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Choosing the Right Care Facility: Retirement Homes, Long-Term Care Homes, and Home Care

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An elderly couple walking up steps
Learn about different types of facilities for care, including retirement homes, long-term care homes, and home care.

Definition of each facility type


Retirement is accommodating for those who can direct their care and require minimal help in their activities of daily living and have few medical care needs.


Long-term Care Homes are designed to help those with medical and non-medical care over a short or long period of time who can no longer perform activities of daily living for themselves.


Home care allows people to live safely in their homes while receiving assistance or medical care to live independently.


When to consider and how to choose the right one


When you require more care, if you notice things in your daily life are becoming more difficult and need some help, it may be time to look into a facility. The amount of support you require to accomplish personal care and activities of daily living factors into which type of facility that will help with your care needs. If you can no longer direct your own care, rely on other family members or loved ones to help or if family members and loved ones are not able to help meet all your care needs.


Hospital stays too long, and no improvement plateau. If you have an extended hospital stay due to an accident, illness or cognitive decline, and they deem you unfit to go home unless someone can take care of you, you may have to consider looking into a facility. The LHIN (Local Healthcare Integration Network) would come into the hospital to speak to you about facility options. If the client cannot advocate for themselves, the POA (Power of Attorney) will help decide the best placement option. They are a helpful resource when finding a facility that accommodates all your needs and makes the transition as smooth as possible.


If you feel lonely or isolated, long-term care and retirement homes allow you to interact with others through social activities, meals, having a common room to relax in and living with others close to your age. In addition, in-home care offers adult day programs for you to visit once or twice a week for social interactions and activities with others as well as the visit from the caregivers.


Cost


Retirement homes are fully paid out of pocket, and additional costs for extra services you may require. The average cost for a retirement home room is around $2000-3000 a month. It depends on a few factors: location, services, and accommodation. Aside from what is provided, the more care services you require will reflect the price. Additional costs could include parking, extra check-ins from staff, transportation, and personal care, such as hair salons.


The government helps to subsidize the cost of long-term care. A basic room in long-term care is subsidized by the government, which is based on your income, whereas if you want a semi-private or private room and any additional services, you pay out of pocket. Extra services can include a hair salon, cable/internet or transportation, to name a few. The average basic room cost is around $1600 but can vary depending on subsidy. The average cost of a semi-private room is around $1800 a month, and for a private room, the average cost is around $2100 a month.


The government also helps to subsidize in-home care based on your income. The average cost is around $25-$30 an hour, but a nurse visit costs approximately $50-$60. If you want to participate in an adult day program, it costs $10; if you need transportation services, it costs another $10.


Services provided.


Retirement homes must provide at least two services from the thirteen listed in their home retirement act. Every retirement home varies in what they provide. The most common service found throughout most retirement homes is having meals provided. Additional services may be provided at a cost. If the home does not provide the services you need, you can contact external sources to meet all care needs.


Long-term care homes offer almost all services with additional extra costs for some services like hair or transportation. In addition, they provide personal care, medical care, meals, laundry, and special care assistance. Some services will vary depending on the home and if they can accommodate specific care needs, such as specialized memory care.


In-home services are tailored to the client and their care needs. They offer personal care, medication reminders, light housekeeping, meal prep, respite, and lifeline, to name a few. Each service depends on the care plan and level of care required. Additional services, such as adult day programs, transportation and home help, are at a cost. Home help is another cleaning service provided and subsidized by the government.


Level of care


Those in a retirement home can direct their own care and are mostly independent. However, they may need some help with personal care or their activities of daily living. They also receive an emergency device as they are not monitored with 24-hour medical services.


Long-term care homes are for individuals who need help with or cannot direct their own care. Individuals have access to 24-hour nursing services, medical services, cognitive care and help with their activities of daily living.


Anyone can receive in-home care; the level of care varies based on the client’s needs and how much they can direct their own care. At home, the care is provided during their visits; the amount and duration of the visits depend on the client’s care plan. In addition, individuals will receive an emergency service device, for example, a life alert, in case they need help outside their visit times.


Waiting lists/time


Retirement homes have fewer wait times than those long-term care homes because there is less demand for the services required. On average, availability for a room is four to five months but could be a longer wait time if an individual requests a private room.


Long-term care homes have the highest waitlist times averaging six months to one year. Roughly 1-4 basic room beds become available monthly in nursing homes; however, individuals placed on the waiting list nearly triple the number of beds licensed in the homes. As a result, there has been an increase in demand for those needing to be in long-term care, and the wait list times are growing longer every year. Wait list times tend to be slightly shorter in rural areas compared to the cities as fewer individuals apply to them, but they face long wait times for a room to become available. In addition, those who apply for a private or semi-private room have an even longer wait time than those who apply for a basic room.


At home, wait list times are the shortest. An individual can receive care within five days of applying for home care. Those with more urgent and complex needs may need to wait longer until the capacity of their care needs can be met, but they are given priority.


All options are excellent in their own way. Consider your care needs and what each type of facility offers to make the best choice for you to continue to live as independently as possible while receiving the care you need.


It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using 'Content here, content here', making it look like readable English.

