If you need ongoing assistance or rehabilitation following an injury, there are multiple routes to take to receive it. You may be able to access publicly funded services or have access to private funds through disability insurance or your own means. In each realm, there are important considerations and places worth investigating to increase your support.
In Southeastern Ontario there are several publicly funded services which provide support following an injury. These services generally do not charge fees. The Community Care Access Centre coordinates many of these services which are delivered in the home. You may be referred to the CCAC from hospital, or you can contact them any time by phone at 310–CCAC. Examples of this include rehabilitation therapy and home support. In addition you may be referred to other services upon discharge from hospital, such as outpatient therapy from a local clinic or hospital, or the Regional Community Brain Injury Services. Your hospital or family doctor is also a point of access for publicly funded services, such as to specialist physicians, and some family health teams are able to refer to various professionals who work within the practice such as social workers or nurses.
For those with access to funding through insurance or have the means to pay for additional services, there are many services which can be purchased privately. If you have an extended health insurance plan, this may cover some of the costs of these services. If an insurance company is involved, a Case Manager is often assigned to assess your needs and help coordinate services on your behalf. Although your insurance company or lawyer may recommend working with a particular service, you ultimately have the right to choose the one that is right for you. For listings of providers in your area, you may want to visit our Resource Directory, the Alliance of Community Medical and Rehabilitation Providers or contact your local or provincial Brain Injury Associations.
One thing people may not consider is that even if they qualify for insurance funded services, they may benefit from public services as well. Access to support groups for the survivor or family members, recreational opportunities and more may not be available through your health care provider but may exist in a locally publicly funded or non-profit program. While your health is important, so too is your emotional wellbeing and having access to support and a community that understands your experience can be tremendously helpful. These options can also be found on our Resource Directory.
That concludes our series on Choices in your health care. If you have questions or comments, feel free to share them on the site or contact me via email. I’m always happy to help.