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Applying to Long Term Care Homes / Nursing Homes

Long-Term Care Homes (LTCH) refers to Nursing Homes, Charitable Homes and Municipal Homes. All Long-Term Care Homes are licensed, regulated and funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. Unlike a retirement home where increased nursing care corresponds to an increase in fees, a Long-Term Care Home provides 24 hours a day nursing care for no additional fees. Nursing Care encompasses assistance with all aspects of personal care, feeding and the dispensing of medications.

Local Health Integration Network / Community Care Access Centers are the gate keepers of all Long-Term Care Homes in Ontario. Potential clients for Long-Term Care in Ontario must obtain an application from their local LHIN / CCAC office and be at least eighteen years of age with a valid OHIP card. There is no application fee and clients are encouraged to visit the facilities of choice, as five facilities have to be listed in order of preference on the application. Once a facility from the five choices has a vacant bed, a LHIN / CCAC case worker will call the client regarding the availability of the bed, and if the bed is accepted by the client, the client has 24 hours to move into the facility.

Applications for temporary stay (respite care or vacation care) in a Long-Term Care facility are also available through your local LHIN / CCAC office. Applicants have up to 90 days a year for respite or vacation care.

The rates for Long-Term Care Homes are set by the MOHLTC and are standardized across Ontario. The rates for accommodation cover such things as, nursing care, meals, laundry, daily house keeping, recreation and rehabilitation programs plus doctors’ visits. Other services such as, podiatry, hair dressing, cable and phone services are generally not included, but are available at additional cost. Most Long-Term Care Homes offer three types of room accommodations:

  • Basic room (generally two beds to one room with a shared bathroom).
  • Semi-Private room (generally a private room with a shared bathroom).
  • Private room (private room with a private bathroom).

Clients are permitted to apply for basic accommodation providing their net annual income is below $23,500.00. Clients who qualify for a rate reduction will be provided with a comfort allowance of $146.00 / month for discretionary spending.

In the event one spouse has to move into a Long-Term Care Home and the other is going to encounter financial hardship living on his / her own in the community, an application called "Exceptional Circumstances" can be made through your local LHIN / CCAC office or MOHLTC. Qualifying under "Exceptional Circumstances" will allow a portion of the Long-Term Care Home accommodation cost to remain with the spouse in the community. In cases where both spouses are the recipients of Old Age Security, an application for "Involuntary Separation" can be applied for through your local LHIN / CCAC office or MOHLTC. Qualifying under "Involuntary Separation" would allow both spouses to receive their pensions as single individuals.

For a check list of things to consider when visiting a Long-Term Care Home, click here