Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Better at Home?
What services does Better at Home provide?
Who delivers the services?
Am I eligible and how do I apply?
Who pays for Better at Home?
Which communities does Better at Home currently serve?
How were Better at Home communities chosen?
Who decided which Better at Home services are available in each community?
How much funding does each Better at Home program receive?
What are the common standards of all Better at Home programs?
I want to know more!

What is Better at Home?

United Way’s Better at Home program helps BC’s older adults continue living independently in their own homes by providing simple, non-medical home support services. Its unique ‘seniors planning for seniors’ approach means older adults contribute to the design, operation and evaluation of their local program.

What services does Better at Home provide?

Better at Home services vary from community to community, depending on resources available, community capacity, and the specific needs of local seniors or elders.

The Better at Home basket of services includes:

  • Friendly visiting
  • Transportation to appointments
  • Light yard work
  • Minor home repairs
  • Snow shoveling
  • Light housekeeping
  • Grocery shopping

Who delivers the services?

In each community, local non-profit organizations deliver Better at Home services. Services are provided by volunteers, contractors and paid staff.

Am I eligible and how do I apply?

Any senior living in a community that has a Better at Home program is eligible. You you can apply by contacting your local Better at Home provider (there is a list of providers here).

Who pays for Better at Home?

The Government of BC, through the Ministry of Health, provides funding to the United Way of the Lower Mainland to manage the Better at Home program across BC. Individual community organizations will also accept donations, raise funds, and encourage volunteer participation.

Older adults who receive Better at Home services may pay a fee based on their income. Some services may be free. These fees-for-service are fed back into the local program in order to serve more seniors.

Which communities does Better at Home currently serve?

United Way manages 67 Better at Home programs across the province. You can find a list of current Better at Home communities here.

How were Better at Home communities chosen?

Program sites were selected with the help of regional experts – for example, people from seniors’ organizations and the Regional Health Authorities managing seniors’ portfolios. A community development approach was used to identify communities with a high number of vulnerable older adults who would benefit from these services.

Who decided which Better at Home services are available in each community?

Seniors, elders, organizations that serve seniors, and other community members who are knowledgeable about the needs of seniors have helped determine which services are most needed.

How much funding does each Better at Home program receive?

Funding is reserved for each local program based on the demographics of the community, such as the number of seniors residing in that community, income of seniors, etc. The funding allocation will be different in each community because of their distinct community characteristics.

What are the common standards to all Better at Home programs?

Although there are many differences among Better at Home programs, there are also commonalities:

  • service fees are established on an income-based sliding scale which ensures that services are free for low income seniors, and market rate for seniors with an income above the BC average.
  • all volunteers providing services directly to seniors must have a criminal record check.
  • programs have a local Advisory Committee for guidance, advocacy, and to help support the integration of the program into community and be responsive to seniors’ needs.
  • programs submit regular reports to the provincial office to monitor performance and progress.
  • program coordinators engage in a Community of Practice which includes sharing learning activities, discussing best practices on an online portal, and meeting annually for training opportunities and participation in collective dialogue. These activities help develop the capacity of each local program to best serve and support the older adults in BC.

I want to know more!

For more information, please contact:
Email: info@betterathome.ca
Phone: 604.268.1312