Also known as nursing homes, these facilities provide 24-hour nursing care, personal support and services when you’re no longer able to live on your own independently or with family due to health challenges and/or physical limitations. They’re well equipped in most instances to handle patients who are physically unwell. Long-term care facilities are licensed and inspected by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The government also sets eligibility criteria for admission and rates for long-stay and short-stay accommodation.
PROS: Nursing homes offer a safe environment with on-site health care. They are able to offer the specialized care that is often required as we age. The provincial government pays for basic accommodation for those who lack sufficient income.
CONS: Popular homes may have long waiting lists that could limit your choices. Nursing homes are more structured and scheduled compared to retirement residences. Often, a nursing home is a last resort when an individual can’t be cared for at home due to mobility or other health concerns.
NEED TO KNOWS: Visit possible homes to meet the staff, speak to residents and their family members and get a sense of the vibe. As with assisted living facilities, ask pointed questions. Has the facility been accredited by the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation? Is the home for-profit or non-profit? What’s the home’s philosophy regarding meals, snacks and alcohol? Are family members welcome to eat with residents? Is there a registered nurse on duty 24 hours a day? What recreational programs are offered? What are the visiting hours? Are pets allowed on site? What services are offered…and do they cost extra? Check out a room—and ask questions about TVs, phones and bringing personal items. Your local Community Care Access Centre manages waiting lists for all nursing homes in your area. Individuals with the highest health care needs and those in hospital are given first priority to a nursing home bed.