Frequently Asked Questions
Here are our most commonly asked questions.
Coulee Family Services is a fully insured non-medical home care agency serving southern Alberta. Providing quality in-home care is not just about checking boxes for showing up on time, helping a client get dressed, or making sure the dishes are washed and put away. At Coulee Family Services, we believe that the heart of home care is to truly get to know each individual and treating them like our own family. We believe that every person deserves respect and compassion and should be allowed to feel at home in their own home.
Agency Office Hours
Our office days and hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM. The office is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and Alberta Statutory Holidays.
Client Services Hours
We deliver service 24-hours a day, 7-days a week and 365-days per year, including Statutory Holidays.
On Call Support
Should a problem develop, on-call support is available whenever the office is closed. i.e. 24-hours a day, 7-days a week and 365-days a year including weekdays, weekends and statutory holidays.
We are committed to providing high quality and client-centered services/care to our clients to enable them to lead dignified and independent lives in the comfort and safety of their own homes. In consultation with the client and/or their family, their individual needs are carefully assessed, understood and met through the selective assignment of qualified, honourable and compassionate Caregivers.
Our vision is to have a reputation for providing the highest standard of in-home care services by:
- earning and maintaining our clients’ satisfaction, trust and loyalty;
- keeping current on the home care industry’s best practices;
- complying with relevant government regulations;
- providing skilled Caregivers who have compassion and integrity;
- ensuring Caregivers remain competent through regular and ongoing training;
- being known as the home care agency-of-choice in southern Alberta.
Our values focus on respecting and acknowledging clients’ individuality, rights, choice, privacy, independence, dignity, respect and partnership. We recognize that each person has their own identity, needs, wishes, choices, beliefs and values.
We apply our values by:
- treating and interacting with our clients with respect, dignity, compassion, empathy, honesty, and integrity;
- recognizing and maintaining confidentiality of client information;
- showing respect for all cultures, religions, ethnicities; sexual orientation, ages, gender and disabilities;
- working as a team with our co-workers and community resources to provide excellent care;
- keeping our client’s health, quality of life and well-being central in our design and delivery of services;
- applying continuous quality improvement measures throughout our Agency.
We believe in independent living and the right of individuals to:
- live in their chosen community;
- make their own choices;
- direct their own care; and,
- assume responsibility for their own decisions and choices.
We partner closely with our clients to ensure they are:
- involved in identifying their own needs and concerns;
- involved in planning their own care/services;
- respected and honored for their choices and decisions;
- involved in determining how effective their care/services have been; and,
- included in making needed changes to their care/services.
We do not provide skilled medical services (e.g., Nursing, Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Medical Social Worker).
Our Caregivers do not perform any tasks that require heavy lifting, going up ladders or other activities deemed hazardous through our initial home safety assessment.
Certain segments of the population will find our services especially beneficial including:
people who are:
- frail; elderly; and housebound;
- terminally, chronically, or acutely ill;
- physically or mentally challenged;
- recently discharged from hospital;
- family Caregivers; and,
- accident victims;
individuals needing assistance with, or guidance in, developing life skills; and,
anyone without the time or desire to handle their own home needs and maintenance.
Our services are available to private citizens and a wide range of agencies, institutes, corporations, groups, and all-level governments.
We charge a variable rate based on:
- the type of care or service needed;
- when it is provided; and,
- where it is delivered.
There are no costs for our initial visit and “non-medical” assessment, but a charge may be levied if a Nursing Assessments is needed.
We have a minimum charge of 2 hours
Mileage fees may be applicable in some circumstances.
Costs are worked out and discussed with you prior to commencement of service.
In some cases, a deposit is required.
We give two weeks written notice of any changes to our service rates.
Setting up your services starts when we receive a request for information or service from you or someone acting on your behalf such as a family member, a medical professional, a community resource, a concerned neighbor, etc. We respond by providing information about our Agency and our services in-person, via telephone, email, fax, social media or postal mail. This information will help you make a decision as to whether you want to use our Agency’s services.
