Long-term care homes are publicly funded and operated by municipalities, not-for-profit organizations and private organizations. They provide health care and services to people whose needs cannot be met in the community.
Long-term care homes are licensed and regulated by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. The province has specific laws and regulations for admission to long-term care homes that are designed to ensure fairness and equity in the system, so that it can serve the needs of people with greater care needs as well as people who are still independent.
Long-term care homes can provide a residential alternative for patients with high care needs, who meet the following criteria:
- 18 years of age or older
- Have a valid Ontario Health Card
- Have health-care needs that cannot be met with any combination of caregiving in the home or community
- Have health-care needs that can be met in a long-term care home
What is the process for selecting a home?
The long-term care home placement process includes a multi-part assessment, including an assessment by a Care Coordinator, to ensure there is an accurate record of your medical history, and to help determine eligibility for long-term care.
Your Care Coordinator will discuss all options, including providing options for long- term care homes. You can apply to as many as five homes. The wait times for long-term care homes vary widely, so decisions about which homes you are applying to will help determine the amount of time you will wait for long-term care.
Once a spot in a chosen long-term care home becomes available, you will be contacted by your Care Coordinator, and you will have 24 hours to consent to the admission. If you move to a home that is not your first choice, you may stay on the waiting list for your other choices, if you wish.
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Although the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care pays for the care you receive, you are responsible for accommodation costs, which are standard across Ontario. Rates are typically reviewed annually by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Current rates (effective July 1, 2019 and subject to change) are:
Long-stay Semi Private
Basic plus a maximum of $12.00
Basic plus a maximum of $25.00
Ability to pay the accommodation rate should not be a barrier to long-term care. To help offset the cost of long-term care, you can apply for a rate reduction for the basic accommodation rate. With this rate reduction, you will also retain $143.00 per month as an allowance. Your care coordinator can provide you with this application.
This application requires you to disclose all sources of income. You must also apply for all sources of Federal, Provincial and Municipal income assistance for which you may be eligible. You are not required to provide information about your assets (bonds, bank account information, RRSPs home value, etc).
If you do not have enough annual income to pay for the basic room, the government can help you through a subsidy that will bring the cost down to a level you can afford. The subsidy is not available to people requesting semi-private or private rooms.
Your Care Coordinator can provide you with information about applying for a rate reduction subsidy. If you are eligible for placement in a long-term care home, you will not be refused because of an inability to pay. For more information visit the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care website.
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