It is strongly recommended that you or someone you trust to make appointments to visit the Long-Term Care Homes you are considering before you make a final decision.
What should you look for? This list is a good place to start:
1. Is the staff friendly, warm and concerned?
2. Do residents look content and well cared for?
3. Is there a tone of dignity and respect for the residents?
4. Is the home convenient for family and friends to visit?
5. Are there areas in the home where you can visit privately?
6. Is public or volunteer transportation available?
7. Is there flexibility around visiting hours?
8. What are the rules regarding vacation and leaves?
9. Do the activities at the home sound interesting and appealing?
10. Are family members involved in planning for the resident’s care?
11. Does the home support a Family Council?
12. Is the home able/willing to meet your religious, cultural, language and dietary needs?
13. Are there choices at mealtimes (e.g., menu, location, times)?
14. Can residents bring in their own food?
15. Can you arrange to sample a meal or participate in an activity at the home?
16. What are the policies around smoking, non-smoking and alcoholic beverages?
17. Is your family doctor able to continue providing care?
18. What special needs can the home accommodate (e.g., oxygen, scooters, electric wheelchairs)?
19. Can you bring your own furnishings?
20. Is there an option to keep your personal belongings secure (e.g., lockable drawers)?
21. Does the home require that clothing be labeled prior to moving in?
22. How is billing arranged?
23. What are the extra charges, if any, for personal needs and services?
24. Is the home accredited?
25. Have you checked the Facility Review Summary Report available at www.health.gov.on.ca?
If you have any questions as you narrow down your choices, talk to your CCAC Case Manager. They have experience helping others with this process and can share valuable advice.
You may also want to contact Concerned Friends of Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities, a volunteer organization that can provide a more extensive checklist for selecting a Long-Term Care Home. You can reach them at 416-489-0146.
For more information about standards, funding and legislation, and to search for a long-term care home in a particular area, visit our Long-Term Care Directory.