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Navigating Long-Term Care: A Guide to Finding the Right Facility

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A nurse talks with an elderly lady
Learn about the definition and indications for long-term care, the factors to think about when choosing a facility, the application process, costs, waitlist times, and the different types of long-term care homes.

First, let’s define what long-term care is.

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


When to consider long-term care

You might want to consider going into a long-term care facility when you start having difficulty directing your own care or have care needs that cannot be safely met. Long-term care homes can help if you need medical attention monitored twenty-four seven either through medication administration, reminders, dressing changes, or medical equipment that needs to be monitored. It can also help when family members or loved ones cannot help take care of the individual due to cognitive or physical impairments. If an individual has had an injury, illness or disease that prevents you from being able to direct their own care and the hospital deems it too unsafe to return home, a long-term care home may be a good option.

  • Family members and loved ones can ask themselves these questions:

  • Am I able to take care of them with the amount of help they need?

  • Does my loved one need rehab or special care and supervision?

  • Is their health declining?

  • Do they forget personal care and medications?

  • Can they be left unsupervised?

  • Can you meet their needs?

  • If you have these types of concerns, look into a long-term care home to give the individual the proper care, support, and peace of mind.

What to look for when choosing long-term care

When looking into a long-term care home, look at their services. Most homes offer almost all the services, including meals, personal care, medication, twenty-four-hour medical services, and much more. Some offer additional services like hair care, foot and nail care, and transportation at an additional cost. Look at the home's location from family members and loved ones and the type of visiting hours and restrictions.


When going for a home tour, ask many questions and talk to other staff members and residents to gain more insight.

See how they run their programs and meals and ask to sample a meal or see the meal plan for the month. Check out their social activities and see what a typical morning or afternoon looks like. Ask to see the accommodations, what the different rooms look like and how comfortable you would be in any room layouts.


Call around to many nursing homes as they vary in services they offer or if they have specialized care units. You can also reach out to other friends or family members in a long-term care home or have someone in a home and see their insight and why they chose that one.


You can also do a lot of research on the internet about homes to see which would best suit the care needs and understand their mission and values. You can also call CCAC or the LHIN to set up an appointment to gather information about the long-term care homes and to see which would best suit the individual's care needs.


Applications

To apply for a room in a long-term care home, you must go through the CCAC (Community Care Access Centres) or the LHIN (Local Health Integration Network).


To be eligible for their services, you need to be covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). Both services help plan and coordinate services delivered by long-term care homes. They also help with the application of subsidies through the government. You can choose up to five long-term care homes, and they help you find the right home and assist with the whole application process. For example, if you had an extended hospital stay and could no longer go home due to safety and health concerns, they will talk to you and help you through the application process. They will also help you set up in-home care or rehabilitation if needed while on the waiting list.


Cost

The government subsidizes long-term care homes for those who need financial assistance. The government will assess your income and help finance a certain amount of the cost. They only cover basic rooms; if you are looking at a private or semi-private room, you must pay the total amount. The average cost for a basic room is around $1600 but can vary dependent on subsidy.


The average price of a semi-private room is around $1800 a month, and for a private room, the average cost is around $2100 a month.

Some nursing homes offer extra services at a price, for example, having your hair done, nail services and transportation.


Waitlist times

Unfortunately, long-term care homes have the longest wait times out of all the facilities. The average wait time for a room to become available is six months to one year. There has been an increase in demand for those needing to be in long-term care, and the wait list times are increasing every year as people start to live longer. One to four basic room beds become available monthly in long-term care homes; however, individuals placed on the waiting list are nearly triple the number of beds licensed in the homes.


Those who apply for a private or semi-private room have an even longer wait time than those who apply for a basic room. As a result, individuals are having to widen their search for available long-term care homes, causing the distance from their family and loved ones to be affected.


Types of long-term care homes

There are a few different types of care homes. For-profit homes run through the municipality or person, and Private homes are run through the municipality or person. For-profit homes will run into budget costs, whereas a private home doesn’t need to worry about budget costs, but both options for homes average around the same rent price.


Long-term care homes are a great option when you can no longer perform your activities of daily living and have all of your care needs met.


