Self-Managed Care

Categories: At Home, Living with Dementia|By |Published On: |

A provincial program puts control into the hands of those receiving care services



For people who require in-home support and want to have some control over how and when care is provided, Alberta Health Services’ Self-Managed Care program might be a viable option.

It’s a novel approach that provides funding to individuals so they can manage and pay directly for personal and home support services.

Once approved, individuals or their legal representatives enter into a self-managed care agreement—a contract between AHS and the client. Agreements are signed for a one-year term and govern the terms and conditions of the self-managed care funding. 

Dr. Jim Silvius, a geriatrician and the provincial medical director for seniors’ health with Alberta Health Services, says self-managed care is all about providing appropriate care and addressing the requirements of each individual.

In his practice, Silvius works primarily with individuals with dementia and other forms of cognitive decline. He says many of his patients receiving home care services are now looking at self-managed care as a real possibility. 

“One of the things we know about clients with dementia is that they actually do better if they have some consistencies in terms of the care provider who’s coming in to work with them,” Silvius says.

To qualify, individuals must have unmet health care needs within AHS Provincial Home Care Service guidelines and have stable and predictable care needs. Individuals who qualify for the program are responsible for hiring their own care providers, submitting reports to AHS each quarter outlining how funds were spent and meeting Alberta employment standards for all employees.

Under the Self-Managed Care program, friends, family members and informal care providers cannot be hired as paid caregivers. ] 

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