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Long-term care

COVID-19 update

During the COVID-19 pandemic, teams from Vancouver Coastal Health's Long-Term Care team work closely with the staff at the long-term care home, Public Health Officers and Infection Prevention and Control to contain a COVID-19 outbreak and keep residents safe. That is our priority. Learn more on the COVID-19 long-term care and assisted living page and the COVID-19 FAQs page.


Long-term care homes provide professional care and supervision to adults in a supportive and secure environment. The services are available to people with complex care needs, and physical and/or mental health conditions who cannot live safely and independently at home. 

What services does long term care provide?

All long-term care homes in Vancouver Coastal Health provide:

  • Provide 24 hour professional nursing and personal care

  • Accommodation in a safe and secure environment

  • Nutritious meals

  • Medication management

  • Laundry

  • Recreational activity programs

  • Support and relief for families and loved ones who are providing care

  • The primary language spoken is English, but our staff members make every effort to honour and support each elder's unique cultural, ethnic and language backgrounds

To be eligible you need to:

  • Be 19 years of age or older.

  • Have lived in British Columbia for three months.

  • Be a Canadian citizen or have permanent resident status (You must be a landed immigrant or are on a Minister's permit approved by the Ministry of Health Services)

  • Be unable to function independently because of chronic, health-related problems or have been diagnosed by a doctor with an end-stage illness.

Learn more: Planning for your care needs: Help in selecting long-term care - BC Ministry of Health

Priority for long-term care is always given to those with the highest need and the greatest risk.

If you are at home, you can access this service by contacting your local Home Health and Community Care Office where a Case Manager will determine your needs and eligibility.

  1. Contact your local Home Health and Community Care Office at the central intake number

  2. A case manager will determine your needs and eligibility

  3. We aim to locate a care home that you have identified as one of your prefered care homes

  4. Consent is required for admissions to long-term care homes. If an adult is not capable of providing consent, someone acting on their behalf will be asked to consent to a specific care home. For more information please visit the Ministry of Health website or speak with your health care provider.

  5. We will notify you when an interim or preferred care home becomes available

  6. When offered a bed in your preferred care home, you will be expected to move with very short notice – often within 48 hours of a bed becoming available 

How do I apply for long-term care after a hospital stay?

If you are assessed as needing long-term care following a stay in the hospital and none of your preferred care homes are available, your health care provider will assist you to return home with appropriate care and services in place while waiting for a suitable publicly subsidized long-term care bed. If you prefer, you may also move into private pay long-term care while awaiting for a suitable publicly subsidized long-term care bed.

How do I apply for private pay long-term care?

Private pay long-term care services are paid for by the resident and not funded by Vancouver Coastal Health or the province. An assessment by Vancouver Coastal Health staff is not needed for admission to private pay care. Depending on individual circumstances, private pay long-term care may be the right option for either temporary or permanent care.

There are many private pay care facilities to choose from, each offering a variety of services and features. Some homes have both publicly subsidized and private pay rooms. You can contact the BC Care Providers Association or visit The Care Guide website to find additional listings and information.

It is important to know that choosing to pay privately on a temporary basis does not guarantee you will be transferred to a subsidized bed in the same building.

Approximate care costs, overall affordability and the type of care required should be carefully considered when choosing a private pay residence. It is best to contact these residences directly for detailed information about availability, costs and services.

‎When choosing a long-term care home, we encourage you to take some time to think about what is important to you in your home environment. Then check out the different long term care homes, average wait times, and services available at each care home to find the best match for you.

General Information

Location specific information

When you have narrowed the search to your top few choice:

  • Contact the care home (s) directly to arrange a tour. You may want to take a family member or trusted friend with you for the tour.

  • When you visit the care home, ask if they  have additional information to share about the care available and costs as well as any extra charges that may apply for special services e.g., hairdressing, dental check-up, podiatry.

Other tools to help you decide:

For COVID-19-related FAQs, visit the COVID-19 FAQs page.

What is the cost for long-term care?

Publicly-subsidized long-term care costs a monthly fee based on 80% of your after-tax income, with set minimum and maximum rates.

As long-term care is considered your home, you may be required to pay additional fees for services or items you would pay for living on your own. For example, there may be additional fees for things like equipment or aids, optional activities, and hairdressing services. You will be told about all fees before you move in.

How long does it take to move into my new home?

The search for a long-term care home that best meets your needs starts as soon as the case manager or care provider completes your assessment. You are welcome to wait at home for your preferred care home.

It is important to let the case manager know if you experience changes in your health while waiting for a bed. Your case manager is best able to help you plan what to do next if you find staying at home more challenging.

How should I prepare to move into a long-term care home?

BC's long-term care policy ensures people with the greatest assessed need have priority access to a long-term care home. When you are offered a bed in one of your preferred care homes, you will be expected to move with very short notice – often within 48 hours. Vancouver Coastal Health has the following suggestions to help you transition more smoothly to your new home:

  • Contact the long-term care home and request a copy of their handbook for helpful tips and suggestions about what to bring with you

  • Have friends and family ready to assist you with your move

  • Pack a bag with some essentials so you can relocate quickly

  • View the Introduction to Long-Term Care Handbook - Preparing to Move on page 9 for more information 

What if I want to change care homes?

If you do not get into one of your preferred care homes initially, you will be offered an interim care home. If you accept the interim care home, you will keep your place on the waitlist for your preferred care home. When a new bed becomes available in one of your preferred locations, you will have the choice of accepting or declining it.

What language will they speak at the facility? 

At all of our care homes, the primary language spoken is English but our staff members make every effort to honour and support each elder's unique cultural, ethnic and language backgrounds.




SOURCE: Long-term care ( )
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