Negotiating your way through the healthcare system can be complicated. This is especially true when considering a move from your home into a retirement home or long term care (LTC) facility. People often use these terms interchangeably which, of course, only adds to the confusion.

Where do you go? Which one is right for you?

While for many the obvious preference is to stay at home, if the time comes where a move is necessary, it is important that you understand your options. To that end, here are the primary differences between retirement homes and LTC. 

You don’t really decide to go into LTC 

To move into a retirement home, it is just a matter of finding one you like with space available. To move into LTC, you need to meet a set of requirements established by the government. If you are too healthy, you won’t get in. 

Retirement homes are not covered in Ontario

Retirement homes are not covered under the provincial health plan. You are responsible for rent and any required medical or nursing care. In LTC, all you pay is your accommodation. Medical and nursing are covered by the Ontario government. 

There are fewer restrictions in retirement homes

For the most part, you can continue independent living in retirement homes. While there will be rules and a few restrictions, for the most part, you will be able to come and go as you please. In LTC, you cannot just leave whenever you want, whatever length of time you want. There are different rules and schedules put in place for different situations but, the LTC facility is responsible for your care so they will be paying attention to your movements. 

For LTC, you’re likely to wait 

Unfortunately, there is a lengthy wait to get into LTC. Retirement homes have greater availability. Depending on your financial situation and health condition, you may be able to cover medical costs incurred in a retirement home. For many people, this waitlist may mean paying for home care or receiving hospital care until a bed opens in LTC. 

To make the best decisions, you need to have the information. Use this list to help streamline your process and find the care, support, and accommodation you both need and require. ,

At Heart to Heart, we are available to help you every step of the way. Whether you or your loved ones choose to stay at home, enter a retirement home, or require LTC, we can provide support and companionship before, during, and after the transition.