My father has Alzheimer's

My father was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer's. In preparation for the future, do you have any information on the cost of home care versus the cost of nursing homes in Ontario?

In Ontario, the publicly funded home care system is administered through the HCCSS - Home & Community Care Support Services (formerly the LHIN). The HCCSS staff, called case managers or care coordinators, determine eligibility for care and the number of hours and types of care that will be delivered in the home. Any person, regardless of income, who is determined as eligible can receive publicly funded care. Many families supplement publicly funded care with family-funded home care in order to keep someone in their home for as long as possible and that fee is negotiated directly with a home care service provider organization. 

The nursing home system is jointly paid by the publicly funded system and the family-funded funded system (called a co-payment). Costs vary based on semi-private/ private room availability.

So, for families, the decision is: do we institutionalize our loved one and pay the cost of the long term care facility or use the same amount of money to top up the publicly funded home care with private funds. Often, the decision comes down to how debilitated the person requiring care really is and how much capacity the family has to cope over time. It can be hard to keep someone at home and it can be heart-wrenching to take a person out of their home and institutionalize them, so the choice is never easy. Every family is unique and will make their own decisions based on their needs ...obviously it will help if you can get your Dad to express his wishes as clearly as he can so that, as much as possible, you follow his direction in terms of decision-making.


The OHCA posts questions and responses that reflect the nature of inquiry received. Names and circumstances have been changed.


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