When does the need for “care” begin?
Your care needs will change over time and eventually you may need the type of extensive, 24-hour care and support provided in a nursing home. Where you live, what you pay and what type of programs and services will be available to you will depend on the province in which you live and the personal choices you make.
Long-term care or nursing homes provide higher, more complex levels of care, usually to seniors who have serious health care needs and require 24-hour nursing care and supervision.
Long-term care is managed at the provincial and community level. In Alberta, Health Link Alberta, a centralized government agency, will refer you to your local Continuing Care Placement office.
Here are the steps in the process:
- Alberta Health Services (AHS) will refer you to your local Continuing Placement Office.
- A Placement Coordinator will work with you to find a suitable centre for assessment and admission, if you can no longer be cared for in your own home.
- Seniors with a lower income may be eligible for financial assistance through the Alberta Seniors Benefit program (Provide Link).
- Contact your local Health Link Alberta at 1.866.408.5465 (LINK) or My.Health.Alberta.ca.
You’re not just choosing a home, you’re choosing the right home
When looking for the right home, it is important to consider your unique needs, preferences and desires. You or your loved one’s physical functioning, mental capacity, personal interests, financial circumstances and social supports all affect what setting and services are most appropriate. Begin by researching what homes are available in your community. A good place to start is Extendicare’s Home Locator.
- Alberta Health Services – Long-Term Care
- Alberta Health Services Zones
- Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors - Housing Options for Older Manitobans
- Manitoba - Regional Health Authorities
- Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care – Finding Long-Term Care
- Ontario – Home and Community Care Support Services
Once you have your list of homes, you need to organize your priorities. Ask yourself what really matters to you and your loved one(s): Is it the location, size or reputation of the facility? What is the atmosphere and culture of the home? Its ability to meet current and future health care needs, special programs offered? Is there urgency for placement?
Start online, but ensure you talk with family, friends, government agencies and health care professionals. Armed with all the information you’ve gathered, you will then need to narrow down the list and visit your top candidates.
We’ve provided a list of questions to take with you on your visits. They’ll help organize and focus your tour and gather consistent information on each home. Then later, you can compare the alternatives and make the best decision possible.Download our Home Tour Checklist