Home and community health care

What is home and community care?

"Home and community care" services help people to receive care at home, rather than in a hospital or long-term care facility, and to live as independently as possible in the community. Home and community care is delivered by regulated health care professionals (e.g., nurses), non-regulated workers, volunteers, friends and family caregivers.

Health Canada's role

Home care services are not publicly insured through the Canada Health Act in the same way as hospital and physician services. In Canada, most home and community care services are delivered by provincial, territorial and some municipal governments. The federal government provides funding support through transfer payments for health and social services. The federal government also delivers home care services to First Nations on-reserve and Inuit in designated communities, members of the armed forces and the RCMP, federal inmates, and eligible veterans. Health Canada is engaged in research and policy analysis on home and community care across Canada.


The goals of home and community care are to:

  • Help people maintain or improve their health status and quality of life,
  • Assist people in remaining as independent as possible,
  • Support families in coping with a family member's need for care,
  • Help people stay at or return home and receive needed treatment, rehabilitation or palliative care, and
  • Provide informal/family caregivers with the support they need.


Services delivered in the home can help people with minor health problems and disabilities as well as those who need intensive and sophisticated services and equipment. Home care services may include:

  • Nursing,
  • Personal care such as help with bathing, dressing, and feeding,
  • Physiotherapy,
  • Occupational therapy,
  • Speech therapy,
  • Social work,
  • Dietitian services,
  • Homemaking, and
  • Respite services.

Other services available in the community, such as day programs for people with Alzheimer's disease, Meals on Wheels, or friendly visitor programs, also help maintain or improve the health of Canadians.


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