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Choosing the Right Care Facility: Retirement Homes, Long-Term Care Homes, and Home Care

Updated: Aug 23, 2023


An elderly couple walking up steps
Learn about different types of facilities for care, including retirement homes, long-term care homes, and home care.

Definition of each facility type


Retirement is accommodating for those who can direct their care and require minimal help in their activities of daily living and have few medical care needs.


Long-term Care Homes are designed to help those with medical and non-medical care over a short or long period of time who can no longer perform activities of daily living for themselves.


Home care allows people to live safely in their homes while receiving assistance or medical care to live independently.


When to consider and how to choose the right one


When you require more care, if you notice things in your daily life are becoming more difficult and need some help, it may be time to look into a facility. The amount of support you require to accomplish personal care and activities of daily living factors into which type of facility that will help with your care needs. If you can no longer direct your own care, rely on other family members or loved ones to help or if family members and loved ones are not able to help meet all your care needs.


Hospital stays too long, and no improvement plateau. If you have an extended hospital stay due to an accident, illness or cognitive decline, and they deem you unfit to go home unless someone can take care of you, you may have to consider looking into a facility. The LHIN (Local Healthcare Integration Network) would come into the hospital to speak to you about facility options. If the client cannot advocate for themselves, the POA (Power of Attorney) will help decide the best placement option. They are a helpful resource when finding a facility that accommodates all your needs and makes the transition as smooth as possible.


If you feel lonely or isolated, long-term care and retirement homes allow you to interact with others through social activities, meals, having a common room to relax in and living with others close to your age. In addition, in-home care offers adult day programs for you to visit once or twice a week for social interactions and activities with others as well as the visit from the caregivers.


Cost


Retirement homes are fully paid out of pocket, and additional costs for extra services you may require. The average cost for a retirement home room is around $2000-3000 a month. It depends on a few factors: location, services, and accommodation. Aside from what is provided, the more care services you require will reflect the price. Additional costs could include parking, extra check-ins from staff, transportation, and personal care, such as hair salons.


The government helps to subsidize the cost of long-term care. A basic room in long-term care is subsidized by the government, which is based on your income, whereas if you want a semi-private or private room and any additional services, you pay out of pocket. Extra services can include a hair salon, cable/internet or transportation, to name a few. The average basic room cost is around $1600 but can vary depending on subsidy. The average cost of a semi-private room is around $1800 a month, and for a private room, the average cost is around $2100 a month.


The government also helps to subsidize in-home care based on your income. The average cost is around $25-$30 an hour, but a nurse visit costs approximately $50-$60. If you want to participate in an adult day program, it costs $10; if you need transportation services, it costs another $10.


Services provided.


Retirement homes must provide at least two services from the thirteen listed in their home retirement act. Every retirement home varies in what they provide. The most common service found throughout most retirement homes is having meals provided. Additional services may be provided at a cost. If the home does not provide the services you need, you can contact external sources to meet all care needs.


Long-term care homes offer almost all services with additional extra costs for some services like hair or transportation. In addition, they provide personal care, medical care, meals, laundry, and special care assistance. Some services will vary depending on the home and if they can accommodate specific care needs, such as specialized memory care.


In-home services are tailored to the client and their care needs. They offer personal care, medication reminders, light housekeeping, meal prep, respite, and lifeline, to name a few. Each service depends on the care plan and level of care required. Additional services, such as adult day programs, transportation and home help, are at a cost. Home help is another cleaning service provided and subsidized by the government.


Level of care


Those in a retirement home can direct their own care and are mostly independent. However, they may need some help with personal care or their activities of daily living. They also receive an emergency device as they are not monitored with 24-hour medical services.


Long-term care homes are for individuals who need help with or cannot direct their own care. Individuals have access to 24-hour nursing services, medical services, cognitive care and help with their activities of daily living.


Anyone can receive in-home care; the level of care varies based on the client’s needs and how much they can direct their own care. At home, the care is provided during their visits; the amount and duration of the visits depend on the client’s care plan. In addition, individuals will receive an emergency service device, for example, a life alert, in case they need help outside their visit times.


Waiting lists/time


Retirement homes have fewer wait times than those long-term care homes because there is less demand for the services required. On average, availability for a room is four to five months but could be a longer wait time if an individual requests a private room.


Long-term care homes have the highest waitlist times averaging six months to one year. Roughly 1-4 basic room beds become available monthly in nursing homes; however, individuals placed on the waiting list nearly triple the number of beds licensed in the homes. As a result, there has been an increase in demand for those needing to be in long-term care, and the wait list times are growing longer every year. Wait list times tend to be slightly shorter in rural areas compared to the cities as fewer individuals apply to them, but they face long wait times for a room to become available. In addition, those who apply for a private or semi-private room have an even longer wait time than those who apply for a basic room.


At home, wait list times are the shortest. An individual can receive care within five days of applying for home care. Those with more urgent and complex needs may need to wait longer until the capacity of their care needs can be met, but they are given priority.


All options are excellent in their own way. Consider your care needs and what each type of facility offers to make the best choice for you to continue to live as independently as possible while receiving the care you need.


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