Ask the Expert - Questions on Senior Housing

My Grandma lives in BC. We want to move her to Alberta into a Seniors self contained facility. She would be considered low income. Does she qualify for the Alberta Seniors' Self-contained Housing Program even though she is not a resident of Alberta?
Thank you

Please refer to this answer: https://www.seniorszen.com/faq#t22n1021

Best regards,
SeniorsZen.com Support

Your mother will apply for a publicly-funded nursing home via the caseworker assigned to her current residence. You must first do some homework about what nursing homes you’d like to include in the application. There are many great sources to help evaluate a nursing home – check out https://checklist.com/nursing-home-checklist/.

You will likely be asked to provide a short list of 3-7 target homes for the application. The caseworker can advise regarding wait lists. However provinces usually have a 3-month residency requirement before an application can be made – check with Alberta’s ministry of health to be sure you have all this information before proceeding. Visit http://www.health.alberta.ca/AHCIP/moving-to-Alberta.html; among other details, the site states:

If you have moved to Alberta and intend to be a resident* for 12 months or more, you must apply for Alberta Health Care Insurance within 3 months of your arrival in Alberta. While waiting to receive your Alberta Personal Health Card and until it becomes effective, continue to use your health card from your previous province or territory when accessing insured health services.

IMPORTANT – Not all health services are covered outside your original province or territory and not all insured services are the same. You may have to pay out of pocket for some health services and submit a claim for reimbursement to your original province or territory. We suggest contacting your current health insurance office to inquire whether certain services are covered after you move and to confirm how to receive reimbursement for services paid.

In the interim, work with the residence to add more care, probably at your own expense, from an agency; ask the residence for suggested agencies (they likely use agencies and can recommend).

Pat M. Irwin, BA, AICB, CPCA 

President, ElderCareCanada 

Professor, Distance Learning, Centennial College 

www.eldercarecanada.ca 

I am looking for a room rental for severe disability patient paralysis in British-Columbia. I realize that most Nursing Homes are for elderly people with Alzheimer's, deficit cognitive etc... too much confusion for me because with me is a 37 year old. Our current solution is to rent a private room outside and everyday, a PSW comes to me. Do we have other options?

Best regards,

Services of all kinds for persons of disability are handled by the provincial ministry of health. In this case, contact the Ministry of Health for British Columbia under its ‘services for persons with disabilities’

Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Regulation - Province of British Columbia 

 

Pat M. Irwin, BA, AICB, CPCA 

President, ElderCareCanada 

Professor, Distance Learning, Centennial College 

www.eldercarecanada.ca 

My Grandparent’s would like to move back to Alberta from BC as their health has significantly decrease. They currently live on their own with Home-Care coming in at least 4 times per day. The social worker told us my Nana needs a Nursing home and we will not separate them. My question is, how does one facilitate this move from independent living to a Nursing/assisted living in another province when most places have a waiting period of 6-12 months? None of our family members in Alberta have the capacity to care for them on a full-time basis during this waiting period. They are also limited in mobility (unable to do stairs) even if we arranged home care in Alberta, none of my family has a home that can accommodate this need as well.

This is a common, and very heartbreaking problem.

Firstly, to apply for long-term care in another province entails becoming enrolled in Alberta's  health care system. This usually requires a residency period of at least 3 months; check the Alberta Ministry of Health's website.

This, then, means your grandparents will need to move to Alberta first, live there for a few months until they qualify for an Alberta health card, then make their application via the ministry of health. They then join a waiting list for the type of nursing home and level of care they require. The fact that they must stay together may - or may not - hasten their progress on the waiting list; it just depends on what's available in the geographical area, and for the type of care they require.

They will therefore require interim care in Alberta which would not yet be covered by Alberta's health services. Professional care would cost about $25/hour, usually with a 3-hour minimum, so if you add up the number of hours they are getting ' four times a day', you can calculate the type of cost it will be. There is also the cost of moving them, possibly equipping someone's home for them, care supplies, etc.

