I have my fingers crossed that warm weather is just around the corner. I hope you are all staying healthy and warm on this rainy day.
After the last blog on the AHS palliative home care program, we started receiving questions from readers about what kinds of extra responsibilities individuals and their families would need to bear in order for home care to work. It is well known that hospices and hospitals have access to numerous equipment and assistive devices – but how does this work when a person chooses to receive palliative services in their home?
I thought the answer would be as simple as making some calls to AHS Home Care, AHS Palliative Home Care, and Health Link Alberta – unfortunately the hard and fast answers I was seeking were more complicated than I thought.
Apparently, financial support for medical supply purchase and rentals is done on an as-needed basis, and determined by formal assessment. Individuals requiring financial support for medical equipment and supply purchase are referred through to the Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL).
What you need to know about Alberta Aids to Daily Living coverage:
Eligibility: In order to be eligible, an individual must be a resident of Alberta and possess a valid Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan card. He or she must also require assistance due to long-term disability (6 months or longer), chronic illness (6 months or longer), or terminal illness. Eligible individuals must still undergo formal assessment to determine specific needs.
Ineligibility: If an individual is eligible to receive comparable benefits from another source, they are not eligible to receive coverage from AADL. Alternate programs may include Veterans Affairs, Workers’ Compensation, Non-Insured Health Benefits for First Nations and Inuit, or a private insurance plan. If a specific benefit is not eligible through the alternate plan, the individual can be assessed (by AADL) and receive the outstanding benefit through AADL coverage.
How to apply:
First, you must be assessed by an AADL authorized health care professional. If you live in Calgary, call the Calgary Community Aids for Independent Living (an affiliate of AADL) at 403-955-6955. This office will assign you to an AADL authorized assessor. If you live in another Alberta city, please visit this page to find your local branch: http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/services.asp?pid=service&rid=1546 and call to request an assessment by a licensed individual. This person will help companion you through the process and determine what medical equipment and supplies is required in your unique situation. To determine the necessity of certain items (for example, bathroom equipment, wheelchairs, and walking aids), a home visit may be required.
AADL coverage works as a cost-share model – eligible individuals pay 25% of the cost up to a maximum of $500 per family per calendar year (July 1 – June 30). Individuals may choose to upgrade a product, but they will be responsible for the cost of that upgrade. Additional cost due to upgrade will not count towards the $500 annual cost-share maximum.
In special circumstances, individuals can apply for cost-share exemption – see http://www.health.alberta.ca/services/AADL-cost-share.html for details.
Types of items covered:
- Aural rehabilitation
- Back and abdominal supports
- Bathing and toileting equipment*
- Burnscar garments
- Compression stockings and garments
- Custom-made footwear
- Custom-made ocular prostheses**
- Dressing supplies
- Hearing aids and FM systems
- Homecare beds and accessories*
- Incontinence supplies (diapers and catheters)
- Injection supplies (not provided for insulin injections)
- Laryngectomy equipment and supplies
- Lymphedema reduction system
- Mastectomy prostheses**
- Orthotic braces (not foot orthotics) **
- WalkAide system for treatment of foot drop with myo-orthotics technology
- Ostomy supplies
- Patient lifters*
- Pressure reduction overlays
- Prosthetic devices**
- Respiratory equipment and supplies*
- Shoe elevations
- Specialized pediatric equipment*
- Specialized seating devices
- Speech generating communication devices
- Stocking aids
- Therapeutic shoes with custom modifications
- Transfer aids
- Walkers and walking aids
- Wheelchair cushions and accessories
- Wheelchairs – manual and power*
*Equipment may not be new
** Seniors in Alberta who have or will require prosthetic, orthotic, mastectomy prosthesis and/or eye prosthesis benefits through AADL will receive these at no cost.
Summary of the steps:
- Get assessed by an AADL authorized health care professional by calling the Calgary Community Aids for Independent Living at 403-955-6955. They will assign you to an assessor, who will companion you through the process. If you live in another Alberta city, please visit this page to find your local branch: http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/services.asp?pid=service&rid=1546
- Based on the recommendations of your assessor, purchase small items from an approved vendor and have AADL order any large items (for example, wheelchair or hospital bed).
For more information, please visit:
Alberta Aids to Daily Living
Calgary Community Aids for Independent Living
Important phone numbers:
Calgary Community Aids for Independent Living (403-955-6955)
Alberta Aids to Daily Living (780-427-0731)
Wishing you a happy and healthy week ahead!