Long-Term Care Homes - Introduction

Long-term care homes are designed for people who require 24-hour nursing care and supervision. As of July 1, 2010, the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 and its regulations govern long- term care homes in Ontario.

Applications for admission to all of these homes must be made through one of Ontario's 14 Community Care Access Centres (CCAC). Once a CCAC determines that you are eligible, you may choose up to five homes where you would like to go. If the homes you choose agree to accept you, you can then be admitted. If there are no beds available, you will be put on a waiting list until an appropriate bed is available in one of them. If your situation becomes a crisis, you will be put on a crisis waiting list (for example, your caregiver dies and you cannot stay alone). This means that you are no longer limited to choosing five homes and you go to the top of the list for the homes you have selected.

You cannot be forced to go to a long-term care home without your consent unless you are not mentally capable, at which time your substitute decision-maker will make the decision for you.

The provincial government pays for the cost of providing nursing, personal care and food, as well as programs and support services. You pay only for your accommodation. The maximum amount you can be asked to pay each month to live in a long-term care home is set by the government. If you want semi-private or private accommodation (called preferred accommodation), you will have to pay an extra amount which is also set by the province. If you are staying in basic accommodation but you cannot afford even this basic rate, you can apply for a rate reduction. If you are entitled to the rate reduction, you will still have a modest amount each month for your own personal expenses after paying the accommodation fee. If you ask, the home must help you make all appropriate applications for reductions. Financial considerations are not a barrier to admission under any circumstances: a home cannot turn you down based on your income or ability to pay. There are no rate reductions available if you are in preferred accommodation.

If you decide to accept a semi-private or private room, you must be sure that you can pay this amount indefinitely unless you enter into a specific written contract with the home that says otherwise. While it is possible to transfer from preferred to basic accommodation, it may take years and you will have to pay the higher rate while waiting for the transfer.

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