3 Important Things You Should Know: Public vs Private Home Care for Seniors in Ontario


Here’s a quick summary of the 3 most important things you should know about choosing between public or private home care for seniors:

  • The client pays for private home care
  • Public home care can be covered by OHIP
  • Private home care can create financial constraints, however it also provides a wider array of services and quality time spent with your senior

Cost of Private Home Care in Ontario

Private home care is not covered by OHIP, and generally speaking, would cost clients out of pocket. Private home care provides seniors with an opportunity to build a quality relationship with their caregivers and create a safe environment for seniors at home. According to, the cost of in-home care in Ontario for non-medical care is between $13-$32 per hour, and skilled nursing care is between $30-$100 per hour. This illustrates that the cost of acquiring private home care services in Ontario can quickly snowball and cause financial strain in the long run.seniors-homecare-cost

Does OHIP cover home care for seniors?

Home care services are covered by OHIP for individuals who qualify for government-funded services. In some cases, co-payment is required or a portion of coverage is provided by OHIP. In-home support offers services like laundry, shopping, banking, meal preps and house cleaning. Personal care, which includes hair, skin, and mouth care, assistance with eating, bathing, and other bathroom assistance as needed are covered.

In Ontario for the fiscal year 2016/2017, roughly 760,000 people received in-home services, which were funded by the Government of Ontario. This funding costs

approximately $2.7 billion, which is a 56% increase in funding compared to 2008/09 costs. Despite the increase over the years of home care funding and support in Ontario, there is still an additional purchase of 20 million visits of various home care services to maintain your seniors being comfortable to remain in the home.

There are several services provided under Personal Support such as:

  • Health care professionals (Nursing, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Social Work)
  • Personal Care
  • Homemaking (laundry, housecleaning, caring for children)
  • End-of-life care at home

Private or Public home care?

When deciding which service works better, it ultimately comes down to a few factors, one of the biggest being the financial costs of private home care. Adding various services can increase the amount spent as each service offered has differing costs associated. The costs of support can add up depending on your seniors needs and become quite expensive from a private homecare point of view. United Canada Inc sells a variety of budget products that can help you make your senior more comfortable and also save you a few dollars. From wheelchairs to shower related products, we’ve got you covered.

Another factor to consider is the seniors’ comfort of having a personal relationship with their caregiver. This creates a more comfortable and relaxing environment at home and observing if this disrupts their daily routine. It is also important to note the living conditions, if the residence has upgraded its safety to meet the needs of a senior. This includes bathroom railings, chair in the tub, ability to get up and down the stairs if applicable.

Private home care can provide and match your senior with the comfort of dedicated support for every need they have. Private home care provides 24/7 services to attend to your senior, providing you with a piece of mind that your senior has the coverage when required. Private home care services can match you with the desired service from a nurse, to physiotherapist to a social worker. The services offered with the capacity also allows opportunity to build trust and a continued bond with this individual.

In the public home care industry, caregivers provide support and compassion, however they have several clients to tend to which reduces the capacity for caregivers to build deeper relationships with each client.

Based on the factors above, it is important to weigh the financial implications of private homecare such as:

  • Comfort level of your senior: Understanding how comfortable your senior is at home on their own based on the below will help make an informed decision as to what care your senior requires. When weighing out the two services, if your elder is not comfortable with the care of public home care due to the lack of capacity then private home care is a viable option.
  • Physical support: Your elders’ physical needs require a tender approach and is an important factor to consider. They may require more physical support for maneuvering around the home that can be provided by public home care capacity.
  • Mental support: Within private homecare, caregivers will provide a high level of support to their client. From conversing to spending time with your senior and providing what your senior requires.
  • Emotional support: In private homecare, caregivers can be emotionally present with their clients. This creates a stronger bond beyond the functionality of assisting the client. It opens up opportunities of support by providing a listening ear to hear your seniors’ needs.

These areas must be carefully weighed to understand what your senior requires based on the capacity of those living in the household when deciding which option is best suited for your senior and your family.

When looking at public home care services, there is undoubtedly a level of care for the clients. The ability to provide further support is strained by the lack of capacity due to the high volume of clients on a daily basis.

When selecting a Private Home Care service, it is important to look into the following factors:

  • The Company’s credibility: Looking at reviews of the company factoring their reliability, quality of service can save you headaches and a few dollars down the line.seniors-homecare-services
  • Financial cost of the services provided: Comparing the cost of services offered will help you make a sound financial decision.
  • Set up a meeting to get a feeling of comfort for your senior. This will allow you and your senior to get a better feel of the company as a whole, how they operate and voice any concerns or commitments required on your end.
  • How long has the agency been serving the community? This is important as it speaks to the credibility and longevity of service they have been providing to the local communities.
  • If the agency is accredited. Being accredited ensures that the staff is well trained and in line with regulations within the country and province.
  • Confirming 24/7 service from caregivers, and nurses. This allows service at any time and provides a piece of mind that your senior will be attended to.
  • The Qualifications of the staff are important to know of as well as it would set a baseline for the quality of services provided.
  • Cancellation policy. If you are unhappy with the service when can you cancel as you don’t want to be locked into a contract without being able to cancel till a period of time has elapsed.
  • What is the minimum amount of services that must be purchased? Some agencies require a minimum amount of services, this is important to weigh up when deciding as you may not make use of those services.

These are certain questions that must be asked when signing up yourself or a senior you know for private home care services to ensure you or your loved ones are getting the best care that money can buy.