Military Family Health Portal

For Military Families

Welcome to the Military Family Health Portal, an enhanced health care navigation tool for military families. Here you will find provincial and territorial health care information, health resources specific to military families, and self-advocacy information to help military families enhance their interactions with the health care providers they see.

Photo credit: CFMWS

Homecare for Military Families

In the communities of Petawawa, Ottawa, and Halifax, Calian will make available a network of Personal Support Workers (PSWs) to provide qualifying military families with on-demand homecare service for adult dependents who require short-term supports on a temporary basis.

The contracted service will enable better access to home care by providing timely assistance to caregivers of adult dependents of military members, thereby contributing to the overall operational readiness of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF).

What services are included?

This service would provide each participating military family with up to 25 hours of Personal Support Workers aid to adult dependent members who may require living assistance. PSWs are able to provide the following services to qualifying members on a temporary basis.

  • Personal hygiene
  • Toileting
  • Grocery shopping and meal assistance Changing bed linen and light housekeeping Dressing/undressing Medication reminders
  • Safety checks Exercise/range of motion
  • Essential light housekeeping

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there any cost for this service?

No, there is no cost for the participating military families. Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services will cover all costs associated with the delivery of this program.

Family eligibility

All requests for homecare must be initiated by the serving CAF member who requires short-term assistance caring for an adult dependent (parent, spouse) during periods of work-related absences (short-term deployments, training, postings, shift work, etc.) and/or times where regular caregiver responsibilities by the CAF member may be a challenge. This may also include changes in the family situation, and/or periods of needed respite for primary caregivers.

Both Primary Reserve (Class A, B, and C) and Regular Force families are eligible for the homecare services. Veteran, Coast Guard, and RCMP are not eligible for this program.

Patient eligibility

The adult family member receiving care (the patient) must be living with the CAF member or independently, must be medically stable, and must be able to stay alone between visits by a PSW.

The patient must also be agreeable to the services, be fully aware, and understand that a PSW will be providing the homecare assistance to them.

The patient must not pose a risk to themselves or to others, and must not require any specialized behavioural care or mental health supports.

Patients must have an emergency contact who is available to provide immediate care in the event that the CAF member’s return from their absence is delayed, or if the PSW can no longer provide continued service. This emergency contact must live in close proximity to the patient (less than 100km in distance from the patient’s home), and must remain continually accessible to respond to potential emergencies (medical or non-medical), and/or interruption in PSW service.

What is the maximum amount of homecare services an individual family member can receive?

Qualifying families would be eligible for a maximum of 25 hours of PSW supports for adult dependent members requiring living assistance. Typically, the type of homecare services required will dictate both the frequency and duration of a PSW visit. Travel time to and from a patient’s residence is also calculated into the 25 hours of PSW supports.

How does a family get started?

  1. The CAF member must contact the Family Information Line to communicate their family’s requirements and to verify their family’s eligibility for the program.

Phone: 1.800.866.4546

Email: FIL@CAFconnection.ca

  1. The CAF member requesting the service must fill out an online registration form outlining the type of care required, and some basic contact information. In some circumstances, a CAF member’s spouse may initiate the request for homecare services on the family’s behalf.
  2. A PSW makes an in-person visit with the CAF member to verify the patient’s requirements, and to propose a service plan. The member’s spouse/partner may also fill in for the CAF member during the initial patient assessment. This usually happens within 5-7 business days after the online request is initiated.
  3. Care plan is approved by Primacy and home care service begins.

If a CAF member is being deployed, is this service a replacement for their family care plan?

No. The homecare program is designed to complement an existing family care plan, whereby dependents of CAF members have a friend or family member who can provide continuity of care and respond to any emergencies (medical or non-medical) that may happen. A PSW can provide the dependent’s primary caregiver with assistance or respite help in attending to dependents in need of PSW services.

CAF: Family Care Plan

Who are the PSWs delivering the services, and how are they selected?

