Top 7 Differences of Long-term Care vs Retirement Homes

Welcome Home Transitions has done the work for you in knowing the differences between long-term care homes and retirement homes. Learn the differences:

What you need to knowInfographic Top 7 Differences Between LTC Homes and Retirement Homes

I put this list together a couple of years ago when my parents needed to move into assisted living. I wanted to share it so you can save time and effort reviewing rules and regulations. I’ve done the work so you can understand which senior housing option may be a better fit for you. Here are the key differences:

  • Monthly rental rates are higher in retirement homes with the average rent for a standard one-bedroom unit being $4,700[1] in the GTA. The LTC home cost for a private unit was $2,700[2] in 2019.
  • Retirement homes charge for care services in addition to monthly rental rates. Assisted living in a GTA retirement home averaged $5,400[3] per month. In LTC homes, the government covers nursing and personal support costs for residents, regardless of care levels.
  • Faster to access retirement home units with the average GTA vacancy rate for independent and assisted living spaces in 2019 at 6% and 3.2% respectively[4]. LTC home waitlists were projected at 40,200 people in 2020, with a median wait time of 179 days[5].
  • Standard eligibility criteria and an application process, led by the Province of Ontario’s Local Health Integration Network, to access LTC homes. Retirement homes have a comparatively less stringent process to gain access.
  • Choice of LTC homes limited to five. Once a space becomes available, people have five days to relocate into the LTC home. If for some reason the person does not move in, they’re removed from all waitlists. They’re subsequently prohibited from reapplying for LTC home admission for a period of three months. Retirement home access is not restricted in this manner.
  • LTC home admission may separate spouses and partners if they a require different levels of care. Simultaneous admission for the couple is not guaranteed. No similar restrictions are placed on couples in a retirement home. Note: Bill 153 “Till death do us part act”, currently before Province of Ontario’s Standing Committee on Justice Policy (as of May 2020), may guarantee the rights of couples to live together in LTC homes.
  • Retirement homes are for-profit entities while the ownership structure of LTC homes are a mix of both publicly owned and for-profit businesses. This may result in differences in the level and quality of services provided, including how the facilities are managed.

If you’re looking for more information about this topic, contact us for a free one-hour consultation.

[1] Canada Mortgage Housing Corp (Senior Housing Report December 2019)
[2] Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (Current Accommodation Rates as of July 1, 2019)
[3] Canada Mortgage Housing Corp (Senior Housing Report December 2019)
[4] Canada Mortgage Housing Corp (Senior Housing Report December 2019)
[5] Government of Ontario Financial Accountability Officer (Peter Weltman) Report October 2019

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