Navigating the Healthcare System Checklist


Caring for a friend or family member who requires palliative or end-of-life care can be challenging. You may not know what to expect or how to offer support, but there is a lot you can do and you don’t have to do it alone.

Step 1. Contact a Home and Community Care Coordinator

It is very important to connect with a Home and Community Care Coordinator who can help develop a care plan that is right for your loved one – whether it's nursing care, meal delivery, a day program or help to find a family doctor. You will have access to more services with a Care Coordinator.

Home and Community Care Champlain is connected to every part of the health care system in Ontario and can serve as your single point of contact in obtaining services and information.

Phone(613) 310-2222

Toll Free:  (1-800) 538-0520

Website:  Home and Community Care Support Services Champlain

Step 2. Build a team

Your Caregiver Team helps support you in giving care. The first step is knowing who they are and where you need to go. Examples of people on your Caregiver Team could be a doctor, nurse, practitioner, specialist, neighbour, family member, or friend.

You can use the "My Team Activity" below to help plan or figure out who is on your team: 


Step 4. Get help navigating the healthcare system


The Ontario Caregiver Helpline is a one-stop resource for information and referrals which connects caregivers to the support they need. This might include respite, a support group in your community or programs for the person you care for.  The Helpline offers you:

  • An opportunity to describe the help you need and match you with information and support services in your community
  • Community Resource specialists who are trained to understand the unique needs of caregivers in English and French

For more information visit the: Ontario Caregiver Helpline.

Step 5. Access hospice support


Did you know that your loved one can access hospice services for years before they die? Hospice is not just for the last few months of life. Caregivers can receive support from hospices for years.

Hospice programs offer support to people with life-altering illnesses, including their families and caregivers. You don't need to get a referral from a doctor for a hospice. Trained volunteers may offer home visits and some hospices also offer day programs, equipment lending and support groups.

For more information on hospices in the region, visit: Services and Supports in Eastern Ontario

Step 6. Free resources


Connect with agencies that offer help to people with specific diseases and conditions. Depending on what your family member or friend needs, you may have access to free resources.

Agencies such as the Alzheimer’s Society, Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, ALS Society and Parkinson’s Society offer help to caregivers and patients who have certain diseases. These services may include support groups, day programs, and education sessions.

For more information on these disease-specific agencies, visit: Champlain Healthline Diseases and Conditions.