A Personal Care Home, sometimes called a “Nursing Home”, offers 24-hour care in a secure environment. If you think a loved one is a good fit for this option, contact your regional health authority Home Care Program (see 'Where Do I Start?' Navigation Page). If you are unsure which health authority is in your area, click here for our provincial map. For LTCAM Personal Care Home Residences and virtual tours, click here.
1. What is a personal care home?
A Personal Care Home in Manitoba is a facility dedicated specifically to providing care for those individuals whose long term care needs can no longer be met appropriately at home by the family and/or by supporting community services. The insured personal care home program in Manitoba is provided in licensed personal care home facilities designated by the Minister of Health.
2. Who is eligible for a Personal Care Home?
3. When do I need a Personal Care Home and how do I go about getting into one?
Usually entering a personal care home is a choice that is made after all other alternatives such as family, Home Care, Independent Living with Services (Assisted Living) or Supportive Housing have been explored to adequately meet your care needs. Your doctor or Home Care worker will refer you to the appropriate place to assist you in applying for a personal care home.
There is a different process in each of the Regional Health Authorities in Manitoba however the same principals are followed. Each person must be seen by a number of professional staff including a doctor who will complete an application and assessment form that will be submitted to a panel. A process called paneling takes place where a number of professionals look at your needs and determine which option they could offer to best meet your needs. If you qualify for a Personal Care Home they will contact you as soon as possible to assist you in choosing the Care Home you wish to enter.
4. How do I select a Personal Care Home?
Selecting the right personal care home for you is a difficult decision to make.
It is important that you, a family member, or someone you trust visit several personal care homes prior to becoming a Resident. A visit provides you an opportunity to talk not only with the people who work at the home, but more importantly to the people who live there.
You may want a home that places special emphasis on ethnicity, language, religion, and/or food. Ask about these things when you are inquiring about the Home.
Our member personal care homes are listed along with phone numbers, virtual tours and a brief description of the services they provide under About Us.
To help you ask some the important questions during your visit the following check list has been provided.
5. What does it cost me to live in a Personal Care Home?
All residents of Personal Care Homes in Manitoba are subject to individualized rent charges that are put in place by Manitoba Health each year. The amount of the rent is determined by an assessment of the annual income of each resident. The basic daily charge is re-evaluated by Manitoba Health annually in August. To calculate Residential Charges, please visit the Manitoba Health web site. Click here for the Residential Charge Calculator.
This charge represents only a portion of the costs associated with the services provided. Manitoba Health provides the balance of the monies required as part of the Personal Care Home insured program.
6. What else do I have to pay for?
Residents are responsible for costs such as personal telephones, television cable service, insurance, newspapers, hairdressing fees, transportation fees, labeling of clothing, teeth/false teeth, glasses and hearing aides (batteries), and any personal health and beauty aides.
Residents are also responsible for their own crutches, walkers, pressure cushions, slings for the mechanical lift, maintenance and repair of their wheelchairs and geri-chairs and any other items that are required solely for the use of that person.
7. Do I pay for my medications?
All medications prescribed by a physician or a nurse practitioner and covered by the Manitoba Health Nursing Home Formulary, are part of the insured program of Manitoba Health and there is no cost to the resident. However, your physician or nurse practitioner may prescribe medications that are approved by Health Canada, but not on the provincial formulary. There may be a cost for these medications.
8. If I need physiotherapy do I have to pay for it?
No. Physiotherapy services may be available on a consultative basis in some of the Homes. In some Homes there is a Rehabilitation Aide that will assist residents with the appropriate exercises that are recommended by a Physiotherapist.
9. Can I keep my own doctor?
Yes, you can keep your own physician if they have admitting privileges to the Personal Care Home in which you reside. Each Care Home has a medical director who is in charge of the overall medical care provided to the residents. Each resident must have their own physician who will look after their medical care. If your own physician does not have admitting privileges to the care home in which you reside a physician from the staff in the home will be provided for you.
You will also have access to a specialist on a referral basis by the attending physician.
