Better at Home

Housekeeping: Frequently Asked Questions

The goal of the Renfrew-Collingwood Better at Home program is to support seniors in Renfrew-Collingwood to live independently in their homes and stay connected to their communities by providing non-medical support services.

These include a light housekeeping/yard work program, a senior’s shuttle, friendly visiting, and a walking club. The light housekeeping service can provide support with housecleaning, laundry, and bed making. This Program does not provide any medical home support, personal care, or emergency services.

Below you’ll find answers to the questions we get asked the most about housekeeping. If you do not find your question below, please contact us by calling: 604-435-0375 or emailing:

To read the answer, click on the question or the symbol.

[expand title=”Who is eligible for the program?” rel=”bah-highlander” ] Any persons aged 55 or older living in the Renfrew-Collingwood boundaries (see map below) is eligible to purchase the service.


[expand title=”How much does the service cost?” rel=”bah-highlander”] The service cost $18.00 per hour and there is a minimum charge of 2 hours per appointment. The program does offer subsidy so the cost may be lower for you. However, the current wait list for subsidy is over three years. [/expand]

[expand title=”What is the process to sign up?” rel=”bah-highlander”] The first step is to call for an intake. The program coordinator will schedule a home visit to go over the program with you in detail and conduct a home tour. They will then select a housekeeper who matches your schedule and will book the first cleaning appointment with you. Once you are assigned a housekeeper, you will contact the housekeeper directly to schedule your appointments.

To call for an intake, dial: 604-435-0375.[/expand]

[expand title=”I live with other people, am I still eligible for the service?” rel=”bah-highlander”] Each situation is unique and is assessed case by case. Factors that would affect the decision may include the total number of people in the household, the relationship between household members (i.e. renters, family members etc.) and the size of the house and rooms. Please contact the program manager for more detail. [/expand]

[expand title=”What will the housekeeper clean?” rel=”bah-highlander”] The below list is not intended to be complete and a housekeeper may reserve the right to refuse service that they deem outside of the scope of service or are dangerous.

Services we offerServices we do not offer
MoppingMeal preparation
VaccuumingPet care and cleaning up after pets
DustingHelp with medication
Laundry assistancePersonal care (i.e. nail trim, dressing)
Making the bedDeep clean of any kind
Light scrub: BathtubStove: Interior
Light scrub: ToiletFridge: Interior
Bathroom counters, surfaces, floorWalls
Kitchen stove: Exterior onlyCleaning that requires moving furniture
Kitchen fridge: Exterior onlyCleaning of areas that require the use of a step stool or ladder
Kitchen counter and surfaces
Taking household garbage out


[expand title=”Why must I book an ongoing service?” rel=”bah-highlander”] The service is intended to help maintain a clean and tidy environment and to be able to offer this service at a below market cost, we ask that seniors agree to a minimum of a 3 month commitment. To get the most out of the service, we suggest signing up for bi-weekly cleaning service. Some seniors choose to receive the service weekly or monthly. The choice is yours. [/expand]

[expand title=”What do I have to provide?” rel=”bah-highlander”] The housekeepers arrive empty handed and will use your tools, supplies, and equipment. Please have the following items in good working condition ready for the housekeeper:

  • Duster
  • Broom and dust pan
  • Mop and bucket with wringer
  • Rags and/or paper towels
  • A vacuum
  • Cleaning products of your choice, such as dish soap, window cleaner, degreasers, general cleaning sprays, a vinegar-based solution etc.

The housekeeper can assist with laundry provided that laundry machines are in the building. Please have tokens or coins ready to go along with detergents and any other products you wish to use. A housekeeper may refuse a service if the equipment provided is not in good working order (i.e. a mop without a wringer, a broken vacuum). [/expand]

[expand title=”Who are your housekeepers?” rel=”bah-highlander”] Our housekeepers are independent contractors who have been vetted through Collingwood Neighbourhood House. [/expand]

[expand title=”How do I pay a housekeeper?” rel=”bah-highlander”] Housekeepers are paid with pre-paid vouchers that you purchase from Collingwood Neighbourhood House. The vouchers can be purchased at the front desk during operating hours or by mail with a cheque. Please see the Voucher FAQ for more information. [/expand]

[expand title=”What is the complaint process?” rel=”bah-highlander”] You have the right to complain if you are not happy with the service you are receiving or the way you are being treated.

  • Step 1: Attempt to resolve the problem with your housekeeper
  • Step 2: Contact a Program Coordinator

If you don’t want to speak with the housekeeper, or if you are not satisfied with the worker’s response, contact a Coordinator. The coordinator may also speak with the housekeeper or others involved, only if necessary. A coordinator will give you a written response on how the situation has been dealt with. If you make a verbal complaint, a coordinator will document the complaint and attempt to resolve the problem. [/expand]

[expand title=”How do I cancel or reschedule an appointment?” rel=”bah-highlander”] Please contact your housekeeper directly to reschedule or cancel. You must give at least 24 hours’ notice to avoid being charged for the session. If you provide less than 24 hours’ notice, you will be invoiced for the full service. [/expand]

[expand title=”What about holidays?” rel=”bah-highlander”] As above it will be up to you to arrange a cleaning schedule with your housekeeper. If your regular day falls on a statutory or religious holiday, your housekeeper may reschedule. [/expand]

[expand title=”What if I have bed bugs or another infestation?” rel=”bah-highlander”] Clients are asked to let their housekeeper or the coordinator know immediately if they suspect they may have bed bugs or any other infestation in their home (i.e. rodents, cockroaches, fleas, etc.). Infestations can occur easily in any home; the sooner it is dealt with the better! [/expand]

[expand title=”What other services do you offer to help seniors?” rel=”bah-highlander”] We offer a low cost seniors shuttle which runs Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:30-2:30. Fee ranges from by donation to $10 for a round trip. We also offer light yard work services, a friendly visiting program, and various seniors drop in social and recreational programs. [/expand]

[expand title=”I have more questions, who do I contact?” rel=”bah-highlander”] You can call the program co-oridnator at 604-435-0375 or email at [/expand]