One option would be to arrange a 'respite stay' in an Alberta retirement home - which are private and therefore have less of a waiting list, in the area you want them to live in. Be sure the home can manage their level of care. They could stay there, waiting out the waiting list. Be sure it's affordable - respite stays are usually priced by the day at $100-$150 per day.

I wish there were easy answers here – there aren't. I would suggest that you study the Alberta ministry of health website information carefully and find out exactly how feasible this plan is for your chosen district and for their level of health. This may entail getting a written report from the social worker who stated that long-term care was required. 

Very best of luck to you and your family.

Pat M. Irwin, BA, AICB, CPCA 
President, ElderCareCanada 
Professor, Distance Learning, Centennial College 
www.eldercarecanada.ca 
416-487-6248

A person who is ‘bedridden’ would have to be assessed for their official medical status, but would likely require admission to a nursing home.

Nursing homes or centres d'hébergement et de soins de longue durée (CHSLD), as they are called in Quebec, are residential facilities that provide 24-hour professional nursing care and supervision in a protective, supportive environment for people who have complex care needs and can no longer be cared for in their own homes.

In the province of Quebec, admission to subsidized nursing homes or beds are managed by Local Community Service Centres / Centres locaux de service communautaire (CLSC). If a client currently living at home wants to apply for admission into a CHSLD, he/she must contact their local CLSC (listed in the Yellow Pages or online). A relative or friend can also make the request for admission on his/her behalf. In the case of a client who is hospitalized, the hospital will undertake the request of admission into a CHSLD on the client’s behalf.

A social worker or nurse from the CLSC will conduct an assessment of the client’s physical and mental capacities. A medical evaluation is also undertaken by the client’s doctor. To be eligible for admission into a CHSLD, an individual must:

  • be 18 years or older
  • be a resident of Quebec
  • be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status
  • have diminished autonomy due to aging or physical or mental handicaps as identified by the assessment

An income/asset test is not a standard element of the assessment conducted by the CLSC.

However, if a client cannot afford the costs of a nursing home, he/she may apply to the

Régie de l’assurance maladie du Quebec (Health Insurance Board of Quebec) or the RAMQ for review and decision.

Monthly Costs:

Wards (3 beds or more) - $1,125.90

Semi-Private Room - $1,514.40

Private Room - $1,811.40

Medical care, nursing (when it is provided by the CHSLD) and medicines are free and covered under the provincial health plan. Residents co-pay for personal items such as toiletries, hair care, personal laundry, incontinence products, personal hygiene products.

 

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

There are unlimited options for retirement living in the area that you mention. However we need to clarify your request.

Retirement residences in Ontario are governed by the Ontario RHA (Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority - www.rhra.ca) and are most commonly rental arrangements under the provincial landlord-tenant legislation. Rent is paid monthly with a deposit of one month’s rent, which is refunded when the resident leaves, which may be at any time with 60-day’s notice.

The type of retirement living wherein resident purchase their units is called a life-lease; residents purchase the unit at a price derived by the retirement community, live in it, then when they want to sell, may only sell back to the retirement community. The seller then gains (or loses) when the unit is re-sold.

More and more retirement communities are offering life-lease arrangements. They usually apply to seniors wanting a more independent lifestyle. Check the many retirement residence directories, such as thecareguide.com or senioropolis.com to find these residences in the GTA/Hamilton area.

With regard to amenities, life-lease suites are incorporated into the retirement residence community, so all amenities are available to life-lease residents. Details about amenities will be given in the guides suggested above, and typically include social activities, recreation areas, pub nights, excursion bus, fitness centres and an onsite medical centre.

 

Pat M. Irwin, BA, AICB, CPCA, ElderCare Consultant
Pat Irwin is President of ElderCareCanada.

I'm an active independent 68 yr senior with a dog. I want to move from a small town in BC to Calgary to be near my best friend and my cousins. In Calgary subsidized housing will not allow pets. Can I live in a normal apt or townhouse paying 30 percent of my income and then apply SAFER? Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters. I know not all seniors live in senior housing. I do not at this time want to live there. Can I apply for housing in Non-Profit housing and apply SAFER?

