One of the most popular questions I receive on a consistent basis is “What’s the difference between private and public residences?” It can be confusing and frustrating to navigate our health care system particularly under emotional circumstances where you or a loved one can no longer live at home.
The senior living industry is rapidly evolving. Competition is increasing and new construction is happening throughout the province. As a result, there are more choices and greater service offerings. The private sector offers Independent Living, Assisted Living (usually up to a maximum of 3 hours of care per day) and Memory Care. Some residences offer all three levels of care.
There are slightly more than 2,000 registered private residences in Quebec. Approximately 800 are in greater Montreal. The Ministry of Health and Social Services oversees the certification of compliance and their operating standards. Most Quebeckers living in a certified private senior residence are eligible for the Tax Credit for Home-Support Services for Seniors. This amounts to approximately 10%-15% of your monthly rent depending on the amount of services and meals that are provided.
In addition, Quebec is one of the few provinces in Canada that offers private options for long term care. These residences are known as centres d’hébergement et de soins de longue durée non-conventionné (CHSLD). There are 10 of them on the island of Montreal. The major advantages of a private CHSLD are less waiting times and geographic convenience.
Public residences are only available for long term care. As per the Ministry of Health and Social Services, a person with diminished autonomy due to aging or a physical or mental impairment, and can no longer live at home, may be admitted to a long-term care centre or an intermediate resource.
You are obligated to go through your local CLSC in order to get into a public residence. An assessment will be performed to establish care needs and to determine if you qualify for a permanent placement. Placement is then based on priority level, not a first come, first served basis. The waiting list to get in a public residence can range from several months to several years. In most cases, you can choose your desired residence for permanent placement. Once a room becomes available, you generally have 24-36 hours to move in!!
During the waiting period, you will reside in a transition bed in a long-term care residence. A CLSC social worker will work with your family to find a transition bed in a convenient geographical location. However, the choice is often based on when a bed becomes available regardless of location. It is not uncommon to be transferred to multiple transition beds while waiting for a permanent bed in a CHSLD.
The cost of a private room in a public CHSLD is $1,910 per month. A semi-private room (2 per room) costs $1,596. This will cover care, hygiene, meals, laundry and housekeeping. By comparison, costs can vary widely in a private CHSLD, but they will typically range between $4,000 – $5,000 per month after tax credit.
It can be difficult to navigate the public or private system. Reach out to your local CLSC to explore public options. Should you wish to pursue a private residence, tap into industry specialists that often provide their services at no charge.
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For more information, contact Matt Del Vecchio at (514) 622-8074 or by email at email@example.com