What It’s Like Having a Personal Support Worker At Your Home


Many seniors receive rehabilitation care at their homes following an extended hospital stay. Although most people are enthusiastic to return home, it’s also common to worry about what it will be like having a personal support worker at your home.

Adjusting to this new living arrangement can take time. Some apprehension is normal. But fear not — we’ve prepared a few points about what it’s like to receive rehabilitation care or have a personal support worker at your home.

Expect a Few Bumps in the Beginning.

There’s always a transitional period when it comes to receiving rehabilitation care at your home. No matter how much information you provide to your home care worker, or how many meetings and interviews you conduct, there will always be a few hurdles.

Having a home care worker is much like inviting anyone else into your home; it takes time for them to get a lay of the land and learn the ins and outs of a new client’s routine. When they wash the dishes, for instance, they won’t always know where to put things away. While they should already know of any allergies the client have, it will take time for them to learn the client’s food preferences.

While it may be frustrating, it’s important not to let minor bumps in the road sour the caregiving relationship from the start. Focus on the benefits of having a personal support worker in the home, and remember: they’re only human.

Of course, there’s a difference between minor misunderstandings and fundamental conflict between your expectations and what the personal support worker delivers. Be sure to raise serious concerns with the home care agency, and if necessary, consider the need to switch providers.

You Become a Bit of An Open Book.

You’ll find yourself disclosing things to the personal support worker — a lot of things. To provide thorough care, caregivers often require extensive information about their client, including emergency contacts, contact information for doctors and other health professionals, and medications. Depending on the level of care provided, they may also become privy to details about health and hygiene.

This can be difficult to accept at first. However, keep in mind that the personal support worker is a member of your healthcare team, like the nurses, doctors and surgeons who cared for you in the hospital. It also helps to review the confidentiality rules in your jurisdiction to understand measures in place to protect your privacy.

You should also raise any privacy concerns with the home care agency, who should be willing to discuss the issue and answer your questions at length.

Home Care Goes Beyond Business.

When you first welcome a personal support worker at your home, you may be inclined to treat the arrangement as strictly business. After all, the person is not a friend or family member, they’re just a professional providing a service — right?

But chances are, as you grow accustomed to receiving rehabilitation care at your home, you’ll come to see them as more than just a worker. One of the biggest benefits of having a personal support worker is the outlet for personal interaction and socialization they provide to their clients. Support workers offer priceless companionship in addition to all the other little things they do around the house.

Don’t close your mind to the possibility of finding empathy and comfort in the caregiving relationship. You might be surprised how much good it does for your overall health and wellbeing.


Funding for Mental Health

Youth Mental Health

Mental health problems like depression can be life-changing. Even though the stigma surrounding issues like anxiety and depression is starting to lessen, it can be difficult to get help if you don’t have money.

The way the mental health system generally works in Canada is that you can see almost any private therapist immediately…if you can afford the $100 per hour fee that most charge. If money is a concern, organizations like the Canadian Mental Health Association can assist you, but there will be a considerable wait, often several months. Even when you do get to see a therapist, there is generally a limit of a half dozen or so visits. Generally, the only time someone can “jump the queue” is if they are feeling unsafe and on the verge of suicide. In such cases of immediate need, they will meet with a crisis councillor within a day or two. Those professionals will assess and refer them to a psychiatrist; treatment will proceed from there.

While there is a lot of work to be done to improve mental health care for lower-income people in big cities, things are worse the further you get from areas with large populations. Mental health situations are of particular concerns for indigenous people as they can be considerable distances from therapists and not have the transportation to get there.

Funding is always in short supply for social programs, but it is clearly needed to provide a level of mental health care that even approaches the adequate. While politicians always say things like, “Where will the money come from?,” it is imperative to think about the other costs that can ensue: lost productivity, lost jobs, failed relationships, and family strife, among others.

There is no magic bullet solution to Canada’s mental health care crisis, but we need to spend more time looking for something that helps.