Self Managed Care: Aging At Home

August 17, 2018

The Self Managed Care Program is one option available to some Albertans. It appeals to the independent senior who wants to age at home but who requires assistance with personal care and daily tasks. This program allows the individual to live at home with support from the certified caregiver of their choice. The caregiver assists with tasks to better manage the challenges that accompany living at home with illness, disease, or mobility issues. Tasks may include personal hygiene care (e.g., bathing and washroom assistance), medication management, meal preparation, housekeeping, or the coordination and accompaniment for medical appointments.

Harmony Caregiving has been receiving inquiries regarding available options for making home care more affordable. We work closely with various government, insurance, and financial programs that help you afford the home care you need.

What is the Self Managed Care Program?

Some information cited from the AHS brochure on Self Managed Care

Alberta Health Services (AHS) runs the Self Managed Care (SMC) program; supplying financial support, the program helps clients pay for and manage their personal care needs. First, a client is assessed by AHS to determine their unmet needs and eligibility. If deemed eligible, they can enter into a legal agreement with AHS governing the terms and conditions of the funding.

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The services one qualifies for will be determined in the AHS assessment. It may include:

  • personal care (bathing, toileting, transfers, hygiene, eating, oral care),
  • meal preparation,
  • medication management,
  • housekeeping,
  • recreational activities,
  • transportation,
  • companionship,
  • memory care, and/or
  • respite care


Am I Eligible?

In order to be eligible, clients must…

  • live in a community setting (not a private care facility) in Alberta and have a valid Alberta health-care card
  • require ongoing personal care and home support and have AHS-assessed unmet health care needs
  • have stable health and predictable care needs
  • be willing and able to assume the responsibilities and risks associated with contracting services for personal/home care support services. (Alternatively, a legal representative may do this on behalf of a client)

Client’s Responsibilities

Once deemed eligible and signed a contract with AHS, the client is responsible for all management of the care given. This includes handling recruitment, training, scheduling, salary, payroll, and reporting SMC funds to AHS; meeting employment standards, business registration and tax regulations are also required of the client. The caregiver(s) your hire must be legally allowed to work in Canada, and family, friends, or informal caregivers are not allowed to be hired as paid care providers.

Why Hire an Agency?

Hiring an agency like Harmony Caregiving allows you to be the manager of your loved one’s care without the time consuming administrative tasks like registering as a business, holding interviews, and training caregivers; we know the government regulations and protocols so you don’t have to.

We create a care plan that complies with your SMC contract while meeting your individualized needs, and match you with your perfect caregiver.

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Where Do I Start?

Request an assessment from AHS to discover if you are eligible for the program.

Call HealthLink at 811 and ask them to direct you to department for the Self Managed Care Program. If in Edmonton, call Continuing Care Services directly at 780-496-1300. Notify them you would like to request an assessment under the Self Managed Care Program. If you feel unable to call, have family, friends, or a health professional call on your behalf.

Self Managed Care, Care at Home, Harmony Caregiving, Home Care Edmonton

Here to Help!

Harmony Caregiving provides home care services to seniors in the Edmonton area, helping them to navigate their needs. We collaborate with all the teams that are part of your health and well-being; doctors, pharmacists, Alberta Health Services, palliative care teams, massage and physio therapists, and more.  Call 780-328-3917 for your free consultation or peruse our website here!




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