Residential and long-​term care centres: Negotiating the maze

August 15, 2011 by Martine Rodrigue

Residential and long-term care centres: Negotiating the maze

Better known as CHSLDs, these centres are a topic of discussion in the media and with our families, since any elderly person with decreasing independence could end up there one day. However, a certain amount of confusion reigns over the exact identity of these establishments, which used to be called nursing homes or old-age homes.

There are, in fact, three types of establishments under the CHSLD umbrella. The first, public establishments, are owned and operated by the State. Next, there are private institutions that belong to private enterprise and offer the same services identified by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, with accommodation costs identical to those of a public CHSLD. The difference between the two lies at the administrative level. Private CHSLDs under agreement are responsible for the administrative aspects concerning the ownership and management of the building, without State involvement.

Lastly, there are private CHSLDs not under agreement. These centres must obtain a permit from the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux authorizing them to admit persons with loss of autonomy. They do not receive any funding from the Ministère. In fact, the owners are free to establish their own prices, rules and criteria.

Accommodation costs differ widely among private CHSLDs, where the greater the loss of autonomy, the greater the bill payable by the resident is likely to be. This is not the case with public CHSLDs and private CHSLDs under agreement (which receive funding), where accommodation costs are set every year by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec and adjusted according to the resident’s ability to pay.

As regards to tax credits for home-support services for seniors, persons aged 70 or older living in a health establishment (public or private under agreement) may claim certain services not offered by the establishment and which are purchased à la carte or by contract. As for private CHSLDs not under agreement, eligible services are the same as those offered in residences for seniors. For details on eligible and excluded services, please contact Revenu Québec.

If you are dissatisfied with the quality of service and care provided, you may file a complaint with the local service quality and complaints commissioner.

However, to ensure you are addressing the right party, for clarifications or for help throughout the complaints procedure, all individuals have access to free and confidential services from their region’s Centre d’assistance et d’accompagnement aux plaintes (CAAP). The CAAP toll-free number is 1 877 767 2227.

If you expected to receive serv-ices or you were told that you would receive services but that is not the case, you can demand an explanation. If you are not satisfied with the answers, ask your CAAP for support. You can also call upon a trusting friend or family member to do this on your behalf.

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