Alberta Health Services plans to cut the number of home-care service providers in Edmonton from 35 to 10.

The cut, which will see the formation of a few larger care companies in place of many of the smaller operations, will save the province more than $18 million — but has left some Edmontonians who use the service worried.

"I am absolutely devastated to the point of tears," said Vicki Johnston, who relies on home-care workers for many of her daily needs.

Johnston is upset by the impending cuts, as she will likely lose the team of caregivers she has worked with for the last five years.

"You form a relationship with them," she said. "You grow to really care for each other and to have this kind of disruption ... it's already stressful being disabled"

Town hall meeting planned

AHS says the transition to the new home-care providers will start next month.

"Working with fewer operators is going to help us immensely in terms of being able to get them to the table and collaborate and develop improvements to the home-care system that are going to ultimately benefit the clients," said spokesman David O’Brien.

But not everyone agrees.

"This amalgamation — or cutting down on the available staffing — is once again is going to have an impact directly on the people that depend on home care so that they can stay at home," said Friends of Medicare spokeswoman Sandra Azocar.

Friends of Medicare plans to hold a town hall meeting to discuss the upcoming changes on June 23.