Where do I start?
You can scroll down the page or jump to one of the following
A good place to start
Finding out about long term care homes and community
Finding out about seniors' housing
Am I choosing the right option?
A good place to start
A visit to the family
physician may be a good place to start. He or she may
not understand all of the ins and outs of the long term care system, but
can determine if there is a particular health problem in evidence,
whether it is wise to continue living alone, or if some additional
support would be advisable. Further consultations with a geriatrician -
a physician specializing in the process of aging - or other specialists
may be recommended. Then it is time to begin to consider the appropriate
Start by taking a look at the OANHSS
member organizations (not-for-profit long term care homes, seniors'
housing, and community service agencies) in your area.
Finding out about long term care homes and
To find out about the community services and long term care homes in
your area, the place to begin is with your local Community Care
Access Centre. CCACs, as they are known, are not service
providers. Rather, they are “one stop shopping” centres to
help you connect with the services you need.
CCACs arrange for health and personal support services to be provided
in peoples' homes and arrange admissions to long term care homes. CCACs
also provide information and referrals to other community services
including supportive housing, meals-on-wheels, friendly visiting,
transportation services, adult day programs and caregiver respite
On January 1, 2007, CCACs underwent organizational changes that
aligned them with the geographic boundaries of the 14 Local Health
Integration Networks (LHINs) across the province. This reorganization
has enables CCACs to provide improved access to services through
consistent services and business practices and easing navigation for
clients within the health care system. In addition, it has
strengthened their capacity to meet the increasing demand for home care
Click here to locate your CCAC
CCAC assessors - staff trained to assess each individual's
requirements - determine the eligibility of persons to receive
assistance for the services that CCACs can offer.
CCAC staff might suggest:
Admission to an Adult Day
Centre a few mornings a week. Often these programs,
which help not only the quality of life of the client, but which give
needed relief to caregivers, are to be found in community centres, long
term care homes, or even in shopping malls, run by not-for-profit
Respite Care (usually
referred to as a “Short Stay
programs, often found in long term care homes, allow the client - or
even, sometimes the caregiver - to be away from the usual demanding home
situation for a few days.
Homecare - this
program can supply certain hours of care in the person’s home,
including basic assistance with daily living, giving help with a bath,
some meal preparation, etc.
Admission application to a Long Term
Care Home / Nursing
Home - when help in the community is no longer adequate,
care in a long term care home is usually the next step.
CCACs cannot help with applications for housing or retirement home
options, but they are often able to make suggestions about them. The
local CCAC can give details about what is provided in the vicinity.
on long term care homes...
Finding out about seniors'
There is a wide range of housing options for seniors but you have to
do a little digging to find out what is available in your community. A
good place to start is You may want to investigate the following:
includes non-profit, public and co-operative housing. The purpose is to
provide affordable housing for seniors, families and single people with
low to moderate incomes. Municipal governments are now responsible for
funding and administering all social housing through a body referred to
as Service Managers
. Service Managers are also
responsible for managing a centralized waiting list for people looking
to get into social housing. There are 47 Service Managers
across the province - contact your local
municipal government to find out about social housing in your
provides supports to help people to live independently in the community.
If you know of a seniors' building in your area that offers support
services contact them directly for information on how to get on the
waiting list. Otherwise, the best place to start is your local Community
Care Access Centre (see above
Life Lease Housing
relatively new housing option that is somewhat similar to condominium
style living but residents neither rent nor own the unit - they purchase
a "right to occupy" - most life lease projects are operated by
not-for-profits. There is no centralized list of projects - check your
local phone book or take a look at the list of OANHSS housing members
in your area.
More on seniors' housing...
Am I choosing the right
Whether one of the several housing options appeals, whether a day
program would suffice, whether a long term care home is the likely next
step, be certain that you visit the agency or home. You will get a feel
from that visit about the atmosphere, about the staffing, about the way
the clientele react to staff and to each other, about the programs
offered, and about how welcomed you feel during the visit. You may want
to take a look at our suggested checklist of questions to consider when visiting
Between your own physician’s diagnosis and the assessment of
the CCAC case manager, the decision about the correct services required
should be accurate for the moment. Remember that situations
change. The appropriate service today may not be right three months down
the line. The professionals involved in each situation will advise if it
seems to be in your best interest to find another option.
If you live in one part of the province, and wish to bring a family
member closer to you from another area of the country, you may certainly
do so. Admission is not restricted to persons residing in the immediate
area of the home.
Even if, in an emergency situation, or because of long waiting lists
in programs or homes, choices are being made for you that are not your
first choice, you have every right to request an eventual move to the
home you select.