HALIFAX -- The Nova Scotia government will reduce the waiting list for home-care services in the Halifax area by spending $5 million over two years, Health and Wellness Minister Dave Wilson said Thursday.

Wilson said the funding will help cut the Capital District Health Authority's 265-person waiting list by about half over the next year.

"Hopefully with this investment we'll see that list shrink and ultimately what we would like to see is no wait-list," Wilson said in an interview.

Wilson said the wait time for home care in Halifax varies, but some people can wait as much as a year.

"Something as simple as having someone clear your walkway or your driveway in the winter can keep someone in their home longer ... this is a crucial part of the health-care system," said Wilson.

"We all know our population is aging so the demand for these services will continue to increase."

Capital Health spokesman John Gillis said more than 2,240 people receive home-care support throughout the area covered by the authority. Sixty-six people who are currently on the waiting list are already receiving some form of home care, he said, but are waiting for additional services.

Another $1.5 million over two years will go to home-care services provincewide, such as personal care, meal preparation and housekeeping, said Wilson.

The government says 12,000 people receive home-care services in Nova Scotia.

The funding is part of $22 million set aside in the 2012-13 budget for home-care support.