial hardship. 

For information on how the cost is calculated, visit the BC Gov home support webpage.

If your health condition is due to an illness or injury for which a third party (e.g., ICBC, WorkSafe BC) is responsible, you will need to contact that third party about services offered.

For more information, talk to your VCH clinician.


Choice in supports for independent living (CSIL)

CSIL is a care option that provides more flexibility than traditional home support and also puts greater responsibility on you since you become the employer and manager of your home support services. As a CSIL employer, you receive money from VCH to hire, manage, and pay your own home support staff.

Learn more by reading our CSIL Handbook or visit the BC Gov CSIL webpage.

You may be eligible to apply for the CSIL program if you:

  • Can safely manage and coordinate all aspects of your care, including administrative responsibilities. If you need help, you can have a legal representative or client support group apply to be the CSIL employer on your behalf;

  • Have been assessed as requiring home support services as part of your care plan;

  • Have assessed needs that can be met within CSIL, within available resources;

  • Have been assessed as meeting the criteria for CSIL, which includes having high physical care needs; and

  • Have agreed to pay the assessed client rate (if any).

To find out more about the CSIL program, your eligibility for CSIL, and whether it might be a good fit, contact your home and community care (home health) case manager or contact the access line for your area listed below.


If you receive Choice in Supports for Independent Living services, you will pay a daily rate based on your income (and the income of your spouse, if applicable). For information on how the cost is calculated, visit the BC Gov CSIL webpage.


Compliments and concerns

We are committed to supporting your independence, health, and wellness through the delivery of VCH home support services. Your feedback is highly valued. If you have questions or concerns about your care, staff boundaries or conduct, please talk about it with the person who cared for you or that person’s supervisor or manager. It is best to talk about your concerns at the time and place they happen. If you are not satisfied with how your concerns were handled, you can talk to the Patient Care Quality Office (PCQO).


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