10. What happens if I need to be hospitalized?
If your Doctor determines that you require hospitalization, they will make arrangements with the local hospital for transfer.
Absences from the Home for treatment in hospital may not exceed 21 days for each period of hospitalization except under circumstances that are approved by the Regional Health Authority. The residential charge will continue to be collected for the period of time you are absent.
11. Can I go home with my family for the weekend?
Yes, you can go out with your family or friends at any time for up to 72 hours. Just be sure to let the nurse in charge know that you have are going and when, so that arrangements can be made for any medications that you may need and that they will be aware of where you are.
12. Can I go on vacation with my family?
Yes. Absences from the Home should not exceed 21 days in any one calendar year. Your rent must still be paid when you are on any leave from the Home. If you exceed 21 days absence in one year, you will be responsible for the full per diem rate which will include not only the rent paid by you now but also the portion paid for care by Manitoba Health.
13. Can I have visitors?
Yes. There may be specific visiting hours in the Home that you are in, but the majority of Homes allow visitors at any time during the day or evening. Visitors should make sure that they are free of colds or the flu or any contagious diseases when visiting you in the Home.
14. What do I bring to the Personal Care Home?
Each Home will have a list of things to bring that are specific to that Home.
A generic list is as follows:
Items To Bring
|Everyday Clothing * All should be washable (Dresses, pants, shirts, sweats etc)||5+ Sets|
|Night Clothes (pj gowns)||4+|
|Underwear/Bras (T shirts, panties, shorts etc)||6+ Pairs|
|Shoes/Boots/Slippers||Pair of Each|
|Coats (Heavy/Light)||1 of Each|
|Scarf/Hat/Mitts||1 of Each|
|Mobility aids/Hearing aids & Glasses||As needed|
15. Who will look after my clothes?
The Laundry Department in each of the Homes will take care of both linens and personal clothing. All your personal clothing should be washable and be labeled with your name so that it will be returned to you when it is clean. Labels are usually obtained from the Home. If you have any items that cannot be washed, your family will have to have the dry cleaning taken care of.
16. What if I have a special diet?
All Homes have access to a Registered Dietitian who will make sure that any of your special dietary needs i.e. diabetic diet, are taken care of. Food preferences will be taken into consideration but cannot be guaranteed.
17. Are there any religious programs?
Most Homes have a pastoral care program that offers church services weekly. The services are usually conducted by the local pastoral care organization and are of different denominations.
18. Can my clergy visit me?
Yes, clergy are welcome to visit you at any time.
19. Can I bring small appliances such as radios, TVs etc.?
Yes, most homes have a policy that requires that all electrical appliances are CSA approved. The maintenance department will check them prior to use to assure they are safe for use in your suite. This will include such things as electric razors, hair dryers, T.Vs, radios, fans etc.
20. What information do you need from me when I move into a Personal Care Home?
You should bring with you
If you have made a Living Will (Health Care Directive) you should also bring it with you. You can obtain a copy of the Legislation pertaining to the Health Care Directive and a form that can be used from your local Public Health office or from the Personal Care Home. At the time of admission to a Care Home a staff member will probably ask you if you have a Health Care Directive and if not, what your wishes are in the event that you become unable to make decisions about your care.
21. Will I have my own room?
Not all Personal Care Homes have all single rooms. There are some 2 and 4 bed suites that are available. All Homes have a toilet and sink in the resident suite with bathing facilities for all the residents in a central location.
22. Can I smoke?
Only a few homes remain that allow smoking. You must ask this question when you tour.
23. Can I bring in alcohol?
You can bring in alcohol but use of it will be controlled by the nursing staff. You will not be allowed to keep it in your own suite.
24. Can I get a blood test and x-ray if I need one?
If the physician orders lab work for you the blood sample may be taken in the Home and sent to the nearest lab for the test. You will have to go to an x-ray clinic or a hospital for any x-rays you require. Laboratory and x-ray work is not done in the Home.
