Looking into Long-Term Care

By - October 22nd 2013.

Looking into Long-Term Care

How to ensure your loved one is properly cared for in their golden years.

Long-term care homes, or nursing homes as they’re often referred to, are licensed and regulated by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. With that being said, these facilities can be owned and operated by a wide variety of entities including private companies, municipalities, and charitable organizations. As such, you’ll want to take some time to closely review the services and accommodations offered by each.

It’s worth noting that the Ministry pays for the programs and services provided by long-term care homes. Residents are responsible for the cost of accommodations (these rates are set and monitored by the Ministry every year). Application to a long-term care facility must be made through your local Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). Part of the application process will involve an assessment of the individual’s needs in order to determine eligibility for placement.

Touring a Long-Term Care Facility

The best way to gauge the atmosphere and offerings of a long-term care home is to arrange a site visit. This will enable you to get a feel for the unique characteristics of each property.

Keep the following questions in mind while touring the facility:

  • Where is the home located? Is it close to family members and friends?
  • Is the property clean and well maintained? Are the grounds landscaped and secure?
  • Do the residents appear happy? Are their emotional, physical, and social needs being met?
  • Are relatives encouraged to provide their input and participate in an individual’s care? How often are visitors allowed at the facility?
  • Is a hospital located nearby? What happens when a resident requires emergency medical care?
  • Is there a volunteer program in place? How are volunteers screened?
  • Are personal belongings allowed in the residence? Furniture? Pets?

Finally don’t hesitate to ask for resident family references that you can contact for additional feedback and opinions.