All PSWs participating in the homecare program are trained healthcare professionals from Calian’s Alio Health Division and are subject to all applicable legislation, policies, procedures and guidelines in both Ontario and Nova Scotia.

Does the CAF member have to be present for the first in-person assessment meeting with the PSW?

Yes, this measure is done to ensure the PSW has all the requisite information to develop a care plan that is best adapted to the needs of the military family patient. The member’s spouse/partner may also fill in for the CAF member during the initial patient assessment in some circumstances. This additional step will ensure seamless communication between all parties involved (CAF member, family member/patient, and the PSW providing the service). If after the in- person assessment, the PSW determines that homecare service is appropriate, a care plan will be provided to the CAF member and patient within 5-7 business days.

If after the initial evaluation, the PSW determines that homecare is not appropriate, based on either the patient’s condition or the complexity of the healthcare challenges present, the CAF member will also be advised within 5-7 business days.

Can the homecare program be used as a substitute for childcare?

No, the homecare program is for the care and support of adult dependents who may be ill/injured, elderly, or living with a disability or other unique health challenges. CAF members who require Emergency Child Care are encouraged to contact their local Military Family Resource Centre.

Petawawa Military Family Video Visit Pilot

Please note that the Petawawa Military Family Video Visit Pilot has come to an end. Please see the Virtual Care section for more information on other virtual care services, including MD Connected, the service provider for the pilot program.

Walk-In Clinics Near You

Primacy Clinics 
Primacy has over 150 clinics in all 10 Canadian provinces that doctors utilize as their primary practice locations. Primacy clinics provide medical services to over 6 million Canadians annually and are located in Loblaw grocery stores across Canada (including Real Canadian Superstore®, Zehrs®, Loblaws® and No Frills®).

Medimap 

Medimap.ca is Canada’s largest and fastest-growing online resource for connecting patients with same-day access to care. The company was founded in 2015 with the mission of improving the Canadian health care system by empowering patients with information and tools to help them find the fastest access to care in their community.

Children’s Outpatient Centre, Kingston

Children’s Outpatient Centre (COPC) serves patients in the Kingston area from birth to 18 years of age, providing a unique walk-in emergency clinic for paediatric patients.

Health Information

For information on how to apply for a health card, click on your province or territory of residence found on the Government of Canada’s website.

MD Connected

Book a virtual visit with a family doctor/GP. This service is available in BC, AB and ON from 8am to midnight, 7 days a week and is covered by valid BC, AB and ON health cards.

Ontario Virtual Care Clinic

This is a provincially funded and operated virtual care clinic that is free for all ON residents with a valid OHIP card, available 7 days a week, 8 am until midnight. French language services are available between 4pm and 8pm, 7 days a week.

Maple

Maple and Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services are collaborating to provide online doctor visits to dependents of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members living in Canada. It is a safe and effective way to access routine health care from the comfort of your home, 24/7.

Family Information Line

A confidential, personal, bilingual and free service offering information, support, referrals, reassurance and crisis management to the military community. Serving Canadian Armed Forces members, Veterans and their families – immediate and extended.
Phone: 1-800-866-4546 | Email:
FIL@CAFconnection.ca  to schedule a video session.

Canadian Forces Member Assistance Program

A voluntary and confidential service initiated by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) to help members (Regular Force, all Reserve Class Members, Cadets) and family members who have personal concerns that affect their personal well-being and/or work performance.
Phone: 1-800-268-7708 | Teletypewriter: 1-800-567-5803

Your Quick Guide to Mental Health Services – Military Family Services

This guide is designed to help military families access important information and timely mental health support services in their local communities.

You’re Not Alone – Government of Canada
Canadian Armed Forces members have access to a range of programs while serving in the Forces, including exceptional medical and mental health care, support for families, and comprehensive reintegration and return-to-work programs for those who are ill and injured.

Mental Health – CAF Connection

Finding balance, mental health programs and services, mental health resources and facts.

