Simply put, it can be a nightmare. If you prepare yourself though for everything and anything it will go a lot easier on you.
How does this effect the disabled? A lot of disabled end up in nursing homes and some of us are even caregivers for others. This system, if you are disabled and a caregiver can make your life a living hell.
Be prepared, be very prepared. You don't have any idea what you are in for. These pages will tell you pretty much all of what you will need to know and what surprises you may encounter. I had many surprises tossed my way. Some of which were due to the S.A.R.S. outbreak in Canada which really effected most everything. This was of course an unavoidable circumstance but I'm sure you can expect the same kinds of problems if there is any kind of outbreak at the time including the flu. Remember, you are dealing with nursing homes here where the residents health is usually compromised to begin with so they take no chances.
If you are thinking of waiting to see if mom/dad, sis/bro, grandma/ gramp's gets better, DON'T! You are in for a long, complicated, frustrating ordeal. Start now and don't hesitate. If they do recover, you can always withdraw your application and if needed, reapply in 6 months.
Let me tell you A BIT about this wonderful system of ours. I can't possibly tell you the whole story, you wouldn't believe it anyway probably.
The application form. You can tell a gov't office had it's hand in this thing. It's about 12 pages long and very detailed. Some of which must be filled in by the applicant him/herself, some by the doctor. If the applicant can't fill in their part you can but.. make sure they sign the papers saying they understand this or you're toast if the doctor says they are competant. Let me take you through this form.
Here are the steps you will have to take.
1) The application - you better have one smart doctor to fill this out. And what you need. Some of the questions really are not very clear, nor is who has to fill them out. If your doctor hasn't filled one of these out before or it's been a while they can be screwed up easily and unknowingly.
Page 1 is of course for general information. Be sure you have the persons date of birth and O.H.I.P. (Ontario Health Insurance) number. You will have to write their name and O.H.I.P. # on every single page of this application.
This page includes their full name, address where they are currently living, phone number, etc. If there is a 'substitute decision maker' (SDM) (this is you if you have Power of Attorney or the person who has Power of Attorney) then that information goes here as well. More about Power of Attorney later on...
Family physician is next. All info required. Name, address in full and phone number.
Stay and Accommodations. Now, if you are the applicant or whomever you are helping fill out this form for, is on old age pension and guaranteed income security or Canada Pension Plan or disability, you check off "Basic" in the accommodation rate request. Although there is no information on this form about which accommodation is which (how much it costs), here is what to expect as of April 2003.
Basic is well over $1,000.00 a month ($1,445.71)
Semi-Private is approx. $1,500.00 a month ($1,689.04)
Private is closing in on $2,000.00 a month ($1,993.21)
*note* the amounts in brackets are the fees up until June 2003. They will probably change then as they are adjusted on a regular basis.
Basic is subsidized if the person entering the nursing home is only on a fixed income (i.e. old age, disability, etc.). You will need to discuss this with Community Care proabably but it will have to be proved needed on the day you move in. Not before. Be prepared to prove it with all the documentation required. Have the originals ready. They usually won't accept copies. Copies can be tampered with as far as they are concerned. More about this later on....
Next is your (the applicants) Financial affairs section. Whomever takes care of the applicants financial affairs is the one that fills in this part. If you have power of attorney, have the ORIGINAL papers to prove it. Get them from wherever they are, if at a lawyer's, or financial institution, wherever. Just get them and keep them in a safe place. You should actually always have the originals in a safety deposit box where you can access them easily.
And last but not least on this page is who the application is submitted by.
*NOTE* See "Power of Attorney" for more information if needed.
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