Is It Time For A Nursing Home?
For those of you who are asking yourselves this question, did you know that for some of the more coveted long term care homes, your time on the waitlist could be 5 to 7 years? That’s right – YEARS. If you are in a time-sensitive situation, there are beds available fairly quickly for emergency situations. These tend to be the long-term care homes with more basic amenities. Long Term Care Homes is the formal title for Nursing Homes, as they do provide so much more than nursing care.
The very first step is to be registered with your local LHIN (Local Health Integration Network). This world can come across as alphabet soup, so I will try to clarify who is who! In May 2017, the LHIN took over the managing of what had previously been known as CCAC, the Community Care Access Center. If you have been dealing with CCAC already, then don’t worry – the people and phone numbers remained exactly the same.
Every long-term care home works with the LHIN in managing the waitlists, but you cannot get on the waitlist for a home any other way but through registering with the LHIN.
How do I register?
- Your doctor can refer you
- Call them at 519 748 2222
- Fill out the online form at LHIN Home and Community Care Contact
- If you are in hospital, a LHIN Discharge Planner will help you there
What Happens when I register?
- A Care Coordinator comes to your home
- An interview and assessment is conducted
- Your family is encouraged to attend
- The Case Coordinator provides a list of all the Long Term Care homes in the region and you choose up to five locations.
The Care Coordinator’s job is to ensure you get a placement in a long term care facility. They are not allowed to advocate for one home over another. They can give you some information, such as the waitlist for each home, to help you with your decision. You need to visit the homes, do the research and figure out which ones match your needs and preferences.
You might be interested in this CBC Kitchener-Waterloo news article about MPP Catherine Fife’s advocacy on behalf of an elderly couple that have been split apart due to the guidelines that govern both the LHIN and long term care providers.
How can Leave it to Kliever help?
We can meet with you before the assessment and help you be ready for the questions they will ask, and/or we are happy to stay with you during the assessment to take notes or ask about services you may not know to ask about.
The Case Coordinators I have worked with are caring, compassionate, knowledgeable people who are going to help you as best they can in the time they are allotted to interview you. They all have large caseloads with many people to visit, so we help you maximize the time you do have with them.
Leave it to Kliewer can also provide information on the attributes of the various homes to make it easier for you to pick your top choices. Not all long-term care homes operate in exactly the same way. There isn’t a Mcdonalds-like clone stamp that allows you to walk up to a menu and be sure you will get what you want. You can’t assume that every long-term care home offers the exact same menu of services and amenities.
As a professional, I have tendered for contracts with the LHIN back in the CCAC days, and worked with a wide variety of Case Coordinators, Occupational Therapists, physiotherapists, speech and language pathologists and other professionals. I have also spent my fair share of time in retirement and long-term care homes with various family members over the years and I know that you learn different things and have different priorities when visiting as a family than visiting as a professional.
I am 90 years old, why don’t I qualify for long-term care?
This really happened to my 90 year old Grandma. She was still in her own apartment and managing fairly well. Although she got tired more easily, she was still independent and able to do most things for herself and thus did not qualify for a Long Term Care facility.
It is important to remember that although your age is considered for the Care Coordinators, being old does not make you automatically eligible. There are a number of supports including getting help at home, moving to a place with some supports or moving to a retirement home.
Stay tuned for the next blog to find out more about these options, or contact Christine Kliever at Leave it to Kliever.