25. What are my rights as a resident of a Personal Care Home?
Each Personal Care Home has a Resident Bill of Rights. Residents in the Home have input into the Bill of Rights and it is reviewed with them at least every year. The Bill of Rights will include such things as the right to be treated with courtesy, respect and dignity and to be free from all forms of abuse; the right to privacy, to be informed of treatments and the right to refuse; and the same rights as any citizen to raise concerns and recommend change.
26. What if I have concerns about my care in the Personal Care Home?
If you have concerns about your care, there is a process in the Home for the expression and resolution of these individual concerns.
Concerns and suggestions of an overall nature of the programs offered or the running of the Home can be expressed at a 'Resident Council' meeting. Each Home has a Resident Council that meets, usually monthly, to assist residents in this way and to seek their input into the kind of programs they want to be offered. If you are totally unhappy with the Home, you can ask for a transfer to another Home. The transfer can be arranged but you must apply for it with the Home where you are and indicate which new Home you wish to go to.
27. Does every Personal Care Home use restraints?
Personal Care Homes have a policy about restraints of both types. No-one is 'tied up' unless there is a threat to either their own or someone else's safety. Every other means is tried before a restraint is ordered and then it will be the least restraint possible to assure the safety of the resident. The trauma to the resident of being 'tied-up' must be weighed against the risk to their safety before a restraint will be ordered. You or your designated representative must agree that a restraint can be used. As well, the type of restraint and the frequency of monitoring the resident with a restraint must be ordered by either a physician or a nurse. The use of drugs as a restraint is carefully monitored as well as the use of any physical restraint.
28. Can I get a flu shot?
Yes, the flu shot is offered to everyone in the Personal Care Home as well as the staff.
29. What is there to do in a Personal Care Home?
All Personal Care Homes have a Recreation department that provides a wide variety of programs that are designed to meet the needs, interests and abilities of residents in the Home. There are many different programs available. They may include pet therapy, music therapy, movies, picnics and BBQs in the summer, fitness programs, Bingo, and other games as well as friendly visiting for residents that can no longer take part in the larger programs. Holidays and birthdays are recognized in special ways.
30. What happens if there is a fire in the Personal Care Home?
All Personal Care Homes have regular inspections by their local fire department. They must all meet the Manitoba Fire Code. Each Personal Care Home holds regular fire drills for the staff to keep them knowledgeable in the procedures to carry out if there were ever a fire. The alarms and all the systems are tested regularly. Personal Care Home Standards also govern the strict controls that must be in place.
31. What kind of care can I expect in a Personal Care Home?
24 hour nursing care provided is Provincially Legislated for all residents. All Personal Care Homes have nursing staff that includes Registered Nurses, Registered Psychiatric Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses and Health Care Aides. Nursing is part of a team that works with all other departments to put a plan together to accommodate all aspects of a resident's life. You and your family are encouraged to take part the planning of care by participating in care conferences.
32. Is the Personal Care Home safe for people with Alzheimer's?
All Personal Care homes have taken safety measures to assure that the resident with Alzheimer's disease or a dementia of any kind (wandering) are secure and unable to access areas where harm may inadvertently come to them. These safety measures may include key pads at doors, a resident bracelet that will automatically sound an alarm and lock the door, or a special unit where the environment is safe.
33. Will my suite be kept clean?
Yes, there is housekeeping staff that will clean your suite and the Home.
34. What is a Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a legal document in which a person (called the donor) gives authority to another person (called the attorney) to manage some or all of the donor's financial affairs. It is important to note that Powers of Attorney deal with financial affairs only and not with personal and health care decisions.
The Power of Attorney document should be drawn up with the assistance of a lawyer to assure that all aspects of it are explained and understood prior to signing such a document. Before you appoint someone to act as your attorney make sure you are comfortable with their trustworthiness. The attorney that you have appointed can be changed at any time if you think they are not carrying out your wishes to your satisfaction. You can ask for an accounting from the attorney at any time. For more information regarding this you would need to obtain legal advice or select this link.
