What is Long Term Care (LTC)?

Long-term care services can be easily misconceived to be the same services offered in retirement homes. However, although they have many similarities, there are clear and subtle differences between the two of them. Also referred to as nursing homes, long-term care centres provide care for people with supportive longterm needs who cannot get the same at home and who are not considered critical enough to be kept in the hospital for longer periods of time.  

As of today, there are about 2,076 long-term care facilities in Canada and more will be required in the near future. About 4.5% of the elderly population of people above 60 years living in long-term care facilities across the country. Persons over the age of 80 are also projected to rise triple fold in the next 25 years. As the ageing population increases, more people become predisposed to chronic illnesses such as stroke, heart conditions, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, among others, causing them to require the services of long-term care centres. Here are some bullet texts to help you understand the importance of long-term care centres, especially for the elderly population above 65 years and the current shortage experienced: 

  • There are 26 beds per 1000 population of people above 65 in Labrador and Newfoundland 
  • Prince Edward Island has 39 beds per 1000 aged population
  • Quebec, there are 24 beds per 1000 population
  • Manitoba has 44 beds per 1000 population
  • Saskatchewan has 47 per 1000
  • British Columbia has 28 per 1000

Who Needs Nursing Care Comes? 

As against retirement homes, long-term care facilities are for people with serious health conditions or people suffering from a disability such as stroke survivors, cardiovascular conditions, agerelated memory loss and veterans of war with disabilities or physical incapacitation.  

Long Term Care Vs Retirement Homes 

There is common ground between long-term care and retirement homes, however. That convergent point is that both facilities are primarily used by the elderly population. While retirement homes are places where older people live together and are cared for with services that include accommodation, recreation activities and some healthcare services, long-term care facilities are primarily for those who have illness or disabilities. Furthermore, unlike retirement homes, long-term care centres provide 24 hours nursing services for the residents. Also, residents of retirement homes do not have to meet any criteria to be admitted into the facility. On the other hand, to be admitted into a long-term care facility, a patient will have to meet certain medical criteria. 

Who works in long-term care facilities? 

  • Qualified professional nurses

      Their duties include the following: 

  1. They evaluate and record symptoms and diagnostic tests of the patients in the care facility.
  2. They offer guidance to the family members of those that they care for.
  3. Attend to medical emergencies in the facility such as heart attacks, strokes, and domestic accidents.
  4. Operate medical monitoring equipment and handle patients’ medications.
  • Personal Care Workers 

      The responsibilities of personal care workers include: 

  1. Helping those under their care receive their medications as recommended.
  2. Support elderly people with disabilities who can’t move around on their own.
  3. Help with routine activities such as getting dressed, bathing and eating.
  4. Provide housekeeping services.
  • Health Care assistants

      Their services and responsibilities tend to overlap with those of personal care workers. Health care assistants help with: 

  1. Serving meals and feeding patients.
  2. Helping patients to move around in the facility.
  3. Making the beds and ensuring the living condition of patients are comfortable.
  4. Monitoring patients physical conditions such as temperature, pulse, and blood pressure.

Topics »