Choosing a Home

Pine Villa Care Centre - outside view

Admission to a long term care home is usually preceded by a sudden crisis. Many individuals and families quickly find themselves under the immense strain of adjusting to a new reality. On top of the major anxieties that can come with a change in the health status of yourself or a loved one, there are pressures from hospital and Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) team to choose a new home. You may have been given a list of possible homes, and asked to return it with your choices in a very short time frame. Where does one begin to navigate through this important yet complex process?

At Pine Villa Care Centre we are here to help ease the stress and confusion that often comes with the choosing a long term care home. It is important to determine whether the Home is a place where people are supported and encouraged to achieve all that they can be. To get a feel for the care, culture, and the general atmosphere of a Home, it is suggested to visit the Homes that interest you. To begin, call and speak with the Admissions Coordinator for the Home to book a date and time to tour.

Here are some questions to think about as you get started and ask about during a tour:

  • Is the location appealing to you? Is it near stores, a park, a familiar neighbourhood?
  • Is the location easily accessible for visits by family or friends?
  • Ask to see a resident room, activity room, dining area and resident lounge.
  • Stop and speak to a few residents and families about their impressions of the Home.
  • Ask for copies of sample menus, monthly activity calendars, Resident and Family Council meeting minutes and newsletters.
  • Are you introduced to the Administrator or any other managers?
  • Does the team seem friendly?
  • Are the team members warm and concerned when interacting with residents?
  • Does the building appear to be clean, inviting and well-maintained?
  • Is the type of room and the bathroom to your liking?
  • Is there a way to have privacy if the room is shared?
  • Is there flexibility around visiting hours?
  • Are the menus varied and appealing?
  • Ask if you are able to sample a meal or participate in an activity at the Home.
  • Are meals that are culturally familiar to you available?
  • Is the Home able/willing to meet your religious, cultural, language, and dietary needs?
  • Can family and visitors dine with the residents?
  • How are families and residents involved in the planning for the resident’s care?
  • How frequently are services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and foot care available?
  • What special needs can be accommodated in this setting (e.g., diabetes, oxygen, scooters, specialized services for dementia)?
  • What innovative programs, services and activities set this home apart from others?
  • What extra charges are there, if any, for services or amenities (e.g., phone, television, hairdressing, transportation)?