35. What is Enduring Power of Attorney?
In law, the authority under a Power of Attorney ENDS if the donor (you) becomes mentally incompetent and incapable of managing his or her own financial affairs. However, the donor (you) may include a clause in the Power of Attorney document allowing the attorney you have appointed to continue acting even if the donor (you) later becomes mentally incompetent. If this clause (called the enduring clause) is included in the power of attorney, the document is referred to as an Enduring Power of Attorney.
The Power of Attorney document should be drawn up with the assistance of a lawyer to assure that all aspects of it are explained and understood prior to signing such a document. Before you appoint someone to act as your attorney and give them enduring powers, make sure you are comfortable with their trustworthiness and you can rely on them to carry out your wishes even when you are incapable of giving them direction. The attorney that you have appointed can be changed at any time if you think they are not or will not carry out your wishes to your satisfaction. For more information select this link.
36. What are the advantages of having an Enduring Power of Attorney?
In the event that you become incapable of making decisions about your finances during your stay in a Personal Care Home, the person you named as your attorney will have the ability to make decisions about your financial affairs. It is important that you make the Personal Care Home aware of this at the time of admission and provide them a copy of the Enduring Power of Attorney that names your attorney so that they may contact them should the need arise.
37. What happens if I am incapable of making decisions about either my care or my finances when I enter a personal care home and do not have an Enduring Power of Attorney set up?
A family member, friend or trust company may be able to assume responsibility for your affairs. They must apply to a court for committeeship. Although the application does not require a court appearance, the services of a lawyer are usually required to prepare the required documents. Your estate may pay the fees for this procedure. A court appointed committee has the power to handle financial affairs, and must pass the accounts of the estate on a regular basis. This means getting court approval of the financial records. The committee must seek court approval for major decisions such as the sale of real estate. The court may also authorize the committee to make decisions about personal care including health care, where and with whom you will live, and decisions about your daily living. Where there is no one willing or able to be the private committee, the Chief Provincial Psychiatrist may appoint the Public Trustee of Manitoba to act in this capacity. In such a case the Public Trustee is responsible for making decisions affecting your personal and financial interests. Charges for this service will be made by the Public Trustee office and will ordinarily be charged to your estate.
38. What is a Health Care Directive commonly known as a Living Will?
As a Manitoba citizen you have the right to accept or refuse medical treatment at any time. The Health Care Directives Act allows you to express your wishes about the amount and type of care and treatment you want to receive should you become unable to speak or otherwise communicate this yourself. It allows you to give another person called a proxy, the power to make health care decisions for you should you ever be unable to make them yourself. You would want to choose a person whom you have discussed your wishes with and who is willing to take on the responsibility for you should you become unable to make those decisions. You can change your mind about the directions you have initially made at any time. You can write your directive yourself or use the sample form that is available and can be downloaded here. The form does not have to be witnessed nor do you need a lawyer to complete it. You should however, speak with your doctor before making it to ensure that your instructions are clear and will be easily understood by those who provide treatment.
The Health Care Directive you make is binding on your proxy, your friends, relatives and health care professionals (unless they are not consistent with accepted health care practices) and will be honored by the courts. It is important that if you have made a Health Care Directive a copy of it is provided to the Personal Care Home when you are admitted so that the health care staff will be able to abide by your wishes and plan your care accordingly.
39. Why should I complete a Health Care Directive?
Persons of all ages may unexpectedly be in a position where they cannot speak for themselves to make decisions about proposed treatments. This could happen as a result of an accident or severe illness. It also happens quite gradually, as a rule, with victims of a dementia disease such as Alzheimer. In these situations having a Health Care Directive made by yourself and expressing your values, beliefs and wishes regarding treatment, assures you that your doctor, friends and family and the one you have appointed as your proxy know your wishes.
Having a Health Care Directive may prevent your family or loved ones from having to make a decision about your treatment when they aren't clear about your values or beliefs around certain areas of proposed treatment. There may be occasions when different members of the family have different views and beliefs as to what treatment should be provided. Their own feelings and views and beliefs may be different from each other and may be different from what your beliefs and values are. Having a Health Care Directive not only gives you the benefit of having your wishes adhered to it may prevent dissention within the family and will provide clear direction to health care professionals.
