Deciding to go to a long-term care facility can be difficulty for you and your loved ones. Please see the following frequently asked questions which can help you as you go consider long-term care.
Preparing for long-term care
Can I visit some long-term care facilities before naming preferred homes on my application?
Yes, if you or your family would like to visit a long-term care facility, you should contact the social work department at the site you are interested in touring to arrange an appointment. Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate unplanned drop-in requests.
For a complete list of nursing homes and contact information, please see the long-term care sites page. Remember to ask lots of questions when you visit.
Can my ‘significant other’ be admitted to the same home as me?
If you are assessed as needing care in a long-term care facility, your spouse may apply for admission to the home with you. If there is another person with whom you have had a significant relationship and lived with most of your life, this person may also apply. If you feel this applies to you, discuss the options with your nurse or social worker.
There is no guarantee that you will both be offered a bed at the same time, in the same room or on the same unit within the home.
The social worker will assist your significant other with planning to return home or transfer to an appropriate unit and/or other care facility should you or your significant other’s circumstances change.
Who will be involved in my care?
An interdisciplinary care team will be involved in your care. The interdisciplinary care team consists of all the health providers involved in your care while at the nursing home. It may include nurses, social workers, physicians, pastoral care workers, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech language pathologist, psychologist, and dietitians, among others
Team meetings are held on a regular basis to assess your care and progress. A care plan is developed with you and includes all aspects of your care including your physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. You and/ or your family members are encouraged to participate. For a list of health providers who may participate in your care and a description of their roles, please see Your New Home in Long-Term Care: A Resident and Family Handbook (PDF).
What will it cost to live in a long-term care facility?
Upon your admission, you or your family will meet with either the financial assessment officer or the social worker to complete the ‘Provincial Financial Assessment’ form. This will help determine the cost of your boarding and lodging. Your board and lodging rate will be based on the standards set by the Provincial Department of Health and Community Services, Long-Term Care Facilities in Newfoundland and Labrador, Operational Standards and it is based on your gross income and any liquid assets you may have.
Board and lodging will be billed monthly by the financial services department. Various payment methods are available including pre-authorized debit. You may choose to have your pension cheques redirected to the financial services office.
Your financial reassessment will be completed annually but can be requested at any time should your financial circumstances change.
What about my taxes?
Yearly income tax returns must be completed when you reside in a long-term care facility. It is very beneficial for you to have your income tax return completed in a timely manner to ensure you receive the maximum benefits you are entitled to receive. You and your family are responsible for completing your tax return. Assistance may be provided through financial services.
What can I expect in the first few days?
We understand the difficulties of making a decision to move to a long-term care facility. It is often a difficult decision and the decision may have been troublesome for both you and your family. At this time in your life you may have suffered losses such as declining health or the death of your partner. You might feel sad or depressed. There are many things you and your family may do to help prepare for the move. A social worker is available in the home to provide support during this time. After time to settle in, most residents adjust well to life in their new home.
On the day you arrive, a team member such as the social worker or nurse, will greet you. Family members or friends should plan to be available to help with settling in – unpacking clothes and personalizing the room. The social worker or nurse will gather information about you at that time. Of course, staff and residents get to know one another over time, but information provided on that first day can be useful.
For more information on your first days in your new home, see Long Term Care Move in Day Dec. 2016 (PDF)
Will I be able to go for eye exams, hearing test and dental appointments outside the nursing home?
Arrangements can be made for you to attend your appointments for these services. The cost you will have to pay depends upon your financial circumstances. The social worker at the Long-Term Care Facility where you live can provide more information how to access any subsidies you may be eligible for. When possible, your family members are expected to take you to these appointments and help arrange transportation. If necessary the Long-Term Care facility can assist with this.
How does staff know who I am when there are so many other residents here?
Eastern Health has a “Positive Patient Identification” policy to help us ensure that the person receiving any treatment or procedure is the person who is supposed to receive it. You will be asked to have your picture taken when you move into the facility, and it will be used to help us identify you. You will also be asked to wear an armband which staff members will use to identify you. If you decide to not wear an armband, your health care providers will provide you with information about the risks. If you decide to wear an armband, please review the information on it to make sure the information is correct. Staff members are required to use at least two ways of identifying you before providing any service or procedures, such as giving you medications.
How can I tell who is providing my care?
All staff members are required to wear a clearly visible, photo identification which indicates name and position. You are encouraged to call staff members by their name.
Advance health directives
How can I plan ahead in case I’m ever unable to express my health-care wishes?
An advance health care directive is a written statement of your health-care wishes and is used ONLY when you are ill or injured, and unable to communicate your health-care wishes to others. If you completed an advance health care directive before coming to your long-term care facility, we ask that you provide a copy for your health-care record to make sure we know your health-care wishes. If you did not complete one before your admission, you will be provided with information about what an advance health care directive is and encouraged to complete one. You may change your advance health care directive at any time by completing a new one. Please make sure we receive a copy of any changes you make.
In addition to telling us your health-care wishes, we ask that you tell us who you want to be your Substitute Decision Maker. Your substitute decision maker is the person you want to make health-care decisions on your behalf if you become ill or injured, and are unable to tell us your health-care decisions. If you do not name a substitute decision maker and are no longer able to tell us your wishes, your substitute decision maker will be determined according to the Province’s Advance Health Care Directive Legislation. For more information please see Prepare for Decision Making.
Will I have to share a room?
You may have to share a room in the Long-Term Care Facility. Some facilities have private rooms which are assigned based on care requirements. Once you go to your new home you can ask the social worker about private rooms.