A. The Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) program helps make rents affordable for BC seniors with low to moderate incomes. SAFER provides monthly cash payments to subsidize rents for eligible BC residents who are age 60 or over and who pay rent for their homes. The cash is electronically deposited into their bank accounts.

For similar subsidized housing in Alberta, apply to Alberta Housing Authority – check http://www.seniors-housing.alberta.ca/housing/ for the office in your area.

i)For example, you may qualify for Direct to Tenant Rent Supplement Program

This is a subsidy paid directly to an eligible tenant to assist with their rental costs, delivered by local housing operators (management bodies) located in various areas throughout the province. The Subsidy is based on the difference between 30 percent of a household's income and an agreed upon market rent, to a maximum subsidy established by the housing operator.

  • Applicant must meet the 2014 Core Need Income Thresholds and citizenship requirements (e.g. have been an Alberta resident for 12 months or more;
  • Priority for assistance will be based on assisting those in greatest need first.

If you are having difficulties finding a housing provider, or there is no housing provider in your area, please contact your nearest Housing Development and Operations office below:

  • Edmonton: 780-422-0122 (dial 310-0000 for toll-free access in Alberta)
  • Calgary: 403-297-7453

ii)You may qualify for Seniors' Self-contained Housing Program

This program provides apartment type accommodation to low and moderate-income seniors who are functionally independent with or without the assistance of existing community based services.  A tenant's rent, which includes heat, water and sewer expenses, is based on 30 percent of a household's adjusted income. The tenant is responsible for electricity, telephone and cable television, plus additional services such as parking.

Senior citizens whose income falls below local limits (refer to 2016 Core Need Income Thresholds document referenced above) and who are functionally independent, with or without the help of existing community based services are eligible.  Applicants are prioritized on the basis of need. 

For more information please call 780-422-0122. Note that if you are receiving one type of subsidy, it is unlikely that you will be eligible for an additional subsidy on top of the first one.

This information is accurate at the time of writing, August 2016.

 

Pat M. Irwin, BA, AICB, CPCA 

President, ElderCareCanada 
Professor, Distance Learning, Centennial College 
[email protected] 
www.eldercarecanada.ca 
416 487-6248

 

 

i)Qualifying by health need, not income

An applicant for long-term care in Alberta contact their local community care access centre to arrange for an assessment visit. At that visit the home care nurses will assess the applicant’s health status and care needs. Admission to long-term care is based on health care status and needs only, NOT by income or assets. A person may be wealthy but have health and care needs that require the care levels provided by long-term care.

ii)Long-term care costs

Alberta Health sets the maximum accommodation charge in designated supportive living and long-term care.

In designated supportive living and long-term care, accommodation charges may be fully or partly covered for residents who are eligible for the Alberta Seniors Benefit or clients of the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped program.

Maximum accommodation charges for long-term care and designated supportive living are:

Effective July 1, 2016 (based on 3% increase from previous year)

Room Type

Daily

Adjustment

Avg. Monthly

Adjustment

Private room

$64.10

$1.85/day

$1,950

$57/month

Semi-private

$55.45

$1.60/day

$1,687

$49/month

Standard

$52.65

$1.55/day

$1,601

$47/month

iii)Financing long-term care costs

How an applicant chooses to pay for the accommodation costs is entirely up to them. Looking at the costs in the table above, most seniors would be able to finance these costs from their government or company pensions. Whether or not long-term care residents sell their homes and assets to finance these costs depends on their financial situation. As mentioned above, subsidies are available if applicants qualify for Alberta Seniors Benefit or are in the Severely Handicapped program.

For further information, contact Alberta Health Services Community Care Access at 780-496-1300.

This information is correct as at the time of writing, August 2016.

Pat M. Irwin, BA, AICB, CPCA 

President, ElderCareCanada 
Professor, Distance Learning, Centennial College 
[email protected] 
www.eldercarecanada.ca 
416 487-6248

Hi,

According to landlord tenant regulations in BC,  notice still has to be given, and the terms of the tenancy continue, so according to them,  you would have to pay till the end of the month.  Often a  community will refund money when a new tenant moves in. Some communities will ask for a month notice from the time of death ( as opposed, say, if someone dies on the 7th of month, then waiting until the first of the following month to give the notice).  But the bottom line is, you are responsible for the contract/lease.   

