Many older adults want to remain in their own home for as long as possible and with in-place care, it may be manageable. Each province or territory is responsible for delivering its community home care but it is not covered under the Canada Health Act.
According to Health Canada, referrals to home care can be made by doctors, hospitals, community agencies, families and potential residents.
“These services, such as specialized nursing care, homemaker services and adult day care, are provided to people who are partially or totally incapacitated. Needs are assessed, and services are coordinated to provide continuity of care and comprehensive care.”
It sounds all well and good but there are communities, such as in the north, where although a need may be assessed, there is not adequate staff to provide care in the community and patients end up on a waiting list.
Ontario’s Community Care Access Centre reports that in 2012/2013, 50 per cent of patients referred received service within 5 days and 90 per cent received service within 33 days.
In the meantime, patients can use private care which ranges in cost anywhere from $20 to $70 per hour for skilled nursing home care.
There may come a time when the health care needs of a senior may surpass what home care can deliver both financially and in practical terms.
What happens next and what are the costs?
The cost of long term care varies widely throughout Canada because these facilities are governed by provincial legislation and are not covered under the Canada Health Act. Admission to a long-term care facility is also based on each province’s assessment of need.
For example, in Ontario, CCAC will assess if the resident’s income is insufficient to pay for a nursing home and place them on a needs-based wait list for a room.
According to figures from Statistics Canada, the average cost of long term care across Canada is about $3,000 per month but his rate can fluctuate based in the age of the home, the length of stay and type of accommodation.
Contact your local community care coordinator for more information about cost, eligibility and wait times.