Will I have to move rooms?
Occasionally situations arise when we have to move you to another room for medical or other reasons. The Care Team will make the final decision regarding internal moves and will try to make moves with as little disruption to you as possible.
If you would like to move to a different room, please talk to with the Nurse or Social Worker. We appreciate you and your family’s input into your room changes, however, we cannot guarantee that we will be able to move you if requested.
Can I choose my roommate?
You cannot choose who you will share a room with. Staff tries very hard to match you and your roommate. You may ask for a room change if problems do arise. It is always best to discuss roommate issues with staff.
When are visiting hours?
We encourage your family and friends to visit. This includes young children. Mornings are often very busy on the nursing units and visiting after 11:00 a.m. is suggested. As well, main entrances are often locked later in the evening for safety and security purposes. Some facilities also have quiet time policies. You are encouraged to check with your Long-Term Care Facility to find out what time doors are locked and if you should call in advance if visiting after that time.
Can my family bring my pet for a visit?
Pets may be permitted to visit. However, Eastern Health has an infection control and prevention policy for pet visits that must be followed. Please check with staff prior to bringing in a pet to ensure there are no staff or residents allergies or any infection control concerns. Your pet should be on a leash or in a carrier as some people may be nervous around animals. Some facilities also provide pet therapy programs, please check with the Home to determine if this is a service that is available to you.
Can my family join me for meals?
In many Long-Term Care Facilities family members may purchase a meal and eat with you. Please check with your facility for cost and ordering guidelines. Up to 24 hours’ notice may be required.
Is there a choice if I do not like the meal?
The menu is designed so you can choose between menu items for any given meal. Your likes, dislikes and allergies are noted and considered during meal times.
How will they know what I like or if I am allergic to certain food?
As part of the admission process the staff at the home will discuss your special dietary needs and allergies. The menu ordered will meet any special requirements you may have.
Is there a place where I can have a family party?
Yes. Families are encouraged to bring your family celebrations into the facility. Please contact staff to arrange a room if available.
How much clothing should I bring?
All residents are up and dressed during the day, so comfortable daywear is recommended. We suggest that you only bring clothes for one season as closet and dresser space are limited. All clothing must be marked with your name. Sturdy, comfortable shoes are also suggested, as slippers often do not provide the support residents need. Footwear should have a rubber sole and low heel. For a list of clothing suggestions please see Long-Term Care Move in Day (PDF).
What else should I bring?
Our Long Term Care Move in Day (PDF) provides information on the items you should bring with you on your admission day including needed documents.
You are responsible to provide some personal care items but some exceptions do apply. Your Long-Term Care Facility can provide you with a listing of personal care items that you are required to provide. You should also remember to pack your dentures, hearing aids, personal wheelchairs, walkers and other prosthesis. These should be marked with your name prior to moving in. We cannot be responsible for the replacement of clothing, hearing aids, eye glasses or dentures.
We encourage you to make your room as home-like as possible. You must check with staff in your new home to see what you can bring to your new room. Large items and any electrical items must be approved by staff in the home first as there are safety issues that must be considered.
Will there be anything to do?
All facilities have a Recreation Program. The staff provides a variety of activities on an individual and group basis to meet each person’s needs, interests, and capabilities. Some of the activities may include exercise, pet visits, baking, storytelling, bus rides, parties, music, and other special events. Look for the activity calendar posted on your unit to stay up to date on what’s happening.
Can my minister visit with me?
Yes. All clergy are welcome to visit their parishioners.
Are there Church Services in the Home?
Spiritual care is an important part of your care. pastoral care services aim to meet the spiritual needs for you, your family and staff through regular church services and pastoral visitation. The dates and times of services are displayed on the monthly activity calendars. Some sites have a full time Chaplain on staff while pastoral volunteers and community clergy provide this service at other sites. We respect all religious affiliations and welcome clergy of all faiths.
Can I get my hair done?
Hair care services are available at all nursing homes. A fee is charged for this service.
What about banking?
You will be provided with information about setting up a Resident Trust Fund Agreement. This agreement authorizes the Home to make payments on your behalf for items such as hairdressing, clothing, drugs, and other personal items. Only you or your legal designate (such as Power of Attorneys or legal guardians) can access the money in the trust account.
What do I do if I have a problem?
We encourage you to provide us with feedback about your care and life at the Long-Term Care Facility, whether it is a compliment or a concern. If things are going well and you are pleased with the services we provide, we would like to know. However, we also want to know if things are not going so well and you are not satisfied. Our goal is to provide the best care to you. We realize that there could be times that you or your family may be dissatisfied with the care or service provided to you. You have the right to have your concerns heard and addressed in a timely manner. To help us promptly address any concerns you may have, we suggest you:
- First discuss the matter with the staff when your concern arises. Our employees will do their best to respond. Many concerns are resolved quickly and satisfactorily this way.
- If the staff member cannot address your concern to your satisfaction, please contact the Resident Care Manager/ Resident Care Coordinator to arrange a time to meet. Their numbers are identified on the Home’s contact list accompanying this Handbook.
- Should you wish to proceed further with any concerns, you may contact the Site Administrator or Program Manager. Their numbers are also identified on the Home’s contact list accompanying this Handbook.
Eastern Health also has a process if you wish to make a formal compliment or complaint. To make a formal compliment or complaint, you may contact the Client Relations Consultant at 709-777-1399 or 877-444-1399.
For more information you can see Communication & Providing Feedback