For many people faced with health issues due to aging or long-term illness, staying in their own home is their first choice. This is a comforting choice and can usually be accommodated if the care required can be delivered at home and the home can be adapted to the individual’s changing needs.
At Beacon Community Services we strongly support our clients who choose to stay in their own homes through our Home Support and other community-based programs. Our skilled Community Health Workers provide exceptional home support care, and our programs such as the SHOAL Centre and Meals on Wheels support people who are living independently in the community. Our volunteers can also help with odd jobs, gardening, shopping, dog walking and other services.
Subsidized home care services are organized through the VIHA Home and Community Care program and a VIHA Case Manager. Alternatively, contact Beacon Community Services directly to find out about our home support services.
A number of volunteer agencies and community support organizations are available to enhance and maintain independence for seniors. They can coordinate a vast array of services so that clients get help with everything from setting doctor’s appointments, completing income tax returns or getting a ride to run errands and attend medical appointments.
In addition to volunteer services, there are numerous other supports available to help comfortably maintain independence. There is information throughout Beacon Connects about everything from home aids such as raised toilet seats, lifts, and wheelchairs to recreational opportunities or grocery and meal delivery.
There are several federal and provincial programs designed to help people live independently, whether they own a home or rent.
Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters Program (SAFER) provides a cash subsidy to residents over 60 who pay rent for their homes and meet the following criteria:
- Pay more than 30% of their total income in rent
- Are over 65 and entitled to Old Age Security
- Are age 60-65 and a Canadian Citizen or Landed Immigrant
- Have lived in BC for 12 months before applying
- Have lived in Canada for 10 continuous years as an adult
The BC Home Owner’s Grant is in addition to the Basic Provincial Home Owner grant that reduces the amount of property taxes payable. Eligibility requires that:
- At least one of the homeowners is over 65
- A resident of the home receives a disability allowance or is deemed permanently disabled
- A homeowner is a Veteran of World War I, World War II or the Korean War
Deferment of Property Taxes may be available on the property taxes of a principal residence if:
- The homeowner is age 55 years or older
- The homeowner of any age is widowed or a person with disabilities
Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC) has numerous programs designed to help low-income seniors stay in their own homes.
Homeowner Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program — Homeowner RRAP
Financial assistance to low-income homeowners for mandatory home repairs that will preserve the quality of affordable housing.
Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program — RRAP for Persons with Disabilities
Financial assistance to allow homeowners and landlords to pay for modifications to make their property more accessible to persons with disabilities.
Emergency Repair Program (ERP)
Financial assistance to help low-income households in rural areas with emergency repairs required for the continued safe occupancy of their home.
Renovation Programs Pre-Application Tool
Use this tool to obtain information specific to geographic areas and find out about eligibility for financial assistance through CMHC’s renovation programs for low-income households.
The following program is jointly funded by CMHC and BC Housing
Home Adaptations for Seniors' Independence (HASI)
Financial assistance for minor home adaptations that will help low-income seniors continue to perform daily activities in their home independently and safely.
Equipment in the Home
When making the decision to remain at home, there might be certain physical limitations that can be addressed with special equipment and home modifications. Regardless of the situation, there are many options available to access the equipment and supports needed to live safely and comfortably at home. The Home Safety & Equipment section of Beacon Connects has information about grants and funding available for housing modifications and medical equipment purchases and rentals.