Long-term Care: Continuous Care For Your Loved One
Long-term care: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
Long-term care, also called nursing homes* in Canada, provides an ideal environment for your elderly loved one. Long-term care is designed to help bring seniors out of isolation and into a secure and safe community where all personal, medical and emotional needs will be well taken care of.
Long-term care gives ailing seniors the chance to continue to participate in recreational and social activities as well as opportunities for companionship. In a long-term care residence, your loved one will have access to a level of care and support not possible at home.
Is long-term care the right option?
In Canada, long-term care (commonly known as nursing home care) is intended for seniors who need access to 24-hour care and daily support services for an array of physical and/or cognitive conditions, as deemed eligible by social service agencies. A wide range of care and different levels of service, including for dementia and Alzheimer's make this an ideal community for a wide variety of people with unique health needs.
Considering long-term care in Canada
When thinking about long-term care in Canada, it is absolutely imperative that you not wait for a crisis. You should discuss retirement home options now. As you embark on your search for long-term care, here are some important things to bear in mind:
- Talk about preferences while your loved one's cognitive abilities are still intact
- On-site tours are essential to get a good "feel" of the long term care home in person
- Bring a close relative or a friend — several sets of eyes are better than one
- Take a good look at the rooms or suites and imagine yourself staying there. Return for a second look or stay overnight if its available.
- Stay for a meal or two
- Don't be shy - ask staff lots of questions
- Talk to current residents that live in the long term care home
- Ask for references
- Give yourself or your relative a reasonable amount of time to adjust to life in a new setting
find long-term care close to family!
Points to consider when assessing your care needs
- What specific care and support is required?
- What cultural supports are important?
- What spiritual supports are important?
- What types of things will make the move to a long-term care residence comfortable?
- Is 24-hour care and supervision required?
- Is my relative's impairment cognitive, physical or both?
- What would make me worry less about my care and safety, or that of my relative?
Some natural concerns for those facing long-term care
- I don't want to go into an impersonal institution
- I love my home and I don't want to part with my personal possessions
- Will I be served familiar foods? Will I be understood in my mother tongue?
- I have guilt pangs about putting my mom or dad "away"
- Will my relative be well cared for in a compassionate manner?
Long-term care communities do their best to care for residents in a compassionate manner. Some long-term care communities welcome some smaller furnishings and personal mementoes from home and some cater to particular cultural tastes, linguistic or religious backgrounds.
How much does a long-term care residence cost?
The cost of a long-term care residence varies depending on where you live, the type or room you choose and the length of your stay. Basic or standard rooms are the least expensive and, in older buildings, tend to accommodate more than two residents. Semi-private or private rooms with more amenities are available, but do cost more. If cost is a concern, consider that:
- Subsidies for basic or standard rooms are available for seniors with a certain annual personal income at a certain level
- Your costs may be covered by your provinces’ health care insurance
For more information about the costs of retirement in your provice visit our region guide.
Within the senior care industry it is customary to correct people when they refer to "nursing homes." The phrase "nursing homes" has gone out of vogue as this entails that patients require constant nursing or it has become attached to negative media stories about abusive or neglectful treatment of the elderly. In any case, "nursing homes" is not used in the industry, where the phrase "long-term care" has a more modern, professional connotation.