HALIFAX -- The Nova Scotia Government is expanding its Supportive Care Program by doubling the amount of aid available to residents living with cognitive impairments.

On Monday, the province announced the program will increase the amount of financial assistance it delivers to each person who uses it from $500 to $1,000 per month – with changes effective on Wednesday.

The Supportive Care Program provides funding to eligible Nova Scotians with cognitive impairments, including difficulty thinking, concentrating and remembering to hire services like personal care, respite, meal preparation and housekeeping. Care via private agencies and local community supports is also applicable.

Nova Scotians seeking assistance from the program and its recent funding changes will be assessed on need. Additionally, the province notes it is expanding eligibility for the program to include people with acquired brain injuries.

"We are giving people more flexibility to choose how care is provided in their homes and supporting people with acquired brain injuries to live full and independent lives," said Nova Scotia Health and Wellness Minister Randy Delorey in a statement on Monday. "These changes will help more Nova Scotians who want to stay at home get the care and support they need."

Brain Injury Association of Nova Scotia executive director, Leona Burkey says the increase in assistance will greatly benefit those living with cognitive impairments.

"Brain injury tends to be a sudden event that changes lives in an instant, but recovery and return to life, work and community is possible with ongoing meaningful support. As the only organized voice for some 70,000 Nova Scotians affected by brain injury, we hear from families every day struggling to manage support for their loved ones at home," said Burkey in a statement on Monday. "This expansion will help hundreds of families with more options and flexibility and improve the lives of our brain injury community."

Eligibility criteria for the Supportive Care Program includes being 65 years or older or, if under 65, having a diagnosis of dementia or an acquired brain injury that affects daily functioning, needing at least 25 hours per month of care support and having a substitute decision-maker.

An acquired brain injury is defined as temporary or permanent brain damage or dysfunction caused by trauma from an external force, or by a medical issue or disease

Meanwhile, 485 current Supportive Care Program clients now have expanded options in how their care is provided. The province notes an additional 1,015 Nova Scotians are eligible and could benefit from the expansion.