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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Navigating Long-Term Care: A Guide to Finding the Right Facility

Updated: Aug 23, 2023


A nurse talks with an elderly lady
Learn about the definition and indications for long-term care, the factors to think about when choosing a facility, the application process, costs, waitlist times, and the different types of long-term care homes.

First, let’s define what long-term care is.

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


When to consider long-term care

You might want to consider going into a long-term care facility when you start having difficulty directing your own care or have care needs that cannot be safely met. Long-term care homes can help if you need medical attention monitored twenty-four seven either through medication administration, reminders, dressing changes, or medical equipment that needs to be monitored. It can also help when family members or loved ones cannot help take care of the individual due to cognitive or physical impairments. If an individual has had an injury, illness or disease that prevents you from being able to direct their own care and the hospital deems it too unsafe to return home, a long-term care home may be a good option.

  • Family members and loved ones can ask themselves these questions:

  • Am I able to take care of them with the amount of help they need?

  • Does my loved one need rehab or special care and supervision?

  • Is their health declining?

  • Do they forget personal care and medications?

  • Can they be left unsupervised?

  • Can you meet their needs?

  • If you have these types of concerns, look into a long-term care home to give the individual the proper care, support, and peace of mind.

What to look for when choosing long-term care

When looking into a long-term care home, look at their services. Most homes offer almost all the services, including meals, personal care, medication, twenty-four-hour medical services, and much more. Some offer additional services like hair care, foot and nail care, and transportation at an additional cost. Look at the home's location from family members and loved ones and the type of visiting hours and restrictions.


When going for a home tour, ask many questions and talk to other staff members and residents to gain more insight.

See how they run their programs and meals and ask to sample a meal or see the meal plan for the month. Check out their social activities and see what a typical morning or afternoon looks like. Ask to see the accommodations, what the different rooms look like and how comfortable you would be in any room layouts.


Call around to many nursing homes as they vary in services they offer or if they have specialized care units. You can also reach out to other friends or family members in a long-term care home or have someone in a home and see their insight and why they chose that one.


You can also do a lot of research on the internet about homes to see which would best suit the care needs and understand their mission and values. You can also call CCAC or the LHIN to set up an appointment to gather information about the long-term care homes and to see which would best suit the individual's care needs.


Applications

To apply for a room in a long-term care home, you must go through the CCAC (Community Care Access Centres) or the LHIN (Local Health Integration Network).


To be eligible for their services, you need to be covered by OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan). Both services help plan and coordinate services delivered by long-term care homes. They also help with the application of subsidies through the government. You can choose up to five long-term care homes, and they help you find the right home and assist with the whole application process. For example, if you had an extended hospital stay and could no longer go home due to safety and health concerns, they will talk to you and help you through the application process. They will also help you set up in-home care or rehabilitation if needed while on the waiting list.


Cost

The government subsidizes long-term care homes for those who need financial assistance. The government will assess your income and help finance a certain amount of the cost. They only cover basic rooms; if you are looking at a private or semi-private room, you must pay the total amount. The average cost for a basic room is around $1600 but can vary dependent on subsidy.


The average price of a semi-private room is around $1800 a month, and for a private room, the average cost is around $2100 a month.

Some nursing homes offer extra services at a price, for example, having your hair done, nail services and transportation.


Waitlist times

Unfortunately, long-term care homes have the longest wait times out of all the facilities. The average wait time for a room to become available is six months to one year. There has been an increase in demand for those needing to be in long-term care, and the wait list times are increasing every year as people start to live longer. One to four basic room beds become available monthly in long-term care homes; however, individuals placed on the waiting list are nearly triple the number of beds licensed in the homes.


Those who apply for a private or semi-private room have an even longer wait time than those who apply for a basic room. As a result, individuals are having to widen their search for available long-term care homes, causing the distance from their family and loved ones to be affected.


Types of long-term care homes

There are a few different types of care homes. For-profit homes run through the municipality or person, and Private homes are run through the municipality or person. For-profit homes will run into budget costs, whereas a private home doesn’t need to worry about budget costs, but both options for homes average around the same rent price.


Long-term care homes are a great option when you can no longer perform your activities of daily living and have all of your care needs met.


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