1. HOW DO I KNOW WHICH SERVICE WILL BEST MATCH MY NEEDS?
That’s what we’re here for! Before you make any decisions we meet with you for a complimentary Discovery Session. The goal of the session is to learn your story and get to know who you are and what you need. We then recommend a Plan of Care that is tailor-made for you. It may focus on a particular service or incorporate multiple ones, it all depends on what you need. If we don’t feel that we have the right services for you, we will refer you to someone who does.
2. DO I GET TO CHOOSE MY CAREGIVER?
You sure do! We’re the only home care organization that includes you in the Caregiver selection process. After thoroughly vetting and narrowing down a list of great candidates we sit down with you to make the final decision together. We want to make sure you’re totally comfortable and ready to welcome your new Spark Caregiver into your home.
3. WHEN WILL SERVICES START?
While the intake process typically takes two to three weeks, We’re proud of having matched some high needs clients within 24 hours of referral. For comparison, most agencies put you on a waitlist with no idea of when you will get the help you need. We understand that waiting isn't always an option. If you need care immediately and we haven't found a perfect match for you yet, one of our experienced Community Managers will provide it in the meantime. We don't believe in waitlists!
4. WHO DO I SPEAK WITH ONCE SERVICES HAVE STARTED?
Another way that Spark goes above and beyond is with our amazing team of Care Managers. When you join Spark, not only are you matched with a great Caregiver, you also have access to a Care Manager who understands your situation and has a wealth of relevant training and experience. Our Care Managers are always available to discuss scheduling changes, ensure Care Plan goals are being met and communicate on your behalf with the other people and organizations involved in your care. Not only that, this service is free for every new client. No, really!
5. DO YOU REQUIRE A MINIMUM AMOUNT OF HOURS PER VISIT?
No we don’t, but keep in mind that finding Caregivers who are able to do very short shifts can be a challenge.
6. CAN MY CAREGIVER DRIVE ME TO APPOINTMENTS?
Definitely. If you need transportation we will match you with a Caregiver who has a vehicle and is fully insured to transport you in plan-approved situations.
7. WHAT IF I HAVE TO CANCEL A VISIT?
We ask that you give us at least 24 hours notice to give our Caregivers enough time to adjust their schedules. If cancellations happen within 24 hours, we have to bill for the time because our Caregivers need to be paid for their time. We want to provide them with as much stability as we provide you.
8. WHAT IF I DON'T MESH WELL WITH MY NEW CAREGIVER?
If at any point you feel that your Caregiver isn't a perfect fit for you and your family, we will work tirelessly to match you as quickly as possible with someone who is.
9. IS SPARK A BUSINESS OR A NON-PROFIT?
We are proud to be a Social Enterprise, a private company whose bottom line is measured by social impact and the transformation of lives rather than by profit margin. Over and over again we’ve seen the incredible stress put on families waiting months and years for services, and on Caregivers afraid of losing their jobs due to budget cuts. Being a social enterprise means we spare our community that heartache. It means we’re efficient, creative and sustainable, but still driven by our mission and values.
10. HOW MUCH DOES CARE COST?
Cost of care depends on your needs and is something that we’ll go over during our Discovery Session. We can promise competitive rates and unmatched benefits for our clients and our employees. Employee Benefits like Medical/Dental Care, Insurance and soon to be Pension Plans. While most organizations in our industry are dropping these important employee benefits, we keep adding more while finding innovative ways to thank our Caregivers.
11. WHAT IF I CAN'T AFFORD SERVICES?
Our mission is to make sure that everyone receives the support they need, no matter their situation. That’s why we created the Spark Subsidy program. It allows us to provide services at cost (meaning we don’t make a profit) for people who can't afford the regular rates. We refuse to let money be a barrier to care.
12. WHY IS YOUR REGULAR RATE HIGHER THAN THE SPARK SUBSIDY RATE?
If we offered the Subsidy rate to everyone we would quickly go out of business! We do a lot of behind the scenes work to guarantee you fantastic service and to build a community of the most passionate, trusted and committed Caregivers.
13. WHAT METHODS OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?
Paying for services should be hassle free, which is why we accept almost every form of payment there is, including Credit Card, Debit, cash, cheque and even Electronic Funds Transfer.
14. CAN YOU BILL MY INSURANCE COMPANY?
Absolutely. We are a Licensed Service Provider with the Financial Services Commission of Ontario which means we can invoice for your services directly to your insurance company. It spares you a lot of paperwork and more than a few headaches!
15. WHY DO YOU CHARGE HST?
Simply put, because we have to. We’ve tried in the past to save our clients from HST charges but an official CRA Ruling requires it on our invoices.
16. DO I PAY MY CAREGIVER DIRECTLY?
We want the payment process to be as simple and transparent as possible. With that said, Caregivers can’t accept payment directly from clients. Every month we’ll email you an invoice that allows you to use any of the payment methods we offer. It also has a link that lets you access all your previous invoices at any time. Easy, right?
17. CAN I HIRE MY CAREGIVER PRIVATELY?
A significant part of the service we provide happens before you even meet your Caregiver: research, background checks, interviews, consultations, care plans, and onboarding, to name just a few. Not only that, we provide our Caregivers with things like liability and accident insurance, training and education resources, health benefits, co-working space, and administrative resources. We take on all that work so our Caregivers can focus on you and you can focus on the things that are important. That’s why we feel confident in saying that it’s in everyone’s best interest for us to stick together!
18. IS SPARK INSURED OR LICENSED?
We have three different kinds of protective insurance:
1) General Coverage from WSIB Ontario
2) Private Liability Insurance
3) Extended Automobile Insurance covering up to two million dollars for every Caregiver required to transport our clients in their vehicles.
19. WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH SPARK APPS? WHAT ARE THEY?
They say that technology waits for nobody and we don’t plan on being left behind. We know that digital tech will become an integral part of the care process in the near future and we’re determined to give you first access to cutting edge resources that will make your lives easier. Spark Apps are a set of innovative applications that allow us to make virtually all of our invoicing, documentation, scheduling, contracts and waivers paperless. Our community loves using them for three simple reasons: it’s faster, easier and cheaper.
20. WHERE DOES SPARK PROVIDE SERVICES?
Throughout Eastern, Southern and Northern Ontario including Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto and Sudbury. Even if we don’t have an office in your area, get in touch and we’ll find a way to help or connect you with one of our community partners in your area.
21. DO YOU HAVE CAREGIVERS WHO SPEAK LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH AND FRENCH?
Yes we do! We have Caregivers who speak German, Croatian, Spanish, Amharic and more. More importantly, if we don’t have a Caregiver who speaks your preferred language we will go out and find one for you!