Choosing a long-term care home
Three steps to help you choose a home that meets your needs.
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If long-term care is the right choice for you, you will need to apply, with the help of your local Home and Community Care Support Services organization.
Researching different long-term care homes will help you decide where to apply. You can learn about homes on your own, and you can also work with the Home and Community Care Support Services placement coordinator. Placement coordinators will know about all the homes in your area, and you can talk to them about your needs and what you’re looking for. You will have the opportunity to apply to a maximum of five different homes.
When you do your research, here are three steps you can use to help you make your choice.
Step 1: identify your needs and wants
Before you look at any specific homes, prepare a list of things that matter to you, such as:
- your medical and personal needs
- culture, language or religious focus
- a location that works well for family and friends to visit
- social programs and activities
- setting – for example, near shops or on or by a park
- type of accommodation – for example, a semi-private or private room
- costs and subsidies – the government pays for medical care. You pay for accommodation, but may be eligible for a subsidy.
Step 2: gather information
With your priorities in mind, you’re ready to start building your list. To identify homes that might work for you:
- use the home search tool below to see homes in your area and learn more about them
- check the home’s website for more information. Some homes even offer virtual tours online
- talk to people you know who may have experience with homes you’re considering
Step 3: visit in person
In-person visits are the best way to get a feel for a home. If possible, visit every home you’re considering. If you are unable to go yourself, you can send someone you trust to tour the home on your behalf.
- Call the home in advance to schedule the tour. See if you can visit at mealtime, or take part in an activity, to experience the home in action.
- Find out about the home’s policies about things like visitors (including pets), day and overnight trips.
- Individual homes may offer additional services. Some examples that you may want to ask about:
- on-site medical care
- rehabilitation services
- language(s) spoken
- dental services
- vision care, optometry, audiology services
- medications, treatments, pharmacy services
- optional services, such as Internet, cable TV, hairdressing and transportation.
Take your time and ask all your questions when you visit. Using a checklist (PDF) will help you cover all the details.
For help choosing or to apply for long-term care, contact your local Home and Community Care Support Services organization.