If you choose to proceed with us, someone from our Agency will visit you at your home. He/she will work jointly with you and/or your representative to determine:
- what your needs are;
- what services you need to meet these needs; and,
- if we can safely and efficiently deliver the services you need.
If the services you require are not amongst those we provide, with your signed consent, we may make a referral to another service provider.
If your needs fall within our scope of services, our Agency Representative will work with you and/or your representative to develop a Care Plan, which is a written proposal. It will outline your identified needs and will specify the types of services needed to meet your needs. The Care Plan will also list the times and frequency of service visits and document your preferences in service delivery.
Once the Care Plan is mutually developed and you give your informed consent, our Agency Representative and you or your representative will sign a written agreement, called a Service Agreement. It details the services to be provided and the terms & conditions for receiving the services. This Service Agreement must be completed and signed before we can start delivering services to you. You will be given a copy of this signed Service Agreement.
You or your representative may choose to discontinue your services with us at any time. We ask that you give us as much notice as possible, preferably 2 weeks. While notice of termination may be given orally, we would appreciate receiving it in writing, as well. It would also be helpful if you include your reason(s) for discontinuing our services.
We develop, receive and use various documents to help us understand your needs, abilities, strengths and preferences. These records are maintained as part of our general case management activities and are intended to:
- record services and care provided to you;
- monitor your response(s) to the services provided;
- identify if, when and what changes might be needed to your Care Plan; and,
- record the number of service hours provided to you for billing and payroll purposes.
Protecting your confidentiality is critically important to us. Any sensitive, medical, identifying and/or business information, which you disclose, is kept confidential unless we first obtain your written consent to share specific details with specific persons or resources. We will not disclose your personal information on a public platform or allow unauthorized individuals to access it.
Coulee Family Services records and monitors care using industry-leading software that includes a family portal where adult children or guardians can view the care schedule, caregivers assigned, care plan, care delivery notes, and other information to stay fully informed. The portal also includes messaging capability so the guardian or family primary point of contact can communicate with the assigned care coordinator.
Some are surprised by the cost of private home care, which – if compared to hiring your neighbour down the street – is considerably more expensive. While your friend or neighbour may not cost nearly as much, we offer a considerably different professional solution.
- A Care Coordinator is assigned to ensure your needs are understood, supported and communicated regularly with Caregivers and our office team.
- Our leadership team includes a family practice physician that serves as our Medical Director who is available to our team 24/7 to consult with and provide advice as needed. This does not replace your family physician, who has primary responsibility for care, but provides peace of mind if needed.
- A detailed Care Plan is carefully developed to help you or your loved one enjoy life to the fullest extent possible.
- Skilled and compassionate caregiving staff members are carefully screened and matched according to their background, experience and personality fit with the client.
- Caregivers are trained on an ongoing basis through professional online training and hands-on skills by our in-house trainer
- All caregivers have WCB coverage which provides peace of mind as they deliver care in your home (and is required for self-managed care by AHS)
- We invest time and resources to develop and refine processes, procedures and standards of care intended to maximize the comfort, health and safety of you or your loved one at home
- Our award-winning software allows family members, regardless of location, to stay completely “in the loop” with access to the client’s caregiving schedule, assigned caregivers for each shift, daily care notes and profile documents – any time, any place.
- Our friendly office staff support your care through exceptional customer service, timely invoicing and flexible payment options.
- We invest time and resources in our website and social media you and others find out about us and provide educational and informative updates for family caregivers.
- Our company is fully licensed and insured, providing you with assurance in the unlikely event that something doesn’t quite go according to plan.
- Our sister company operates a medical clinic, so while we don’t provide nursing care currently, our leadership team understands healthcare and can help families navigate the system when needed.
In short, there are substantial costs to our business beyond just the caregiver that all work together to make staying at home safe, comfortable and enjoyable. You are paying for ahighly dedicated team of people, technology and systems which provide an exceptional professional solution, delivering consistent care and peace of mind for you and your loved ones. If this is outside your budget, we can refer you to other options which may exist in your area.