This is the scary part. Money. I'll try to explain this system to the best of my ability just to prepare you for the inevitable. I'm going to use my gram's situation as an example here.
When someone moves into a nursing home the City of Toronto basically takes over your money for you if you are in 'basic' accommodation. This happens if you are on a restricted income of just Old Age Pension/Guaranteed Income Supplement, Canada Pension Plan Disability, etc.
What happens is if you are on a restricted income they will supplement your 'rent'. My gram is on a fixed income of only her Old Age Pension and the Guaranteed Income Supplement and her rent is supplemented down to $942.75 a month. The lowest a rent can go in a nursing home these days with supplement is $939.00 and change (up until June 2003 then the rates will change). Now.. she only gets $1041.16 a month total income. So this leaves her a grand total of $98.41 a month to pay her bills with. NOT MUCH. I was told that she would have $112.00 a month left over (they call this 'comfort money') but SURPRISE again! I just realized while doing this website that she doesn't have close to that. The only good thing about this is that she does have a few hundred left in her bank account and it will pay the extra she will need monthly or otherwise, if she didn't, I'd either be paying it, or my mother, or if worse came to worse we would have to reduce her 'account' with them and stop her hairdressing appts or tuck shop or dining in program, etc. This is another matter I intend to bring up with them.
MEDICAL CHARGES: This is concerning prescriptions. At nursing homes they use a place called Medico to get all their prescriptions from. You have no choice in this matter. If you have a regular pharmacist you use be prepared to give them up. Medico charges the $2.00 fee per prescription as well. Some pharmacies out there waive this fee for seniors but this place doesn't! So, if the applicant has prescriptions be sure to figure in a monthly fee for them of $2.00 per prescription filled.
PERSONAL ACCOUNT: When I was first told about this it wasn't explained very clearly and I had the wrong impression and dismissed the idea. But, afterwards on admission day this was explained better and I took advantage of it. What happens is they have this large bank account overseen by the City of Toronto per nursing home I believe. At least with the one we used they had this system. You can sign up for this program and have a specific amount of money (pre-authorized debit) removed from the residents personal bank account each month (at the same time they remove their rent) and put in this general account for everyone. Don't worry, no one else can use this money. Although it is one large account, individual records are kept for each resident. It's this money that things like your cable can be payed from and any extra's you sign up for. I signed my gram up for hairdressing, tuck shop and a dining in program. You can see more about this on my Extra Charges page. She no longer has to worry about carrying money around with her which is a good idea in a nursing home anyway. Things do go missing! By the way, this large bank account they keep for residents using this program does indeed collect a reasonable interest. If the resident charges more say in the tuck shop they you have alloted for, then the remaining owing amount will be taken out of their part of the interest. Please keep an eye out anyway so they don't over-extend themselves because remember, someone has to pay the bills!
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