If you would like to follow it up further  604-660-1020 is the residential tenancy branch of the government of BC.     Their web address is http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies

There is also BC Senior Living Association: 604-689-5949 who could advise you.

Regards,

Peter Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC
Diamond Geriatrics Counsellor-Coach
Elderpost.com
288 West 8th Ave Vancouver, BC V5Y 1S6
604-874-7764
778-885-5695 Cell
www.DiamondGeriatrics.com
www.counsellor-coach.ca
www.elderpost.com

We lived in a seniors low cost housing complex and relocated and are damage deposit will not be returned, the damage that the maintenance person said we did are not true...what can we do to get this damage deposit back?

Hi,

You do not say which province you are in, but wherever you are there is most likely a residential tenancy department in the provincial government. They can help you with this. There may also be a local legal clinic where you can get some help. You can also try a provincial elder abuse service.

Regards,

Peter S. Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC
Counsellor-Coach
Diamond Geriatrics
Elderpost.com
www.Counsellor-Coach.ca
www.DiamondGeriatrics.com
www.Elderpost.com 2
88 West 8th Ave. Vancouver, BC V5Y 1S6
604-874-7764
778-885-5695 Cell

I have an inheritance coming but it will be less than $100,000. I have found it difficult to stay in rented rooms. I do not have very good social skills although I do have a college education. At 57 years of age, am I too young to apply for assisted living. On $900.00 per month for disability insurance, I cannot find housing that I need. I have applied to BC Housing and presently I am homeless. Would it be a good idea to consider assisted housing or retirement housing?

You would most likely qualify for various seniors housing, as many of them start at 55. You would have to apply directly to many of them as they are not all through BC Housing. Look on www.seniorsservicessociety.ca for some in your area. You might qualify for publicly funded assisted living. I would suggest you talk to an assessor in your Health Authority area and see if they would consider waitlisting you for assisted living, which is according to income.

Peter S. Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC
Counsellor-Coach
Diamond Geriatrics
Elderpost.com
www.Counsellor-Coach.ca
www.DiamondGeriatrics.com
www.Elderpost.com
288 West 8th Ave.
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1S6
604-874-7764
778-885-5695 Cell

I normally charge rent on this suite at $1100 a month. My Sister will pay $400 as this would be what the Government would charge her if she lived in a subsidized suite. Thank you for you time. Lynzie Pilfold

I do not know directly of any programmes that do that, but there are benefits programmes that you might be eligible for. For instance, in some provinces, if an older person pays a certain amount as related to their income, up to a maximum, then they may be eligible for a refund. So for instance, if your sister paid $800.00 per month, and her income were $20,000, then she might be eligible for a grant that would cover some of that. Those numbers are just grabbed out of the air to give you an example. Also, make sure she receives all the benefits she might be entitled to, such as disability tax credits, etc. and that might help you adjust the rate. There is the family caregiver benefit, but that does not seem to fit your situation. My best advice in this situation is always to contact the seniors' information branch/website of your province or your accountant.

Regards,

Peter S. Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC  
Diamond Geriatrics
Elderpost.com
www.DiamondGeriatrics.com
www.Elderpost.com
288 West 8th Ave.
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1S6
604-874-7764
778-885-5695 Cell
 

Interesting idea, but I have not heard about it, and I would doubt. There would be a lot of paperwork involved and also would mean finding a doctor who would be responsible for care in another facility and staff who would have to write up a care plan, etc. However, best thing to do is ask the Social Worker or Administrator. If they do not know, they can refer you to the person who is responsible for their facility at VIHA. You are allowed to take someone out of a facility for a holiday on your own for a holiday. There also may be privately funded places that would agree to take someone for a week or more. I have heard of people taking someone for a holiday to a hotel and hiring their own caregivers for that period, or even going on a cruise.

