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About to miss a golden opportunity of immigrating to Canada. Can't get a caregiver

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    About to miss a golden opportunity of immigrating to Canada. Can't get a caregiver

    I was 17 when I got injured and it's been 12 years now. As hard as it is being a C5 quad, I didn't let it come between my career aspirations and ended up becoming what I always wanted - a software engineer. I like what I do, and (not to brag) I'm somewhat good at it. All my employers have appreciated my contributions over the years.

    Life in India, as a disabled person, is quite hard. Used to look at all the pics/videos from West - the accessible infra, equipments, innovations and it looked like a dream. Recently, I've been given a chance to live that dream. I landed a job in Vancouver with one of the top tech giants at a nice salary + relocation (more details)

    While my work permit application is being processed, I've been looking at options for a caregiver - bear in mind that I'm a quad, who is not independent, so I'll need live-in caregiver even before I land there. I need someone to accompany me to Canada right from the point I board the flight. Here are my options that I could think of:
    1. Hire a caregiver of Indian descent, who's already working in Canada on a PR. Conduct interviews and discussions remotely. Ask them to travel to India and pick me up from here for the journey. Challenges:
      1. Due to COVID, only Indian citizens working in Canada can travel to India to pick me up. This reduces the eligible candidate.
      2. Costly, and prone to fraud. I'll be paying someone I haven't even met, and who might refuse to come to India at the last minute
    2. Get a tourist visa for an immediate family member and ask them to accompany me to Vancouver for a few weeks/months. They will be able to help me get settled there and find a local trusted caregiver. Challenges:
      1. Tourist visas are suspended due to COVID
      2. They cannot travel on my work permit, since they wont be a spouse
      3. They'll mostly not agree to this anyways
    On the bright side, due to visa delays caused by COVID, I still have time to arrange something. In normal times, I would've barely had like a month, to figure all this out. I still have time till my work permit gets approved (maybe May-June 2021)

    Everyday, I look at nanny sites, craigslist, contact caregivers via Indeed to no avail. In my most recent list of failures, I reached out to one nursing agency, which quoted $475 CAD per day for a live-in caregiver. How is that even possible? How do you guys survive with a disability in these countries? Even with the decent salary offered to me, I cannot afford that much, because there's also rent, food and misc expenses.

    I followed up on direct funding options as suggested by fellow members in the other thread, but I'll be eligible for that only after 3 months of moving to BC, and even then it's not a guarantee.

    Anyone has any last suggestions I can try out before giving up? I'm in the dark here, and see no way out.
    Keep pushing!

    First - Congratulations. You are awesome and this is a fantastic opportunity.

    But yes, even in Canada, the cost of care may be challenging. Hopefully Canadians will pipe in and explain how the medical/home help system works.

    I would be leaning towards trying to find a way to bring a family member first, get the lay of the land and find out what benefits you will qualify for via government and via your employer (EAP programs?), and then hire someone for the help you need. Hopefully you wont need a live-in full time caregiver which... yes.... will cost a small fortune. Maybe a combination of using the resources you qualify for (if any?) + hiring out + creative ways of finding help. Like... if you are in a major city, maybe there is a nursing school at the local university. You can put an Ad up there for free housing (get a larger apartment?) for a nursing student in exchange for some home health assistance for a certain number of hours daily.

    Contact both your doctor, your local embassy, and your future employer's HR department (Human Resources) and/or whomever is assisting in your move to ask for any ideas they may have for assisting you in getting a ?medical waiver for your family member to qualify for a visa.


      You may want to contact the Canadian Paraplegic Association. They would have avenues for you to pursue.


        Do you really need a live-in PCA? In my experience, they are the most difficult to recruit, as they may have their own family or another job. Anyone needs a day off too, so you at best would find someone to work live-in for 6 days/week, and then find another PCA(s) to work their day off.

        Most people with tetraplegia do not require 24 hours/day care unless they are ventilator-dependent. Is that your case? Most people with C5-C6 injuries have 4-6 hours of PCA care daily, and the rest of the time they are on their own. Someone comes in the morning to get you out of bed, ROM, bowel care, bathed and dressed, and fix breakfast and a lunch for you to take to work or keep in the refrigerator and get yourself. They may then have the second part-time person come in the evening to cook dinner, do bedtime care, (including bowel care if you choose to do it in the evening), and get you settled into bed. Both do some needed housework like laundry when they are there as well (per their job description).

        Having a turning mattress eliminates the need to be manually turned at night, which would be excessive for a full-time live-in to do anyway (they also need their sleep). Having your bedside set up with accessible phone, computer, etc. allows you to get help in an emergency such as an episode of AD.

