Written by Dr. Grace Park and Bonnie Irving

How to get help for your mom and dad

26/02/2016 1:16:42 PM | 8 comments |
The role reversal that occurs between parents and their children as mom and dad move further into their senior years is almost a rite of passage for each. And it can be a difficult time for both.
Adult children in their 50s and 60s may now start questioning whether dad is okay to remain at home or whether he needs a residential care facility and if so how and where. Or wondering what to do for mom who seems unable to keep up with bathing and grooming and is getting very forgetful. Perhaps your mother has a terminal condition and you are looking for palliative services or you may be thinking, ‘I can’t care for mom anymore. I need help.’
There’s no question these are difficult concerns, and children will always need to take some responsibility for the care their parents will need as they age. This may mean arranging for a regular housekeeper or minor renovations to the home to fit grab bars or bath seat. The good news is that the B.C. health care system does have some ways of assisting with health care support in these situations.
Fraser Health (from Burnaby to Hope) provides assistance for seniors who require home health care support including rehab services and palliative care, as well as subsidized residential care, assisted living and respite care. We support a philosophy that home, with appropriate supports, is the best place to manage chronic conditions and live out final days.
Operating within that philosophy, we will always look for ways to support a senior to remain in their home before suggesting placement in a subsidized residential care facility. That decision would only be taken based on a formal assessment by a case manager of the client in their home.
To assist people to remain in their homes, Fraser Health offers a variety of short- and long-term health-related support services such as: in-home support for personal care needs (e.g. bathing, feeding and/or grooming); in-home nursing care and short-term rehab services for home-bound clients; community clinics for nursing care and rehab services; case managers and nurses who work closely with community doctors; day programs to give seniors opportunities to socialize; in-home palliative care services; and respite beds to provide caregivers with some time away from the intensity of caregiving.
If your mom or dad has not yet had contact with the Home Health program in Fraser Health, the first step is easy: for all concerns related to assisting your parents, regardless of the issue, call Fraser Health’s service line seven days a week at 1-855-412-2121.
Our service staff will ask questions to determine which of our services best addresses your needs. The appropriate staff will then work with you and your parents to determine your best care options, and will visit your home to complete an assessment.
Just as in an Emergency Department in a hospital, we prioritize the delivery of our services based on a professional assessment of the needs of each client. Sometimes, if we are unable to provide immediate service, the clinician will suggest interim options for care while you are waiting for Home Health.
To receive any of these services, which are subsidized by the public, certain eligibility requirements must be met. Those are available on the Fraser Health website.
There is no charge for professional services such as nursing or occupational therapy. If you need home support for personal care, we will conduct a financial needs assessment, at no cost to you, and, depending on your income, there may be a charge for those services.

For more information on Fraser Health Home and Community Care or for Residential Care and Assisted Living, please visit the Fraser Health website.

Other community services

What about other services your mom or dad may need to live at home as long as possible?
  • For a serious health emergency – Call 9-1-1 any time of the day or night
  • For free advice about a health concern – Call 8-1-1 and speak to a nurse anytime, day or night, or visit to check symptoms.
  • For help with tasks around the house as well as friendly visiting and transportation to appointments – Call Better at Home in your community or at their regional Lower Mainland number 604-268-1312 or visit A fee may apply.
  • For free info about how to find services for seniors in your community – Call 2-1-1 or visit
  • For free emotional support with mental health problems or addictions – Call the Fraser Health Crisis Line anytime, day or night, at 604-951-8855 / 1-877-820-7444
  • For free advice about medications – Call 8-1-1 and speak to a pharmacist any evening from 5 p.m. to 9 a.m.
  • For free nutritional information – Call 8-1-1 and speak to a dietitian any weekday, or visit      
  • For emergency fee-for-service dental care call 123Dentist at 604-805-2500 24/7 or visit
  • For a free copy of the 11th edition of the B.C. Seniors' Guide, call 1-877-952-3181 (toll-free throughout B.C.) or 250-952-3181 in Victoria. To access a copy online, visit: Learn more: The Aging Well website.

When to call our Home Health Service Line?

Call 1-855-412-2121 if you have concerns such as these:
  • I think my dad needs help and I don’t know whether he can stay at home or should move to a residential care facility/nursing home.
  • Who can help my dad with his personal care when I'm at work?
  • My husband has been in hospital and is ready to come home. Who can help me plan for that?
  • I don't think I can live alone anymore.
  • I think I need some help but I don’t know what help I can get.
  • I can't care for my mom on my own anymore. I need help.
  • My mom is starting to have trouble bathing herself.
  • My dad is now terminal and wants to die at home if he can.
  • I’m worried that my mother is not taking her medications properly and is getting forgetful.

Related content

Information on home and community care

Visit for information about health care services to support your mom and dad at home and the community.

Dr. Grace Park is the Regional Medical Director for Home Health and a General Practitioner in White Rock.
Fraser Health Communications
Hi Jill,

We're sorry to hear about your experience. We have forwarded your comment to our Burnaby Hospital team who will connect directly with you about your concerns.

Best regards,
Fraser Health Communications
16/03/2018 1:09:19 PM

My mother in law had a multiple stroke 3 months ago and recently got discharged from Burnaby hospital. The hospital staff assured us that we will get home support as she is still weak but after the discharge all their arrangements changed. They said the community nurse will come to mom's house but now it's the other way around. Mom has to go to the hospital everyday? Also we told them that we need help caring for her at home as when we are at work. Please can somebody help us about this. We can't afford to quit our jobs. I've called the general phone line but still waiting for a call back. Please can somebody help us in this matter.
12/03/2018 5:25:04 PM

Fraser Health Communications
Hi Jessica,

We're sorry to hear that and apologize for the wait. We have forwarded your comment over to our Home Health Service Line manager who will have a representative connect with you.

Fraser Health Communications
29/01/2018 11:52:07 AM

I have left multiple messages on the toll free line provided. How long does it take to have a representative call you back? I have been waiting for three days now. Thanks
29/01/2018 10:05:13 AM

Fraser Health Communications
Hi Kathy,

Thank you for reaching out. We recommend that you call our Home Health Service Line at 1-855-412-2121 and a member on the team will answer your questions relating to the care of your mother.

Warm regards,
Fraser Health Communications
24/10/2017 10:35:05 AM

I would like to care for my aged mother in my home but am unsure if this could disqualify her for being on a wait list for a care home.
20/10/2017 11:20:18 PM

Fraser Health Communications
Hi Paul,

We're sorry to hear about this. Can you send us more details about your situation along with your contact information to We will provide you with recommendations and resources on where to get help.

Warm regards,
Fraser Health Communications
30/12/2016 8:46:46 AM

Paul weber
My father recently died And now I am taking full time care of my blind 87 year old mother. She has trouble taking care of herself and I work 12 hour shifts. She needs help with medication, food prep and bathing. I need help meeting her needs and do not know where to turn.
29/12/2016 6:02:49 PM

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