If you do decide to take your wife out on a holiday, make sure to review all of her care needs and make sure that wherever you are taking her, someone is available to meet her needs.

Regards,

Peter S. Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC
Diamond Geriatrics
Elderpost.com
www.DiamondGeriatrics.com
www.Elderpost.com
288 West 8th Ave.
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1S6
604-874-7764
778-885-5695 Cell

Veterans affairs will sometimes pay for personal care services or practical services. They may pay for partial costs of housing associated with care, but it depends on the individual. Also, there are some British veterans who can access benefits. To find out specifically, you would have to call Veterans Affairs and they would point you in the direction, most likely of a case manager who would authorize services. Veterans will also pay for a physiotherapist or occupational therapist services at times, depending on need and the individual's service. See their website, http://www.veterans.gc.ca/ for information and contact numbers as well as for more information on the services and support they provide.

Regards,

Peter S. Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC
Diamond Geriatrics
www.DiamondGeriatrics.com
288 West 8th Ave. Vancouver, BC V5Y 1S6
604-874-7764
778-885-5695 Cell

I have a student who has been diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum ..while having strong skills in many areas.. his communication and social/independent skills are lacking ... an assisted living or independent living arrangement would appear to be a good option. Other living options are generally made available to those with much lower cognitive abilities.

In at least some provinces, residential facilities are allowed to set a minimum age for admission. Some assisted living, supportive/independent living, and care facilities do specify a minimum age for admission. It can sometimes be as low as 55. They sometimes make exceptions for a younger spouse or other individual circumstances. Admission is oftentimes considered on need rather than age, for instance someone with a disability or early onset Alzheimer’s would fit within the parameters of this housing. Residences in the private sector, where there is no subsidy from the government, are more apt to have a stricter set of admission requirements. They look to make sure that they can handle the needs of someone who is applying and also whether they think there is a good fit with their vision and current population. The public sector generally has a wider latitude who they will accept, e.g. less based firmly on age, and more on need. For restrictions and what is legal in your province, you would have to check with the seniors or housing area.

Peter S. Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC
Diamond Geriatrics
Elderpost.com
www.DiamondGeriatrics.com
www.Elderpost.com
288 West 8th Ave.
Vancouver, BC V5Y 1S6
604-874-7764
778-885-5695 Cell

 

My mother is in an independent living seniors building where they provide 3 meals a day and linen/housekeeping services. She moved in in April 2013 and signed a rental agreement. She does not receive a monthly statement so we do not know how the rent/meals/services are broken down. We gave 30 days notice recently however a friend told us that she only has to give 10 days notice for meals/housekeeping. How can I find out if this is true and how do I go about making sure this happens. She is on direct debit so I am concerned they will take the full amount. Thank you.

Hi,

I have never heard of that kind of arrangement before, where the notice for meals and housekeeping is less than the notice to vacate the premises. Generally, the monthly rental price is inclusive of all basic services. For independent living that includes meals (which may be one to three per day, depending on the residence) and light housekeeping, meaning once a week. Additional services that you request, for instance if someone needs help with a bath are generally not included in the monthly rent and can be stopped whenever you wish.

I would look in the rental agreement and see what it says. I would also talk to your friend and ask where that information comes from, and then I would talk to the marketing people at the residence. Ask your bank how to put a stop to the direct debit for the month.

Kind regards,

Peter Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC

The minimum monthly rates are based on single occupancy.

Regards,
SeniorsZen.com Support

A friend of mine wanted to Volunteer at a Complex that is in a Union in B.C. She was told that they do not allow volunteers in a Union run facility. Is this true?

Hi,

Well, the best thing to do is to call the facility individually and ask what their policy is. My experience is generally that unions are happy to have people volunteering as long as they are not doing work that is done by a union member or covered by a union contract. Having said that, it is generally at the facility level. For example, you could not serve food in a unionized dining room most likely, but you could serve food to your relative. You could not generally be on hand to change residents, but you could help one to whom you are related or acting in the capacity of a companion. I have seen volunteers run programmes with the programme department even though they are often staffed through union personnel.

