How to access home and community care

Senior woman sitting peacefully in an indoor garden.

Learn how to arrange for home and community care services. We are here to guide you every step of the way. Our care team will help to determine your care needs and connect you to the services, programs and resources that are right for you.

About home and community care

Home and community care services provide support to individuals with short-term or ongoing healthcare needs, helping them manage their health while maintaining their safety and independence at home.

If you or someone you know is seeking help call the access line contact information in your area below. Health-care professionals, such as doctors, nurses, pharmacists or social workers, can also make a referral on your behalf.

If you or a family member is in the hospital, speak to your doctor, a nurse, the hospital social worker or a transitional service team member to contact the home and community care office. They will determine your eligibility and, if appropriate, arrange for service when you return home.

Learn more about the services available in Home and Community Care.

Connect with the intake team

When you connect with the home and community care office, a Home Health clinician will contact you to determine eligibility and if appropriate, arrange to conduct a health needs assessment. 

Contact information

Check general eligibility criteria

If you or a family member want home and community care services, you must:

  • be a resident of British Columbia;
  • be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status. You must be a landed immigrant or be on a Minister’s permit approved by the Ministry of Health Services;
  • and need care at home after you have been released from the hospital to prevent you from going back or for a life-limiting illness.

You must meet additional eligibility requirements for some of our services, such as home support, assisted living, adult day services and long-term care. You must:

  • be aged 19 or over;
  • lived in British Columbia for at least three months;
  • and unable to function independently because of chronic, health-related problems or have been diagnosed by a doctor with an end-stage illness.

There may be other specific criteria in place for other programs.

Prepare for an assessment

In addition to meeting the general eligibility criteria described above, each service has its own needs assessment criteria that you must meet. Our health care professionals will work with you, your family, your doctor and other health care professionals to assess: 

  • your eligibility for home and community care services;
  • what services best meet your needs and situation;
  • how long you may need these services;
  • and the costs, if any, for these services. 

What you need to prepare

When you come for your home and community care assessment, bring the following items:

  • Your B.C. Care Card or BC Services Card;
  • The name and phone number of your doctor or any other doctor(s) you have visited; 
  • The name and address of a close relative or friend;
  • Any prescription or other medication you are taking; 
  • Income information and pension cheque stubs; and 
  • Your most recent income tax return or notice of assessment.

Our health-care professionals must fully understand your health-care situation and needs. Please ask questions if you are unsure about the services available.

You may want to have a family member or a friend with you during the assessment visit to provide support and assistance. Besides discussing the amount and type of assistance you already receive, they may be able to help you answer questions.

Making decisions about your care 

You have the right to consent (give permission) to the care we offer you. Make sure you understand everything before you make a decision. Please ask your health-care provider questions if you are unsure or do not understand something.

Let your family and health care providers know if you have documented your wishes about the health care you want to receive - at the moment or in the future - in an advanced care plan such as a representation agreement (sometimes referred to as a living will). If possible, bring a copy of that document with you.

Your care plan

If you are eligible for services, a Home Health clinician will assist you, your family and your caregiver(s) in accessing the appropriate services and resources that meet your needs. Your care plan will be updated as your care situation changes.