In late August 2022, the Ontario government passed legislation that obliges some hospital patients awaiting long-term care to accept placement in nursing homes not of their choosing. The move is meant to free up acute care beds.
For years, seniors awaiting long-term care have been asked to indicate which nursing homes they want to apply to. When a bed becomes available at one of the homes on their list, they must accept it. If they don’t, they’ll be obliged to reapply and be moved to the end of the queue (which could be years long).
Now seniors who are in hospital waiting for a nursing home bed because they can’t return home may be compelled to accept the next available nursing home bed even if it’s at a nursing home that’s not on their list.
What could this mean for someone you know?
If a senior you know is admitted to hospital, you can expect the hospital will want to discharge them as quickly as possible because of the high demand for hospital beds. Where this can get stressful is when it’s not safe for them to return home.
You may be told they need to move to a nursing home that you know little about. It can leave you feeling helpless.
Is there anything you can do?
To answer that question, you might want to consider turning to someone familiar with the workings of the system.
Our senior living advisors can help families in the Ottawa area who find themselves in this type of situation. Here’s how.
We broaden the options available to you
We can work with everyone involved (your family, the hospital, placement services) to determine whether a nursing home is indeed the best discharge option. For instance, would assisted living or memory care in a retirement home suffice? If so, we can find a local retirement home that’s a good fit.
If a nursing home is the best option, we can check to see whether there are vacancies coming up at other nursing homes besides any you’ve been directed to. If there are, we can help you find out about the quality of care they provide.
We can help your family discuss your situation
Knowing what to say to your spouse or parent in this type of stressful situation can be difficult. We can facilitate family discussions and explain your options in a way that’s easy to understand. And because we don’t work for the hospital or long-term care placement services, we can represent your interests as a knowledgeable, neutral third party if you’d like us to.
If your spouse or parent is being asked to accept a nursing home bed because they’ve been hesitating about moving to a retirement home, we can explain the difference and support them in reaching an informed decision.
We can facilitate a transfer to a nursing home of their choice
If they are discharged from hospital directly to the first available nursing home bed, we can work with them and with you to explore options for later transferring them to a nursing home of their choosing.
When to contact us
If an aging family member is currently occupying a hospital bed in the Ottawa area but no longer requires acute care, we suggest you contact us. If they haven’t been asked to move to a nursing home not of their choosing, it’s possible they may be in the near future. Exploring their options now can avoid a panic later.