How to access home and community care services
If you wish to arrange for home and community care services, the first step is to contact us, and we will help you prepare for an assessment, develop your care plan, and what to expect once you have been approved for services.
You can access home and community care services for yourself or a family member by following the steps below.
- Contact the access line in your community to start the process.
- Check the eligibility criteria to make sure you meet all of the requirements. Our health care professionals will work with you, your family, your doctor and other health care professionals for your assessment.
- Develop a care plan that meets your needs. A health care professional will work with you if you are eligible for services. The care plan will be updated as your care situation changes.
Home Health pamphlets in English
Contact your home and community care office
If you or someone you know is ready to apply for home and community care services and has reviewed the general eligibility criteria, call the access line contact information in your area below.
Health-care professionals, such as a doctor, 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.
Home and community care access lines
- Bella Bella: (250) 957-2314
- Bella Coola: (250) 799-5311
- Powell River: (604) 485-3310
- Sunshine Coast (Gibsons, Sechelt): (604) 741-0726
- Sea to Sky (Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton): (604) 892-2293
- North Shore (North Vancouver, West Vancouver): (604) 986-7111, fax: (604) 983-6839
- Richmond: (604) 675-3644, fax: (604) 278-4713
- Vancouver: (604) 263-7377, fax: (604) 267-3419
Palliative care access lines
- North Shore: (604) 984-3743, fax: (604) 984-3798
- Vancouver: (604) 263-7255, fax: (604) 872-7270
- Sea to Sky: (604) 892-6051, fax (604) 892-6027
Call one of the home and community care access lines above for other Vancouver Coastal Health communities.
Are you eligible?
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.
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.
Prepare for an assessment
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
- The costs, if any, for these services
What do I need to prepare for my assessment?
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.
How am I involved in decision-making about my 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.
Develop a care plan
If you are eligible for services, a health-care professional will work with you, your family and your caregiver(s) to develop a care plan that meets your needs. Your care plan guides all of your caregivers, helping ensure you get the proper care, and it will be updated as your care situation changes.
Another item that should be reviewed and updated regularly is your backup plan. Your backup plan will help keep you safe and comfortable at home in case of a temporary interruption in the home health and home support services you would usually receive.