The Right Care in the Right Place Long-term Care – Alberta Health Services 2011

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What are Long-term facilities?

Long-term care facilities are designed specifically for individuals with complex unpredictable medical needs who require 24 hour on-site Registered Nurse assessment and/or treatment. In addition to Registered Nurse service, professional nursing services may be provided by Licensed Practical Nurses and there is 24 hour on-site (unscheduled and scheduled) personal care and support provided by Health Care Aides. All direct and consultative health-care services are provided on site, physician visits.

For a small number of seniors and adults with disabilities who can no longer be taken care of in their own home, or in a supportive living facility, long-term care might be an appropriate living option.

Long-term care facilities include buildings designated as “nursing homes” under the Nursing Home Act and “auxiliary hospitals” under the Hospitals Act.

How do I know if long-term care is right for me?

Long-term care beds are available for the small number of people who highly complex and unpredictable health needs whose care cannot be safely provided in their own home or in supportive living.

Long-term care may be right for you if you have:

  • Complex end of life care needs
  • Serious fluctuations in health status requiring immediate health professional assessment
  • A need for medication management and other treatments
  • Conditions requiring the continued presence of a Registered Nurse and the consultative availability of rehabilitation or dietary professionals
  • Unpredictable or unstable behaviour that places the individual or others at risk

Under the direction of a family physician, an onsite Registered Nurse supervises your care with the support of Licensed Practical Nurses, Health Care Aides and other health-care providers as appropriate.

Long-term care is not the right level of care for you if your physical or mental health is not stable and you require hospitalization.

Who will care for me?

Because your health needs are complex, a Registered Nurse is on site 24 hours a day. The Registered Nurse supervises your care with the support of Licensed Practical Nurses and Health Care Aides. Medical care is available from your family doctor. Other health-care professionals are available depending on your assessed needs.

Your family and other informal caregivers are important members of your care team and are welcome to participate in your care

What will it cost?

You will be responsible for the cost of accommodation or rent in long-term care, as well as for any additional care or support services you request that are not already part of the care plan completed by your Case Manager. The province provides financial assistance to eligible low-income seniors through the Alberta Seniors Benefit program and the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped program. For more information, visit www.seniors.alberta.ca or call the Alberta Supports Contact Centre at 1-877-644-9992.

Alberta Health Services provides – at no additional cost to you – the health care services identified in your care plan.

How will my room be furnished?

Rooms in long-term care facilities are already furnished with a hospital bed, dresser and closet. You may move into a private room or share the room with another person.

You are welcome and encouraged to bring small, special items from home to make your space your own. Perhaps you’d like to bring your family photos, your own blankets, or your favourite chair, for example.

Will my quality of life change?

Quality of life is very individual. For you, quality may be seeing your grandchildren, being able to participate in hobbies or outings, or seeing your favourite TV programs. We will support your quality of life as much as possible, given your capabilities.

We know moving into a long-term care facility is one of the most difficult transitions a person can make. Moves are made because of your assessed need for care and support.

It’s important to note, people who move into long-term care facilities are often relieved of some of the worries they had living alone. They enjoy their time and the activities provided and appreciate the assistance to make their lives simpler.

Please let us know what is important to you so we can help ease the transition to long-term care and help you enjoy this time in your life.

Are visitors allowed?

Your family and friends are an important part of your life and they are welcome to visit you. Your guests are welcome to visit you. Your guests are welcome to join you at a meal. They may pay for a meal or bring their own. Your family and friends are also welcome to come and assist you with your care if this is what you want as a family.

What about meals?

Meals are served in the dining room and assistance to and from meals will be provided as necessary. If you are too ill to eat in the dining room, your meal will be brought to your room.

Assessment by a professional dietician is available if required.

What kinds of social activities are available to me?

Recreation staff offer many enjoyable recreation and leisure activities to help promote your wellness and independence. You are welcome to participate in the group activities provided (regular exercise programs, social gatherings, music, gardening, art, outdoor activities and more).

You’re encouraged to speak with the Recreation Therapist about activities you did before coming to the facility that you’d like to continue or new activities you’d like to try. Staying in touch with your community is an important part of living in facility.

How do I access Long-term Care?

In order to access any living option, including long-term care, you need to undergo an assessment by a Case Manager through your local Home Care Program.

You can access Alberta Health Services if you:

  • Live in Alberta
  • Have an Alberta Health Care Number, or
  • Have applied for and are eligible to receive Alberta Health care coverage
  • To book an assessment or for more information, contact your local Home Care Program, talk to your family doctor or call Health Link Alberta Toll-Free 1-866-408-5465

Case Managers may be Registered Nurses, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, or Social Workers.