So, all in the details, and wonderful that you want to volunteer. The warmth and caring volunteers give truly can make a difference.

Regards,

Peter Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC

I believe there are both options, but for those kind of details you would have to check them out individually. You might also want to look at tax implications and benefits to each. I have not seen such a rating service.

Peter S. Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC
Diamond Geriatrics
www.DiamondGeriatrics.com

My father presently lives at first place seniors residence but the care here is not quite enough for him, so this is our first step enquiring into a seniors residence where he has nurses, caregivers and assistance with your day to day living. he's currently on pension and has an income I am enquiring about financial assistance how he would qualify or go about receiving financial assistance to get him into a senior residence.

If there is any information that you can provide to me as to how I begin the process I would greatly appreciate it.

Sincerely
Ann

HI,

Really you are looking at your father going into a nursing home.  The best people to contact would be the local seniors care  care providers or the community care access centre nearest to your father. Alternatively, often people at the Alzheimers Society have some information on that..  You might want to call the Ontario Seniors Secretariat at http://www.seniors.gov.on.ca/en/index.php.   You don't say what his income is beyond his pension so I cannot tell you if he would  be able to afford private care or not. Most private nursing homes cost between 4,000 and 6,000.00 per month minimum.

Best wishes,

Peter Silin
Peter S. Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC Diamond Geriatrics
www.DiamondGeriatrics.com
 

I am  not sure exactly what you mean by retirement, in terms of services you need or other parameters such as costs  but here is quick list of what I  found in the area:

EARL HAIG SOCIETY
1800 Austin Ave.
Coquitlam, BC V3J 1S4, Ph: 604-937-3790 Area: COQUITLAM
Provider: Royal Canadian Legion Branch #178
Cost: No cost

FOYER MAILLARD
1010 Alderson Ave.
Coquitlam, BC V3K 1W1, Ph: 604-937-5578 Area: COQUITLAM
Provider: Societe du Foyer Maillard
Cost: $1,232+/m

ROSEWOOD COTTAGE
11742-225 St.
Maple Ridge, BC V2X 6E4, Ph: 604-463-1078 Area: MAPLE RIDGE
Provider: No Provider provided
Cost: $1150+/m

SUNWOOD MATURE LIVING COMMUNITY
12241 - 224th Street
Maple Ridge, BC V2X 6B9, Ph: 604-463-5527 Area: MAPLE RIDGE
Provider: No Provider provided
Cost: $1,595-$2,750

WILLOW MANOR
12275 224th St.
Maple Ridge, BC V2X 6H5, Ph: 604-466-8602 Area: MAPLE RIDGE
Provider: Chartwell REIT
Cost: $2100+/m

Peter S. Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC
Diamond Geriatrics
www.DiamondGeriatrics.com
 

Ito calculate affordability, I have to look forward to increases in rents etc after moving to a retirement home as part of our budget for my wife and myself.

It depends on what you mean by retirement home. If you are talking about a building for seniors or restricted by age simply, then they are usually covered by the provincial landlord tenant regulations. This would be for rent only. If you are talking about private assisted living and nursing homes, they may or may not be covered by provincial regulations. Publicly funded nursing homes and assisted living do have restrictions on what they can charge and their increases, but it is not via the landlord tenant legislation usually, but by the provincial body charged with regulating the facilities in general. For services in private homes my guess is you are pretty much out of luck in terms of having any restrictions on increases in fees for services.

The best thing to do is to call landlord tenant agency in your province. You could also call your provincial ombudsperson. Finally, you could call the health authority in your area and ask them if the particular residence is covered.

Regards,
Peter S. Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC

i live in brampton, i took in a homeless man 82, called peel to help him was told there is a waiting list for assistance, that i would be better off putting him back on the street for him to get help, icannot do this. but i can only help for a couple more months. he get old age and cpp. but out of this he said he has to pay his ex wife 500. i really dont know were to get him help.