        Assume your salary will be sufficient to pay privately hire PCAs (not through an agency which will jack up the prices significantly) for 4-6 hours daily until you qualify for any available government funding of PCA care. I'm in the USA, but you can sometimes find part-time PCAs through nursing or PT/OT schools for a little more than minimum wage/hour (currently $15 USA in my state).


        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


          Congratulations! I don't have any suggestions except I'm wondering if an embassy contact would help if you encounter any snags, especially with a care worker. Also, is there an embassy and/or disability organization to contact in your current home area who would help? If you do contact like that, sometimes it's best to keep it simple at first and see if they can come up with a solution. For instance, 'I'm a quadriplegic with a tremendous job offer in Canada and need to arrange to live there and start my job this May......can you help me with this?'.
          Sorry I can't be more helpful, but there's plenty of people at this site who can. Hope you let us know how this progresses. Please don't give up.


            This association may be helpful.
            And assist with the issue of getting to Canada- and their requirements. Most likely you would have to have a family member travel with you then quarantine or whatever Canada requires.

            Try-CHCA - Canadian Home Care Association

            Established in 1990, the Canadian Home Care Association (CHCA) is a national non-profit membership association dedicated to advancing excellence in home and community care. National Office: 905-567-7373 | General Inquiries:

            Good luck!
            The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.


              Curious how this panned out?


                Thank you for the link. Someone in this forum told me about which is a non-profit org in British Columbia. They have an amazing peer support group and were able to answer a lot of my concerns. One of the things they told me about is their CSIL program where state healthcare pays for your caregiver upto a certain number of hours each day. I will qualify for it after 3 months of staying in Vancouver and they will help me in filing the paperwork as well, when the time comes.

                It's been quite a while and there have been many updates:
                1. My work permit was approved in Aug 2021 and I'm in the final stages of my move now. Mostly going to travel this month end. Tickets are still not booked, employer is trying to figure out some approvals it seems.
                2. On Sept 7th, Canada opened up its borders for discretionary travel if you're fully vaccinated (e.g. tourists). At that point, I applied for a visitor visa for my mom and mentioned the urgency of why it's needed ASAP. Surprisingly, Canada immigration prioritized the application and she got her visitor visa in less than a month. Pretty amazing! because normal visitor visas still show a processing time of 150 days and higher, so I'm guessing they prioritize on case to case basis.
                3. Meanwhile, I've been posting on Craigslist for a caregiver and got in touch with a few folks. I've been especially looking for people who want a part-time gig and a place to live (Vancouver rent is way too high). I'm coming to terms with not having a permanent live-in caregiver, like you guys suggested. So after my morning routine, they can continue with their other jobs (e.g. doordash etc) and give me a few more hours in the evening then one hour before bed. In between, in case there's an emergency, they'll be a call away.
                  While there are many available for hourly rates, couple of them are particularly interesting profiles and we match others requirement pretty well. I have almost finalized one guy, but I want to meet him first and have a trial run for a week before committing. It's a monthly pay arrangement and not hourly. To be very honest, he sounds like a very nice gentlemen and a godsend. Still can't believe I found someone like that, or maybe it's too good to be true. Time will tell.
                4. SCI BC has put me in touch with other quads who immigrated from India to Canada and they have been phenomenal in helping me plan for my move, right from the tiniest details.
                5. SCI BC put me in touch with Right Fit BC, who are helping me find an accessible apartment. There are a few options available but I'm not eligible for them because either I'm not a permanent resident or because my income is higher for that below-market rate apartment. They have assured that not all apartments have this criteria, and something should come up soon. Worst case, I'll rent a normal apartment and make do with it, not like I have an accessible house here in India. It's not a deal breaker.
                Overall, things seem to be working out and I'm hopeful (after a long time in life). I'll have mom with me for the initial move and she will help me get settled, after which she can return. It's scary, like any other change in life, but I'm mentally prepared to face it now. First few months are going to be hard but it should work out in the long run.

                PS: One of things in my bucket list was getting back to driving, something I used to love before injury, I've been going through the practice test questions and reading the booklet suggested by ICBC (govt authority which issues DL in BC). I can now score 95% in the mock tests, so I'll probably visit the test centre and get my learner's permit the day after I land in Vancouver. Ofcourse, after learner's permit I need a rehab visit to get medical certificate and OT's recommendation, but one step at a time.

                Keep pushing!


                  This really sounds fantastic. You have made amazing progress and sounds like have great connections. So nice your Mom got her VISA too.

                  Wish you tons of success! Let us know how it goes!


                    I agree! This is cheerful news and I'm in awe at how hard you worked for this opportunity.