As noted earlier, programs and services are available to help individuals continue to live in their own communities. This usually promotes better quality of life and uses far fewer health dollars than institutional care. Community-based services may enable you to stay in your home longer than you thought possible. However, there are limits. When community-based services can no longer meet your needs, there are other options available: supportive housing, retirement homes (see Community Services), and long-term care facilities. Making a decision about when to seek long-term care in a facility is usually complicated because it concerns both your needs and abilities, along with the desires and resources of the caregiver(s). There is no simple rule to tell when the time has come. Each situation presents a unique mix of care needs and resources. What seems advisable in one case may not in the next. That is why it is essential that you explore your situation on its own merits.
Consider the following:
A further resource, Concerned Friends of Ontario Citizens in Care Facilities is a volunteer organization that will provide a more extensive checklist for selecting a long-term care facility. They can be reached at 416-489-0146.