Hi,

 A few ways to approach this, and my thoughts:. One, if he is only getting OAS ( Old Age Security) and CPP, he should not be paying his wife $500  per month. Something does not sound  right there.  Second,  you can bring him to a shelter or at least call the shelters and ask them if they can help.  Third, you can call the local Peel  health unit  which is responsible for seniors and housing, and get their help.  Fourth, if none of those produces results, call the newspaper. Fifth, if  he was on the street for a while, he knows how to survive. You can simply tell him he has one month to find himself something, after which he will have to leave. 

What was there that made you take him in?  If there is a health issue, you can also bring him down to the local hospital emergency ward, and then he becomes their problem.  Most likely he would be known to them. 

Kind regards,

Peter Silin

 

We have several Assisted Living Residences in Calgary listed in our directory.

You can also find more information about Designated Assisted Living (DAL) facilities in Alberta here: http://www.albertahealthservices.ca .

Regards,

SeniorsZen.com Support

2ndly, if we change provinces will we still be entitled to health care? We live in Calgary but are thinking of going to bc.

Hi,

You may have to go through a waiting period before you are eligible for medical services when you change provinces.  Generally, there is a reciprocal agreeement so that  coverage is continuous. The best thing, for the details is to contact  your Health Authority in Calgary.

Regards,

Peter
Peter S. Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC

RETIREMENT HOMES FOR THE ELDERLY – CHOOSE WISELY! (From an article I wrote for local newspapers)
Before moving into a retirement home, it is very important to determine what the annual increase in rent will be. For instance, the Mulberry Independent Living Estates in Moose Jaw, owned and operated by Holiday Retirement, an American company, increases the rent annually to as much as 6.1%. This results in an increase of $195 per month for a one bedroom suite at an average rent of $3,000. The residents are extraordinary people who worked hard for many years to make a living, raise a family, contribute to their communities, pay taxes, save, invest wisely and prepare for old age. With the annual exorbitant increases in rent, how long can they remain independent? The Mulberry has been holding various events this year to entice new renters but still have a number of vacancies. It is obvious that its reputation of annual high rental increases has deterred many from moving there.
The elderly people living in the Mulberry Estates are not taking a “holiday”; it is their home. It is a first class establishment with a caring workforce and many amenities. However, corporations should not be allowed to gouge those who live in retirement homes such as the Mulberry. It is more and more difficult to earn investment dollars, and those on a fixed income cannot afford the ever increasing rent. The residents at the Mulberry feel trapped and have no other recourse but to pay or leave. Where will they go? The provincial and federal governments are facing a great dilemma in the costs of support for the elderly now and in the future. Since the elderly are no longer employable, the rental rates should not be compared to market rental prices. The logical solution would be to charge a fair and equitable rent to the present and future residents for the duration of their stay.

Hi,

First thing to do is check whatever contract you may have signed to see what they say.  This  would include looking at what  they have in costs for services. Second thing is to  contact your provincial  government residential tenancy/landlord tenancy branch to see if the residence is covered under the provincial legislation. They may be and that may trump whatever is in your contract from the residence.  If there is a provincial Ombudsperson, their office may be able to help negotiate something. If the residence is  publicly funded, there is most likely nothing you can do.  Find out how they estimate charges and make sure that your individual charges  fall within the guidelines that have been set.

In the end, some seniors residences are  not included under any protective legislation and they are free to do as they wish. Unfortunately,

Kind regards,

Peter Silin

She may qualify for some benefits  in terms of tax relief which, while not a direct subsidy could leave her with additional  disposable income at  the end of the year.
As for subsidies, it depends on what province she is in. For British Columbia there is SAFER--Shelter Aid for ElderResidents http://www.bchousing.org/Initiatives/Providing/SAFER.  You could contact the local health authority for some additional information  or even often the Alzheimer's Society has provincial information on this.

Be aware that in Assisted Living costs can increase with care needed, so you should be aware of how those costs will increase if your mother's condition deteriorates.  Care charges are often calculated on a per  task or number of minutes needed and can go up by levels. 

