Program to Help Seniors Stay in Homes, Communities

Health and Wellness

March 15, 2011 11:37 AM


Seniors will receive more support to stay in their own homes and communities as part of government's plan to provide better care sooner.

The province today, March 15, announced $1.4 million to launch the Supportive Care Program. It will provide eligible people with cognitive impairment, $500 per month for home support services such as personal care, respite care, meal preparation and essential housekeeping.

Clients may also be eligible to be reimbursed for snow removal services, up to $495 per year.

"The Supportive Care Program will benefit low-income seniors by giving them and their caregivers greater control and flexibility to organize homecare," said Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald.

"It is part of the commitment to give seniors more options to stay in their homes and communities longer."

The program, which begins Monday, April 1, will support 230 clients annually. To be eligible, Nova Scotia residents must be 65 or older and have a net annual household income of $18,785 or less if they are single, or $35,570 or less if they are married.

They must also have a continuing care co-ordinator assessment that shows they have significant memory loss and memory problems that affect daily functioning, an unmet need for 25-40 hours per month of home-support services, and a substitute decision-maker.

"This program is a welcome addition to the resources available to Nova Scotia seniors," said Sharon Reashore, executive director of Caregivers Nova Scotia. "It will provide much-needed support for seniors and their family caregivers."

Today's announcement is part of government's plan to make life better for Nova Scotia seniors. The province has taken several measures to make life more affordable for seniors, while working to ensure government lives within its means, including:
-- expanding the Caregiver Benefit Program for eligible caregivers to help more than 1,000 caregivers this year
-- creating the Personal Alert Assistance Program to provide up to $480 per year for eligible seniors to purchase a personal alert assistance device
-- providing personal income tax relief to ensure no Nova Scotia recipient of the Guaranteed Income Supplement pays provincial taxes
-- creating the Affordable Living Tax Credit that benefits seniors and other Nova Scotians
-- ending security deposits for seniors in long-term care facilities
-- increasing the number of nurse practitioners to augment care in nursing homes
-- getting better prices for Nova Scotia seniors and those who rely on Pharmacare programs for coverage of their prescription drugs and for taxpayers

More information about the Supportive Care Program is available at www.gov.ns.ca/health. To apply for the program or for further information, call toll free at 1-800-225-7225.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The province today (March 15th) announced one-point-four

million dollars for a Supportive Care Program that will give

eligible seniors with cognitive impairment 500-dollars a

month for home support services.

Seniors could also be eligible to be reimbursed for up to

495-dollars per year for snow removal.

Health and Wellness Minister Maureen MacDonald says the

program will give low-income seniors and their caregivers greater

control to organize homecare.

     Seniors need to meet a number of eligibility requirements.

     The program begins April 1 and will help 230 seniors

annually. For more information, or to apply, visit w-w-w dot gov

dot n-s dot c-a slash health.

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Media Contact: Brett Loney
              Department of Health
              902-424-3034
              E-mail: brett.loney@gov.ns.ca