The Government of Manitoba provides at-home health care services for its citizens. These healthcare services can be provided for a wide variety of reasons and may include nursing, counselling, physiotherapy and other services. A key part of at-home care is assistance with activities of daily living (ADL); these activities might include getting out of bed, going to the washroom, eating, dressing and other essential day-to-day necessities that can become difficult when you have a prolonged illness or another impediment. The need to take care of such daily activities has prompted the Government to create a program allowing for home care help, known as Self/Family Managed Care (SFMC).

You or your loved one are eligible for the SFMC program if you meet the criteria for Home Care and undergo an assessment by regional health authority staff, in the form of a case coordinator. To be eligible for Home Care, you must be a resident of Manitoba, registered with Manitoba Health, Seniors and Active Living, require health services or assistance with ADLs, and require service to stay in the home for as long as possible; the service must be something that could not be provided through community support alone.

The assessment done by the case coordinator is not simply to determine eligibility; it is informative and seeks to leverage all available community supports to create a cohesive home care strategy. The coordinator will thus organize the resources available from family and communal organizations, as well as assessing need; how many healthcare professional will be needed, and what kind of services they will need to provide. Should available at-home resources be insufficient, they may recommend another care setting.

Once this assessment is done, you or your loved one may enter into SFMC; this program allows either the person being cared for or their family member to manage the non-professional (that is to say, non-healthcare professional) services that they will receive. This means the Province will arrange payments so the Manager can pay staff for their services; while you can certainly find your own staff, arrange payroll, pension payments and Workers Compensation, it is often much easier to allocate the funds to an agency which deals with in-home care services; that agency can then handle the staffing and payments for the staff in exchange for payment.

The type of care received in the SFMC program is inherently flexible because it is managed by the individual receiving care or their family. After discussion with the coordinator, you can determine how often care is needed; it may be 24 hours a day, and it may be simple respite care for when family and communal resources are exhausted. This flexibility allows for a greater sense of control, as well as a lifestyle more tailored to the individual’s needs then care out of the home might be. There is personalized home health care in Winnipeg; if you think you or a loved one may be eligible, contact the WRHA Home Care Intake line at 204-788-8330.