Kind regards,

Peter Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC

Complaints that food is usually covered with some sickly sweet & sour sauce, meat is tough, very fatty, or freezer burnt. Very often the residents in mom's dining room throw out half of their meals due to poor quality. This is on- going. Once the cook was even in tears because quality of food was so bad & she had no choice but to cook & serve it. Samples of food has been taken to the part- time manager who has said she would not eat it either. I worry that these folks are not getting enough usable protein & other important nutrients. Please help. Wendy

Depending on the province there is differing overseeing of  assisted living facilities. If it is not a true assisted living, and more of independent living, there might be less you can do.  Try to find out  who is responsible in the province or health authority.

Peter Silin

Currently we don't have any partners in Kitchener. The closest location would be Paris, Ontario.

Regards,
SeniorsZen.com Support

You can click here to contact our partner that can help you with your request in Missisauga area.

Regards,
SeniorsZen.com Support

Hi, all residences that we work with are listed on our website.

Regards,

SeniorsZen.com Support

We also dislike the idea of being in a Senior Ghetto.

Hi,

Honestly, it is hard to know what to think when I know so little about you.

Depending on where you live,  assisted living may be  covered or partially covered by  your province through your local health area.  However,  if you are both healthy enough to drive to Mexico every year, I  would question whether you need Assisted Living. There are other types of seniors housing providing different kinds of services.  Independent or Supportive housing provides meals and housekeeping once a week, recreation, and a call system. Assisted living provides help with personal care.  So my question for you is, and for you to ask your children:  what is it that they think you need?  Also discuss with them why they think you need this.  What is it that they see or are concerned about  for you?  Why is this coming up now?  It may be that they are just worried that something will happen, and they want to make sure you are in a  situation where you are safe. Maybe they are just worried. And maybe  they see something that you do not.

This may be a good time for you to sit down with your children and discuss the future, and  talk about the "what happens if" questions, such as  what happens if one of you needs some kind of care or support, or both of you do and how will you go about finding it.   An income of 3,000.00 may cover some kind of seniors housing and there are  often provincial subsidies in the various provinces. Do a little bit of research by calling the provincial health unit near where you live, and find out what you can about the various types and costs of seniors housing that are available. Also, learn about other supports that might be available if you need them in future.

Kind regards,

Peter Silin

Independent living (housing) is also sometimes called supportive living or housing. It generally means that there are meals available in the facility, as well as recreation, light housekeeping once a week and an emergency call system. The meal plan may be one meal a day up to all three or some variation. There is no personal care available at this level of housing.

Assisted living provides the same services as independent/supportive living, but there is also personal care available. These services will include personal laundry, help with bathing, help with dressing, medication reminders. There may be a nurse supervising the care provided, but there is no nursing care available. Assisted living is often regulated by the province in which it is found and they must adhere to the standards of those regulations. If you are looking at Assisted Living, ask about how it is regulated in your province, and who the regulator or regulating office is.

In the private system, you may find housing that has both options available. You could go in not needing help, but if your abilities decline, then you can buy extra services as you need them. The charges may be determined on a pay by the service plan, or by the amount of help you need in terms of time. When looking at seniors housing, always ask if they have these options, and what additional costs may be. Also be sure to ask at what point they would determine that your needs are great enough so that they can no longer meet them, and would ask you to move. This is a real and frequent occurrence in Seniors Housing.

Peter Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC

There is a huge variation in the wait times for seniors housing.  It depends on whether they are publicly  or privately funded, which province they are in, an where in the province, and the type of housing your are looking at. 

For instance, if you are looking for publicly funded, subsidized homes there is generally a wait list.  Depending on the urgency and the availability of all  housing,  you could be admitted within a few weeks or it could take up to a couple years or more.    Privately  funded housing  depending on where you live can be available within a month or two. If you are in a rural area and there is only one type of facility that fits your needs, it could take a lot longer.

The first thing to do is contact your local health provider in your province.  The second thing is to determine what  type of housing you are looking for--independent (or supportive) housing, assisted living, or a nursing home?  Some provinces have smaller group homes and other options available.

Peter Silin, MSW, RSW, CCC