‘Sup­port­ing care­givers is crit­i­cal’

Nova Sco­tia ex­pands care­giver ben­e­fit pro­gram ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately

Valley Journal Advertiser - - COMMUNITY -

About 600 more Nova Sco­tians will re­ceive sup­port for pro­vid­ing care to adults liv­ing at home through the ex­pan­sion of the prov­ince’s care­giver ben­e­fit pro­gram.

“Care­givers pro­vide tremen­dous sup­port to their loved ones,” said Se­niors Min­is­ter Leo Glavine on be­half of Health and Well­ness Min­is­ter Randy Delorey in a press re­lease. “By ex­pand­ing the care­giver ben­e­fit pro­gram, we can ease the fi­nan­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity of­ten as­so­ci­ated with care­giv­ing and al­low more Nova Sco­tians to live in their homes for as long as pos­si­ble.”

Un­til now the pro­gram has of- fered $400 a month to those who pro­vide un­paid care for 20 or more hours per week to an adult with very high care needs. The el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria is be­ing ex­panded to in­clude peo­ple who help care for those as­sessed as hav­ing high to very high care needs.

This may in­clude in­di­vid­u­als who have a com­bi­na­tion of: moder­ate to sig­nif­i­cant mem­ory loss, prob­lems with de­ci­sion-mak­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion that af­fects daily func­tion­ing; high level of phys­i­cal im­pair­ment; many chal­lenges in man­ag­ing their per­sonal needs; se­ri­ous be­havioural prob­lems; a high risk of falls; or a high risk of long-term care place­ment.

There are cur­rently 1,979 care­givers en­rolled in the pro­gram. The ex­pan­sion is ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately.

This is the first phase in gov­ern­ment’s plan to in­crease ac­cess to the pro­gram.

Cri­te­ria for phase two is still be­ing de­vel­oped. The in­tent is to reach care­givers sup­port­ing peo­ple with more moder­ate care needs, in­clud­ing some liv­ing with a men­tal ill­ness that im­pacts their abil­ity to carry out daily ac­tiv­i­ties. More de­tails on phase two will be pro­vided in the spring of 2019.

The fi­nan­cial el­i­gi­bil­ity cri­te­ria re­mains the same. If sin­gle, the per­son re­ceiv­ing care must have a net an­nual in­come of $22,125 or less. If mar­ried or com­mon law, a to­tal net house­hold in­come of $37,209 or less is needed to qual­ify.

“Of­ten, the pres­ence of a care­giver can mean the dif­fer­ence be­tween stay­ing at home or mov­ing to a nurs­ing home,” said Su­san Stevens, Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity’s se­nior di­rec­tor of Con­tin­u­ing Care. “Sup­port­ing care­givers is crit­i­cal and ex­pand­ing the care­giver ben­e­fit to more peo­ple is one way we can do this.”

For more in­for­ma­tion about the pro­gram, visit https:// no­vas­co­tia.ca/dhw/ccs or call the Nova Sco­tia Health Au­thor­ity Con­tin­u­ing Care line at 1-800225-7225.

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