Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions regarding Long-Term Care
How do I know if I need to go to a long-term care home?
Everyone’s situation is different. Some people enter long-term care because:
- Their care needs may exceed what Home Care can provide.
- The family member(s) who usually provide their care can no longer do so.
- Their health care status may change, requiring a higher level of care, such as ongoing nursing services.
What is the difference between Long-Term Care and Assisted Living?
How do I apply for Long-Term Care?
If you or a family member needs long-term care, call Continuing Care, toll free, at 1-800-225-7225. If you are in hospital, you can also call the toll-free line or have the hospital staff make the referral on your behalf.
How do I know what level of care I need?
After you contact Continuing Care, a Care Coordinator will meet with you to assess your care needs. Other professionals may also need to meet with you and your family to better understand your personal situation.
I may need a nursing home in a couple of years... should I apply now?
No, only those who are ready to move into a home now should apply.
Can I choose where I want to live?
Yes, you can choose the home you prefer and is able to meet your care needs. Your Care Coordinator will discuss your options with you and your family. You may choose as many long term care homes as you wish. Your name will be placed on a wait list according to the date you were approved for long term care.
Why should I choose Northwood?
Northwood is a not-for-profit continuing care organization serving the Halifax and Bedford communities. They have led the way for 53 years by being committed to innovation and change. Northwood is a place of “firsts” and leads the way with new ideas and new technologies because our focus is on people, not on profit margins. We are recognized both here and across Canada as an extraordinary example of the power of social justice, but we like to call it the power of love!
What should I keep in mind when selecting a home?
It is important to choose homes where you are sure you want to live. You or a family member should consider visiting some homes when making selections. When choosing a nursing home or residential care facility, keep the following points in mind:
- Is the home in a community where I want to live?
- Is the location of the home convenient for friends and family to visit?
- Does the home offer activities and services I would enjoy?
How long are the wait lists?
The length of the wait varies and depends on a number of factors. Wait times can range from several weeks to several months or longer. They depend on the number of people waiting in the system and on the number of vacancies that become available. If you live at home and your situation worsens while you are waiting, you should contact your Care Coordinator. The Care Coordinator may be able to arrange for other services, such as additional homecare or respite care. If you feel you need hospital care, please contact your family doctor.
When I get a bed offer, can I defer placement if I’m not ready to go?
You do not have the option to defer placement until a later date. When a client receives a bed offer, they must either accept or refuse the bed.
What happens if I turn down a bed that is offered to me?
If you choose to refuse a bed offer, regardless of whether you are waiting at home in your community or in hospital and subject to First Available Bed provision, you will be removed from the wait list. Individuals who refuse a bed offer and wish to reapply will have to wait 12 weeks unless there has been a significant change to their health status.
How long will I have to wait for a long-term care placement if I want to live in the same home as my family member?
When you meet with your Care Coordinator, he/she will determine whether you require long-term care and if your care needs can be met in the same facility as your family member. Efforts are made to place certain family members in the same facility as soon as possible.
What do I need to know if I am in the hospital waiting for long-term care placement?
Every effort will be made to place you in the home of your choice. However, when a suitable bed is not available in your chosen home, you will be asked to move to the first available bed within 100 km of the community of your choice. When a suitable bed becomes available in one of your selected homes, you will have the option to transfer there. If you decline a placement, the hospital may discharge you or charge you a daily fee in the hospital.
What if I am not eligible for long-term care?
There is a Service Decision Review Process that you can discuss with your Care Coordinator.
Do I pay for my long-term care?
Long-term care costs are shared by you, the resident, and the provincial government. You pay your own accommodation costs and personal expenses and the Department of Health and Wellness pays your health care costs. The Department of Health and Wellness sets standard accommodation charges annually. Those who can pay the standard accommodation charge are not required to complete a financial assessment. Those who cannot pay the standard accommodation charge can apply to have their rate reduced through an income based financial assessment.
Do I get my own room?
Accommodations vary from nursing home to nursing home. The newer facilities have single rooms and single baths; however older homes still have shared accommodations. You would qualify for the first available bed within the system.
Will I have any privacy?
Will I lose all of my independence?
We strive to help you maintain your independence and we encourage you to continue to take part in the things as you are able.
How often can I receive visitors?
At Northwood, there are no set visiting hours, so your friends and family may visit at whatever times are convenient for you.
What types of programs/services will I have access to?
At Northwood, you will not only receive loving care from our nurses and staff, but you also have access to a wide variety of programs and services to help you live more. Some of the services include:
- Health Care Centre (Halifax Location)
- Fitness Centre (Halifax Location)
- Recreation programs on each floor
- Community Recreation Programs (social, musical, educational and leisure opportunities)
- Banking services
- Drug store (Halifax Location)
- Harbourview Bar and Lounge (Halifax Location)
- Lawley’s Restaurant (Halifax)
- Café (Bedford Location)
- Northwood Broadcasting Club (Halifax location Radio Station)
- Community Garden (Bedford location)
- Beauty Salon
Can I bring a pet?
Although you many not bring a pet to live with you in our facilities, you may arrange for your pet to come visit you. You must ask staff before bringing in your pet.
Am I allowed to leave the building if I want to visit family or join them for a vacation?
Absolutely! We ask that you or your family inform Nursing staff when you are leaving the building. There is a sign out system on each floor.
Can I smoke?
We have designated smoking areas for residents who are able to smoke safely. You are only allowed to smoke in these areas.
Will you give me a tour before I move in?
Absolutely! If you would like to arrange a tour or meet with one our representatives, please contact:
Will someone look after my clothes?
Yes. When you move into Northwood, your laundry will be labeled and taken care of.
Can I still attend church?
Yes. We have a non-denominational religious spiritual care team at Northwood. They arrange services weekly. Please check the calendar for the days and denominations.
Where can I find information about activities going on in my facility?
Activity calendars are conveniently placed on each floor and in the common areas on our Main Street area. If you are able, check our website calendar for a list of ongoing activities.
Can I keep my own doctor?
Northwood takes part in Care by Design, which is run through our Medical Director. Physicians are assigned to each of the care floors and will be available to you upon admission. If you wish to keep your Doctor, please arrange to have a conversation with Nursing.
Will I have telephone/internet access?
You are able to set up telephone and internet services in your new home. Please speak with the business office and they will give you the rates.
I have a special diet, will it be accommodated?
Do I get to choose what I eat?
At Northwood, we offer two choices for every meal. You may choose between the first and second choice. Our meals are based on Canada’s food guide and are made on site in our kitchens.
What safety measures are in place for residents who wander?
Our facilities are armed with a “Wanderguard” security system. Residents who are identified as a wandering risk are equipped with a wrist bracelet, which activates an alarm if they were to exit the building.
Is there someone to help me adapt to the changes?
Yes. At our facilities you have access to a Client Advocate and Social Workers. They can help you adapt to the changes associated with moving into care and can also help you with any concerns you may have.
Who do I talk to if I have a concern?
If you have any concerns the first person you would go to would be the RN or LPN who is in charge on your floor. If you are unable to get any resolution please contact our Navigator at 902-407-8555.
Where can I receive more information?
For more information:
Phone: 902-454-3356 (Halifax)
Phone: 902-407-8500 (Bedford)
Phone: 1-800-225-7225 (Nova Scotia Continuing Care Services)