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A care facility is one that looks after people who need medical care or assistance, who would otherwise have difficulty living independently. The terminology is generally referred to as long-term care or extended care. There could be various classifications, such as intermediate care level 1, 2 and 3. Level 1 tends to be just above independent living; level 3 is almost long-term care. The difference being the number of hours in a day that the person needs assistance. For example, getting in and out of bed, dressing, bathing, eating, moving, taking medications, etc. Basically, a sliding scale from total independence to total dependence.

Care facilities provide care for people with diverse needs. Some people require assistance with activities of daily living such as taking their medication, bathing and dressing. Other people require considerable assistance, including professional services, such as nursing, 24 hours a day.

Care facilities can be a mixture of private sector facilities, public sector facilities, or facilities operated by religious, charitable or ethnic organizations.

Some care facilities are large and have hundreds of residents. Others are small and provide care to as few as three or four people.

  • Community care facilities. These provide care to people who have been assessed as being able to function at a personal or intermediate level of care. These facilities tend to provide care to small groups of people, e.g. three or four.
  • Family care homes. These are single family homes that provide assistance, care and supervision to one or two persons only. These homes tend to be found in more rural areas.
  • Extended care facilities. These provide care to persons who have been assessed as needing extended or long-term care.
  • Multi-level care facilities. These provide care to people who are assessed at various levels of care.
  • Private hospitals. These can also provide care to people who are assessed at any level of care.

What are the costs?

It depends on the nature of the facility, whether it is public or privately operated and, in many cases, your income. In a funded facility, a portion of the monthly charges for your accommodation and care will be provincially subsidized according to your annual net income. In a non-funded facility, you will be responsible for paying the full cost of your accommodation and care. These facilities are sometimes referred to as “private pay” facilities.

If you are considering a funded facility, the specific policies could vary from province to province and region to region. In general terms,

  • Admission. Once you are notified a room is available, you may have to accept that room within 48 hours. You will therefore have to pay accommodation in two places during this transition period, that is your home and the facility.
  • Subsidized rate. The subsidized payment generally provides you with accommodation, meals, laundry, care and supervision consistent with the level of care you require. Generally, when you are admitted to a care facility, you continue receiving any government income supplements you are currently receiving.
  • Extra charges. In some facilities, there could be a differential higher rate for single or double rooms of superior quality. In most cases, you have to pay extra for magazines or newspapers, dry cleaning, telephone and cable. You are also responsible, in most cases, to buy or lease any special equipment required for your own use, such as wheelchairs and walkers.
  • Time spent away from facility. In most cases you can be away for a maximum of 30 days with the government continuing to pay the subsidized amount. You would be responsible for continuing to pay the daily user rate.
  • Hospitalization. If your room is held during hospitalization, you are generally required to continue to pay the daily accommodation rate.
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