40. What kinds of things should I write in my instructions for health care in a Health Care Directive?
You can provide as specific or as general instructions as you feel comfortable with and that you feel reflect your beliefs and values. If you feel that the proxy you have named will make all the decision about your care that closely match what your values and belief are then you have given him/her the ability to make decision about:
41. What happens if I don't have a Health Care Directive?
If you are unable to speak for yourself and have no Health Care Directive, the doctor and health care team will turn to one or more family members or friends to assist them in planning your care. The most appropriate decision-maker is the one with a close, caring relationship with you, is aware of your values and beliefs and is willing and able to make the needed decisions. This person along with the health care team of the Personal Care Home as well as your doctor will meet to discuss all aspects of your care including the type of care you would wish to have provided and make a care plan accordingly. In some Regions they have what is called an Advanced Care Plan. This part of the care plan considers decisions around future or potential end-of-life treatment options and preferences to be considered.
42. What regulations must personal care homes comply with?
Legislation requires that in order to be licensed by the province, all PCHs must comply with the Government of Manitoba's Personal Care Home Standards.
All PCHs must adhere to many other regulations, policies, and other contractual obligations, including, but not limited to: Accreditation Canada, Manitoba Office of the Fire Commissioner, Workplace Safety and Health, Public Health Act, Food Services Permit, Protection for Persons in Care Act, Personal Health Information Act, The Public Interest Disclosure (Whistleblower Protection) Act, Manitoba Employment Standards, Adherence to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) or Canadian Public sector accounting standards (PSAS) and production of annual, independently audited financial statements, RHA applicable policies, procedures and contractual obligations for example, Infection Control, Hours of Care per resident day, pharmacological reviews, CRNM, CRPNM, CLPNM, College of Physicians and Surgeons. Hiring requirements include a Criminal Record and an Abuse Registry check.
43. What do I do if I have a concern about a Personal Care Home?
All Personal Care Homes must have a documented complaints process. This is legislated via the Manitoba Provincial Personal Care Home Standards. Please see question 42 regulations.
Each PCH has a posted process for complaint resolution. If a problem is encountered, it is always best to speak to the person or people directly related to/affected by the issue. Concerns/complaints can be expressed to any member of the staff by the Resident or family. An independent advocate could be asked to make a complaint on the Resident's behalf. It is important to provide a thorough summary of the facts including relevant dates and times. The Complaint Management Process offers Residents and families a way to express their concerns regarding a PCH or the long-term care system. While it is important to express feelings, it is important to stay focused on the facts so that the concern will have a successful resolution and the situation improves.
44. How do I determine if I am eligible for a Personal Care Home?
Contact your Regional Health Authority Home Care Program to determine your eligibility. Click here.
45. What does the average Personal Care Home resident "look like"?
Mrs. Smith is 89 years young. She has lung disease and has trouble breathing. She broke her hip last year and is now confined to a wheelchair. 6 months ago, she had a stroke and now she has trouble communicating. Mrs. Smith needs help with all activities of daily living: bathing, grooming, eating, and dressing.
Mr. Cooper is 92 years young. He is confused most of the time and does not know where he is. He often goes into other residents’ rooms and takes things that he likes, for example, clothing, pictures, and books. Sometimes he just lies down on their bed because he becomes sleepy. If he is startled, he sometimes lashes out to protect himself,……because he is afraid and confused.
Mr. Jones is 95 years young. He has Parkinson's disease and cannot walk on own. He also has trouble swallowing and must have specially prepared food. He must also be assisted with all his meals. Recently Mr. Jones began having problems with his memory. He often does not know where he is and needs to be reassured. The fact that he does not know where is makes him very anxious so he calls out frequently for reassurance. Mr. Jones must have help to remember to eat his meals and for all other activities of daily living: bathing, grooming, and dressing.