Canadian Homecare Services – Current challenges

Homecare remains and is foreseen to remain an unavoidable and complex component of every country’s health care system for that matter.  Homecare services companies like Carefect are greatly in demand today and more so in the coming years. This is because there is a steep increase in the population of people who are likely to become dependent.

According to National Statistics, as per Canada’s most recent demographic projections, 1 out of 5 persons will be 65 years or older by 2026.  This is an increase from the 1 out of 8 persons in 2000.  The age group that is predicted to grow rapidly is age 80 and older, it is predicated that it will be increasing from 920,000 to 1.9 million by 2026.

Today, after various systemic restructuring and policy development, the focus of health care has shifted from being at the hospital or other institutionalized settings to being right at the person very own home.  As a result of this, homecare services are now being provided by paid and unpaid caregivers and health care professionals. However, as the need for these services increases, several issues were raised and are being debated for the last several years.  Here are some of the current challenges the Canadian homecare services industry is facing:

Funding under the Canada Health Act

The healthcare expenses do not fall within the parameters of the Canada Health Act.  Some insurance companies provide partial coverage when it comes to homecare but still, the covered services, funding, and delivery methods vary greatly between the companies.

 Ethical issues

As an ongoing and increasing concern for the past few years, the Canadian Bioethics Society has already made healthcare ethics their theme for their annual conferences. The main issues regarding the homecare sector are:

  • Identity and scope of the healthcare provider role.
  • Home importance including complex relationships and potential for depersonalization.
  • Broad policy considerations in homecare context.

Caregiver Compensation

The debate continues on the scope of knowledge of the caregivers providing the homecare services.

A caregiver usually earns a minimum wage while skilled health professionals’ salary is higher and matches other health professionals.


The homecare sector discusses privatization of health care costs and federal tax support measures.  The sector plans to review the challenges with human resources, the demography of informal caregivers with the possible professionalization of homecare services, and a possible reformation of the homecare funding.

The Vision for the Future of Homecare Service Providers

As stated in “The Future of Homecare in Canada – Roundtable Outcomes and Recommendations for the Future” by Andre Cote and Graham Fox, here are the details on what Canada aims for ten years down the road:

  • Community empowerment through federal, territorial, provincial and community approach.
  • Receive funding to build, support and sustain the system.
  • Have both public and private support funds which are to be aligned, accountable, and transparent.
  • Have better ability of translating knowledge between service providers, researchers, and government into the evidence-informed services and policies.
  • Inclusion of end-of-life, palliative, and chronic care services.
  • Have focus on the Aboriginal, pediatric, remote, and mental health groups and not only on the elderly residents of Canada.
  • Better understanding and definitive application of the Canada Health Act.

The main vision is for home and community to be united to constitute a more valued and greatly essential element for the continuum of health, social, and homecare services provided to all Canadians.