Accessing Long-term Care
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Find out how to access long-term care

The first step to entering a publicly subsidized long-term care facility is to have a health care needs assessment completed.

How do I access long-term care if I am living at home?

You can access this service by contacting your local Home Health and Community Care Office where a Case Manager will determine your needs and eligibility. Priority is always given to those with the highest need and at the greatest risk.

How long does it take to access a facility?

The search for a long-term care bed that best meets your needs starts as soon as the Case Manager completes your assessment. We aim to locate the first appropriate bed in your home or neighbouring community.

It is important to let the Case Manager know if you experience changes in your health while waiting for a bed.

How should I prepare to move into a facility?

BC’s long-term care access policy ensures people with the greatest assessed need have priority for the first appropriate bed in a long-term care facility. You may be expected to move with very short notice – often within 48 hours. IH has the following suggestions to help you transition more smoothly to your new home:

  • Contact the long-term care facilities in your area and request a copy of their Handbook. It offers helpful tips and suggestions about what to bring with you
  • Have friends and family ready to assist you with your move
  • Pack a bag with some essentials so you can relocate quickly
  • Visit the Preparing to Move page for more information 

What if I want to change facilities?

If the first appropriate bed vacancy is not in the location you want, you can make a request to move once you have settled in. When a new bed becomes available in your preferred location, you will have the choice of accepting or declining it.

How do I access long-term care after a hospital stay?

If you are assessed as needing long-term care following a stay in the hospital and the first appropriate bed is not available, your case manager will assist you to return home with appropriate care and services in place while waiting for a suitable publicly subsidized long-term care bed. If that is not an option, you may also move into a private pay long-term care setting while awaiting for a suitable publicly subsidized long-term care bed.

How do I access private pay long-term care?

Private pay long-term care services are paid for by the individual and not funded by Interior Health or the province. An assessment by Interior Health staff is not needed for admission to a private pay facility. Depending on individual circumstances, private pay long-term care may be the right option for either temporary or permanent care.

There are many private pay facilities to choose from, each offering a variety of services and features. Some facilities have both publicly subsidized and private pay rooms. You can contact the BC Providers Association or visit The Care Guide website to find additional listings and information.

It is important to know that choosing to pay privately on a temporary basis does not guarantee you will be transferred to a subsidized bed in the same building.

Approximate care costs, overall affordability and the type of care required should be carefully considered when choosing a private pay facility. It is best to contact these facilities directly for detailed information about availability, costs and services.


MoH     PCQO