Alberta Senior ServicesAlberta Senior Services

Senior community services and home care go by a few different names across Alberta, but whatever the programs are called, they all deliver post-hospital care, short- and long-term in-home care, respite for family caregivers, and palliative end-of-life care for residents who need it. These programs, run by Alberta Health Services (AHS), are open to seniors who live in the province and have an Alberta Health Care number or have applied for Alberta Health Care coverage. When you apply, a registered nurse or another health professional will talk with you, with your family if you choose to include them, and with your healthcare providers. This caseworker will help decide which services are best for you, based on your current health and social supports.

Access and referrals in each Alberta Health Services zone

AHS is divided into 5 zones, each with its own programs tailored to serve the local community. The exact home care program names and offerings vary from one zone to the next, but the overall aim is to help seniors live safely at home for as long as possible. Most continuing care services are covered by Alberta Health Care; there may be a fee for services that are not covered by the insurance program. Anyone may make a referral for services. Here’s what each zone provides for seniors.

The North Zone

The North Zone covers more than half of Alberta’s territory and contains more than 40 health services offices and centres that can start the assessment process for home care and respite care services. Seniors, caregivers, and family members can call the nearest health services office during normal work hours or call the North Zone Continuing Care Access Line at 855-371-4122 to start the process.

The Edmonton Zone

The Edmonton Zone serves nearly 1.3 million people in the greater Edmonton area. The zone’s Community Care Central Intake line (780-496-1300) is answered around the clock every day, and interpreter services are available upon request. Central Intake representatives help existing Home Care clients with issues that arise outside of workday hours, and they also screen and refer seniors to services that include:

  • Adult day programs, which Alberta Health Services are currently upgrading and expanding in Edmonton to help more seniors.
  • CHOICE (Comprehensive Home Option of Integrated Care for the Elderly), a home-care program for seniors with complex health issues, including dementia and mental health conditions. Referrals for CHOICE are made by Community Care Access case managers.
  • Community Aids for Independent Living (CAIL), which provides subsidized medical equipment and supplies to people with a chronic need or who have end-of-life health issues.
  • Palliative care that’s coordinated with the patient’s doctor and provides round-the-clock nursing help on call.
  • Supportive housing and long-term care programs for seniors who can’t live safely in their own homes.

Due to demand, there may be a wait time for some services. Cases are prioritized according to the urgency of need.

Read reviews of Edmonton senior care services or call (866) 592-8119 to speak with an Elder Care Advisor for free guidance on care services near you.

The Central Zone (Red Deer)

The Central Zone stretches across the province between Edmonton and Calgary and includes the City of Red Deer. As in the North Zone, seniors and families in the Central Zone can contact the nearest Health Centre or Home Care Office—there are more than 30—or call the Continuing Care Access Line at 855-371-4122.  Continuing care services include home care, caregiver respite, and short-term medical equipment loans. Case managers can also help seniors arrange for home care before a hospital discharge, hot food delivery by Meals on Wheels or another local service group, and reduced-cost medical equipment and supplies for long-term and end-of-life care.

Read reviews of Red Deer senior care services or call (866) 592-8119 to speak with an Elder Care Advisor for free guidance on care services near you.

The Calgary Zone

The Calgary Zone rounds up more than 1.5 million Albertans in and around the province’s biggest city. To access Community Care, call the Seniors Health One Line at 403-955-1525 or the local Community Care Access Referral Intake Line at 403-943-1920.  Among the services available are home supports, senior mental health services, and comprehensive adult day services that include transportation and health management.

The free Move ‘n’ Mingle Falls Prevention fitness program is offered at more than a dozen locations around Calgary. The twice-weekly hour-long classes focus on core muscle development, proper posture, strength and balance, and they include time for questions and socializing.

Read reviews of Calgary senior care or call (866) 592-8119 to speak with an Elder Care Advisor for free guidance on care services near you.

The South Zone (Medicine Hat and Lethbridge)

The South Zone includes the cities of Medicine Hat and Lethbridge along with dozens of smaller towns. Home care services are accessible through 6 local health centres:

  • Medicine Hat Home Care (403-581-5750), which provides wound care along with other home care services.
  • The Lethbridge Centre (866-388-6380), which includes home care and supportive living services, Alberta Hip and Knee Clinics, and the Better Choices, Better Health program for adults with chronic health issues and those at risk for developing problems like high blood pressure and diabetes.
  • Bow Island’s Provincial Building (403-545-2296), where seniors can access home care; mental health services; and speech, language, and hearing programs.
  • Brooks Home Care (403-362-7766), which provides personal care assistance and home care services.
  • Oyen Community Health Services (403-664-3651), where regional residents can find home care, physical therapy, speech-language-hearing, and addiction services.

Read reviews of Medicine Hat senior care or call (866) 592-8119 to speak with an Elder Care Advisor for free guidance on care services near you.

Aboriginal Health Program

Working with all 5 zones in Alberta, the province’s Aboriginal Health Program offers additional wellness and treatment programs for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis residents. Programs in each zone may include interdisciplinary disease-management casework, addiction and mental health services, injury prevention, diabetes education, health-related cultural ceremonies, and outreach and education for healthcare providers.

Casey Kelly-Barton is an Austin-based freelance writer whose childhood was made awesome by her grandmothers, great-grandmother, great-aunts and -uncles, and their friends.


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