Is it possible to move my mom from Edmonton to Winnipeg she is in a hospital in Edmonton and has been assessed as needing permanent care. She has only lived in Edmonton for a couple years and the rest of her life in Winnipeg.

We need to get my mom home as it is only my sister in Edmonton and is overwhelmed the rest of the family is here and can spend more time with mom in personal care.

Yes, you can indeed move your mom but here are some very important things to check out first:


1. level of care required


Confirm what ‘permanent care’ really means in this case. Is it 24/7 heavy care, or does it just mean that Mom cannot live alone with no supervision. What are her personal care needs, can she wash and dress herself, feed herself, go to the bathroom alone or does she need help? Can she walk without assistance, or if not, is a walker enough, or is it a wheelchair? All these details allow you to research appropriate housing in Winnipeg.


2. provincial health care coverage


Check the Manitoba ministry of health’s website to see when health coverage can begin, and until then, how the two provinces reimburse each other for health care while out of province. If necessary, look into private health care coverage for the interim.


3. availability of suitable care and housing in Winnipeg


Based on what you’ve learned in Step 1, are you looking for long-term care in a nursing home, or assisted living in a retirement home? Nursing homes cater to heavier care needs and are usually funded by the provincial ministry of health. Retirement homes are usually privately owned and cater to more independent living, with extra personal care and nursing in their ‘assisted living’ areas.


4. wait lists if publicly funded – with Plan B for waiting and its costs


Because nursing homes are publicly funded, their cost is about $2,000 per month for a private room, and the fee includes all meals, activities and care. Retirement homes are more costly, with the suite starting at $3,800 and additional costs for care ranging from $500-$1,000 a month.


Because of their affordability, nursing homes often have waiting lists of 4-12 months. If the home you are interested in has this type of waiting list, you will have to develop a plan to either leave your mother where she is, or make alternate plans, such as bringing her to your home with care, or into a retirement home, until a nursing home spot becomes available. You will have to be very specific about the costs involved and be sure they are affordable for the time limit you expect.


Pat M. Irwin, BA, AICB, CPCA
President, ElderCareCanada
Professor, Distance Learning, Centennial College