Choosing a Nursing Home

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My dad was recently admitted to hospital with confusion, incontinence and general weakness. It is highly doubtful that he will be able to return home. So, we are starting to look at long term care placement.

We are not sure of just where to place him. My parents have lived in the Etobicoke area for many years, and also have roots in the Weston area. My brother lives in Simcoe, and most of dad's surviving brothers and sisters are there too. I live in York Region. So, we are a bit up in the air as to just where we are going to place him. I am thinking that we might try for a joint placement, because Mom is getting very forgetful, and can no longer drive or walk safely due to deteriorating eyesight.

So, those of you who are familiar with the areas listed above: what long term care facilities are good? If we chose Simcoe County, it would either be Simcoe Manor, or the one in Bradford. Barrie, Orillia, etc. are too far north. For York Region, we would want something that was not too far east of Yonge St Personally, I'm thinking of Green Acres in Newmarket (I also know a few nursing/ retirement homes in the area that I wouldn't even trust to look after my dog!)

If you don't feel comfortable posting negative stuff about a particular home, please PM or E-mail me.



1 Article; 2,394 Posts

Specializes in Everything except surgery.

Sorry to hear about your dad Jay-Jay..:o. I know this must be a very difficult time for your family. Unfortunately I didn't get the opportunity to do this for either my dad or my mom, as both departed suddenly.

Here in the states there are websites that show deficiences (sp)? for the NH and AL facilities. Do you know if there is something like this in Canada? Many there is a govt. agency that can point you to where you could find out this info.

Here the sites not only state deficiencies, but list how many nursing hours to each pt., how many toilieting, contractures, bedridden etc..problems these places have.

I hope you're able to make an informed decision that will benefit your parents, and give you all peace of mind...:cool:

live4today, RN

5,099 Posts

Specializes in Community Health Nurse.

Hello Jay-Jay,

((((hugs)))) I'm also sorry to hear about your father. I don't know anything about Canada, so can't help you there. What does your mother wish to do? Has she expressed her concerns and/or desires regarding where your father spends the remainder of his days?


413 Posts

Hi Jay,

I recently went through the process with my in-laws in Hamilton. In Ontario the whole admission process is coordinated by the CCAC. (Community Care Acess Center). They have a web site and 800 #. If your dad is in hospital right now there should be a CCAC case manager on site who could tell you about all your options and where the Nursing homes are in the area, and if some areas have a better waiting list than others. You must take the first bed offered or else have to wait 6 months to be put on the list again. These are part of new guidelines put out by the MOH recently. As with everywhere else there is a shortage of beds. Your best bet is to connect with CCAC as soon as possible!

Good luck!


190 Posts

211 lists nursing homes located in the areas you are considering. You could make a list of potential centres for your family to check out once the SARS restricitions subside.

Jay-Jay, RN

633 Posts

Okay, guess I need to be more specific here! :) I'm a community nurse, so I'm very familiar with CCAC. And, I know nursing homes will organize tours for you, and show you the facility. But, that's all window dressing, IMHO. Doesn't tell you a thing about how the home REALLY works. What I'm hoping for is inside info, the inside scoop from people who either work in LTC, or have a relative living in a home in one of the above areas.

I didn't know about the 6 mo. wait if your refuse a home...that IS new! :o Hope they can find him someplace decent, then transfer him to one that's close to home when a bed becomes available. And I don't think it's going to be a joint placement after all. My 90 yr. old mom is a real trooper. In spite of being nearly blind from macular degeneration, she's walking to church, walking to her hairdresser, and tripping up and down those 4 flights of stairs in their split-level home like a teenager! It amazes me what she CAN see sometimes. When I took her to the hospital to visit, she skirted a puddle on the sidewalk without me having to steer her around it.

Still, we worry about her.... To be alone after 58 years of marriage has got to be extremely hard.


414 Posts

One thing you can do is visit the nursing homes in your area at various times of the day. Visit at meal times to see if they help those who cannot feed themselves. Look at the activity board and visit at activity time. Visit and just listen to the interaction of the staff. You can then tell more about the homes if you just go in like you are visiting someone there at the home. Happens all of the time here in the U.S. Believe me, I know because I worked in LTC and saw visitors doing this.


225 Posts

Here's my two cents...when you finally narrow your choice down to a couple of a "surprise visit" The tours will show everything at its best..the pretty walllpaper etc....but the real test is whats the facility like at 6:30 am after a holiday weekend? One of our "best" local facilites (top marks from state, etc) was a whole different world at night. I went to sit with a confused hospice pt (I am agency CNA) I discovered that the facility only had ONE CNA per hall oof 12 rooms and these people were subacute post ops and hospice folks who need lots of attention at night. They also only had ONE RN. The CNAs I met were more intersted in getting hired on by my agency that the pts...they werte earning 5 cents above the minimum wage. Day shift.....different story...all of a suddden 1 to 8 pt ratio,, several licensed nurses on duty....and the CNAs on duty were the expereinced ones, not the new hires. Window dressing to match the pretty wallpaper and furniture in the lobby.


I agree with the above. Do a few surprise visits and look around on your own. Listen in as well as possible to the interactions between aides and the residents to see how the residents get treated. Observe PT, OT, and activities. Look at the resident bathrooms...are they clean? have soap, towels, toilet tissue, liners in the waste baskets? wastebaskets kept emptied? no incontinent products in the wastebaskets? Does the facility smell good? Are residents "parked" out in halls?

Do the employees look happy to be there? Or do they have frowns on their faces? Do they greet you and ask if they can direct or help you? Or do they ignore your presence?

Visit at meal times. What does the food look like? How is the interaction between resident/CG if the res is being fed? Does the CG talk to the res while they are being fed, or do the CG talk to each other & ignore the res? Would YOU eat the food being served?

Jay-Jay: Please know I feel for you about this choice. We had to have my FIL in a nursing home for awhile. It was hard. I have worked in LTC and teach NA classes, so I do clinicals in LTC. I sure have seen great ones as well as terrible ones. I am glad to hear your mom is doing so great. My prayers are with you.


413 Posts

Unfortunately right now in Ontario, they are still limiting visitors due to SARS in NH's, so 'surprise' visits are not an option.


15 Posts

I work in a LTCF and love it. But you must do your homework before decisions are made. Visit at meal times, do take the tours but you need to drop in at other times as well. Weekends see how many RNs are on . Drop in on the evening shift you may find one RN on for the whole building....yes its true. Same for night shift. Ask how many residents per HCA....8 to 10 usually which is to many for good care.

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