Preventing the institutionalization of people with dementia and Assessing an assisted-living or long-term care institution

Date added: December 23, 2022
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In a 2021 poll by the National Institute on Aging, 97% of Canadian seniors said they did not want to live in a long-term-care facility (a nursing home). Many long-term-care residents do not need to be in institutions, whose numerous drawbacks were exposed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents are there because they cannot receive enough homecare to allow them to remain in their homes, family members providing unpaid care are no longer able to do so, or because they, their family members, and even professionals, are not aware of alternatives to institutions. This document contains a three-step guide to meeting the needs of people with dementia, while supporting them in making decisions about their options. The first step is to look for services people can receive in their homes, along with supports for care partners. If those services do not meet the person’s needs, the second step is to look for small, non-institutional housing in the person’s community that provides 24-hour support. If this option is unavailable, only then does the third step, considering an institution, come into play. The guide provides questions that people with dementia and their care partners can ask when assessing an assisted-living or long-term-care facility.

September 2022