For those who have more extensive care needs, long-term care (LTC) homes are housing that provide access to 24-hour personal care and nursing. A referral from a CCAC is required to receive accommodation. These homes are subsidized by the government, which can reduce costs significantly. But, as a result, there are long waitlists at most homes. It is common to wait longer than 100 days to enter a facility. Please note that waitlist lengths will vary depending on your region. In March 2015, it took 354 days to receive a basic room at a home in central Toronto.
The fees of long-term care homes are set by the government and range from $1,774 to $2,535 per month depending on style of room desired. These fees are standardized and are the same throughout the province.
Three types of rooms are available:
- Basic - $1,774
- Semi-private - $2,139
- Private - $2,535
If you are unable to afford a basic room, you may qualify for a subsidy.
Above costs are current as of March 2016. For up-to-date fees please visit this Ontario site.
The good news is that these homes are by far your cheapest option to receive care around the clock. The bad news is that quality as measured by performance indicators varies wildly between homes. The percentage of residents who had a recent fall ranged from 3% to 35% as reported by Health Quality Ontario in their 2013-2014 report. While some of this difference may be attributed to uncontrollable factors, it was found that noticeable differences remained after resident and home characteristics were accounted for. This is quite alarming considering that with waitlists being so long, one does not typically have the luxury to pick a particular LTC home. Even if this choice did exist, it would be difficult because often homes do not perform completely low or high on all measured indicators. For example, one LTC home in Ontario has a worsening bladder incontinence rate of 14.9% less than the provincial average, but its rate of residents who fell is 21% higher than the provincial average. No one should feel the need to make a pro/con list to determine if they would rather risk worse bowel and/or bladder functioning, or serious injury from a fall.
Additionally, these homes rely quite heavily on volunteers to run activities throughout the week. One LTC home in particular had 153 volunteers providing 8,000 hours of service in 2013. Such reliance results in varying activity availability at each residence. Though, this has the added benefit of attracting passionate individuals, which often results in high quality programs. Also, rest assured that a vulnerable person’s background check is required of all volunteers.
NOT SURE WHERE TO START?
Our care coordinators provide free care assessment and resources. If you need recommendation for a long term care home, we can also help with that.