Road to Mental Readiness (R2MR)

R2MR training encompasses the entire package of resilience and mental health training that is embedded throughout Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members’ careers, during deployment, and to CAF families.

Mental Health Services Framework – Military Family Services Program

A conceptual overview of the types of mental health programming available to families. These services range from outreach and engagement, to peer support, to psychoeducation, to psychosocial services to mental health treatment. Its purpose is to provide clarity to MFRCs, service providers and other community partners.

Therapist Assisted Online (TAO) 

The TAO therapy is an online platform of tools and educational materials to help you learn about and change how you think and feel. Along with the educational materials in the platform, every week you will be completing a short mood survey and meeting online with your therapist in a brief video conference.

Maltby Centre – Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox & Addington 

Free, confidential and accessible mental health and autism services to children, youth and their families in Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox &Addington (KFL&A). Maltby Centre is the Lead Agency for Moving on Mental Health in KFL&A and the Lead Agency for the Ontario Autism Program in the province’s Southeast Region.

Shoppers Drug Mart Mental Health Self Check 

SHOPPERS LOVE.YOU. and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) have partnered to raise awareness and promote women’s mental health across Canada. This site includes an interactive tool that Canadian women can use to learn more about their mental health.

Strongest Families Institute 

Strongest Families offers evidence-based, distance programs for military and Veteran families dealing with behaviour and/or anxiety concerns with their children/youth. Phone-based programs are delivered at convenient times, offering support when and where you need it. There is no cost for families and services are entirely confidential.

CAFconnection

The Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) website offers extensive health-related resources specific to each province and territory, as well as relocation resources.

Contact your nearest Military Family Resource Centre for local information, as they may have programs in place to further assist with obtaining a health card or finding healthcare providers.

MFRC Near You

Located on CAF bases and wings, local Military Family Resource Centres (MFRCs) are the hub of military communities. MFRCs provide programs and services that empower and encourage strong, independent individuals and families.

Below is a list of resources that may assist your family doctor in understanding the unique circumstances of military life. It might be helpful for you to share these resources with your doctor or pediatrician. Several of these tools have been developed thanks to a close collaboration between
Military Family Services, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Canadian Paediatric Society.

Quick Reference Guide for Military Families When Meeting with a Health Care Provider, Calian Health, Military Family Services, The Vanier Institute of the Family, CIMVHR (October 2019).

This quick reference guide was developed by the Innovation to Impact working group as a tool to help military families enhance their interaction with health care providers. It is a companion guide to the Quick Reference Guide for Health Care Practitioners Caring for Military Families.

Caring for Military Families in the Patient’s Medical Home, The College of Family Physicians of Canada

This guide is intended to help family physicians understand the unique experiences and realities of being a member of a military family and to familiarize them with the resources that are currently available to provide equitable health care to military families.

Family Physicians Working with Military Families, The College of Family Physicians of Canada

The military community has defended Canada’s values, interests and sovereignty at home and abroad. Service members’ families proudly contribute on the home front and are the strength behind the uniform.

Caring for Children and Youth from Canadian Military Families: Special Considerations, Anne Rowan-Legg, Canadian Paediatric Society

Military families experience a number of life stressors, such as frequent geographical moves, long periods of separation within the family, geographic isolation from extended family support systems and deployments to high-risk areas of the world. While children and youth in military families experience all the same developmental and motivational trajectories as their civilian counterparts, they must also contend with more unusual developmental pressures and stressors placed on them by the unique demands of military life. The effects of the military life on families and children are beginning to be recognized and characterized more fully. Understanding the unique concerns of children and youth from military families and mobilizing specific resources to support them are critical for meeting the health care needs of this population.

Caring for Canadian Military Families, Heidi Cramm, Alyson Mahar, Cathy MacLean and Richard Birtwhistle, Canadian Family Physician, January 2019

This article outlines some of the health care challenges that Canada’s military families may face and provides an overview of the state of current research on the health of Canadian military families.

LOOKING FOR A FAMILY DOCTOR?

Visit our Military Family Doctor Network page.