New Brunswick Nursing Homes
Understanding The Nursing Home System
Definition of Nursing Homes in New Brunswick
Nursing homes are designed for individuals who are medically stable and need 24 hour a day, 7 day a week professional nursing supervision.
In order to eligible for nursing home care you must be:
- 19 years of age or older
- a citizen or permanent resident of Canada
- a resident of New Brunswick
- assessed as needing nursing home care
The Department of Social Development is responsible for licensing and monitoring nursing homes.
Nursing Home Owners
Currently, all nursing homes in New Brunswick are not-for profit.
Most nursing homes have a selection of room layouts from which to choose. A basic, or ward room consists of 3 or more beds. A semi-private room has only 2 beds, and a private room has a single bed.
Applying To A Nursing Home In New Brunswick
In order to apply for a nursing home bed, you must contact the Department of Social Development (please see the “Applying to a Nursing Home” tab on the left hand side of the screen). A nurse and Social Worker will gather demographic and health information, and conduct a thorough assessment to better understand your physical, mental, cognitive, and psychological functioning. With this information, the nurse or Social Worker will present your information to the Single Entry Point Committee, who will decide if you are eligible for nursing home placement. The client and their family/next of kin can be present for the meeting.
If you qualify for nursing home care, you will be asked to choose three nursing homes as your preferred homes. Your name will be added to the waiting list of all nursing homes within a 100 km radius of your location. Individual nursing homes control their own waiting list, and an individual at the home will contact you when a bed becomes available. You can refuse one bed offer, however if your refuse a second bed offer, your name will be removed from the waiting list. You can refuse any bed offer, without penalty, if you do not speak the official language of the home.
If you accept a bed offer from a home that is not on your preferred list, you can request a transfer to another home, and maintain your position on the waiting list.
If you are waiting for a nursing home bed in hospital, you must abide by the First Available Bed Policy and accept the first bed offer. Again, you can request a transfer to your preferred home once admitted and maintain your priority on the waiting list.
During the assessment process, your nurse or social worker may have collected certain documents required by the nursing home. If not, be prepared to bring the following to the home at the time of admission:
- Power of Attorney for Finances (if one)
- Power of Attorney for Personal Care (if one)
- Previous year’s Notice of Assessment if you cannot pay the maximum accommodation rate
- Advanced Health Care Directives
- Health Card
New Brunswick Nursing Home Costs
The New Brunswick government subsidizes health care costs and determines nursing home fees. Residents can expect to pay a portion the nursing home costs, known as an accommodation fee. As of April 2013, New Brunswick nursing home residents are charged a maximum of $107per day. Rates will increase to $113 per day as of April 2014. Your rate will be determined by your family’s income, not the nursing home resident’s income alone.
|Maximum Daily Rate||Maximum Monthly Rate|
A resident’s ability to pay maximum rate does not determine placement into a ward, semi-private, or private room. The nursing home decides which residents will receive each type of room based on several factors, such behaviour (a resident who exhibits disruptive behaviours may be assign a private room as to not disturb other residents), availability, and care needs.
If you are unable to pay the maximum accommodation rate, you can request financial assistance from the Department of Social Development. You will undergo a financial assessment and complete a Financial Declaration Form, which requires the following information:
- 2 pieces of identification, one of which must be your Social Insurance Number, the other may be your Medicare Card, Birth Certificate, or Driver’s license
- documents proving all of your family income
- rental income, if any
- tax returns for you and your spouse from the previous 2 years
- Power of Attorney, or trustee document
You will not be required to sell your house to pay for your nursing home costs.
If you have a spouse who is living in the community, yet you are physically separated because of reasons beyond your control (i.e., living in a nursing home), you may be eligible for the same amount of financial assistance as a single person.
Discretionary Spending/Comfort Allowance
In determining your accommodation fee, each nursing home resident must have a given amount per month for personal spending. Also, you are able to keep the GST rebate and Low-income Seniors Benefit. If all of your income goes towards your accommodation fee, the government will provide you with the Comfort Allowance.
Respite care gives temporary relief to caregivers, or allows them to go on vacation knowing that their loved one’s care needs are met. You can receive respite care for a maximum of 30 days per visit, and no more than two times per year. Not all nursing homes provide this service, so please contact individual homes to inquire as to whether or not you can receive respite care in the home.
Programs and Services That Are Covered
The resident accommodation fee and government subsidy will cover the costs of the following programs and services:
- room furnishings (typically a bed, bedside table, closet or wardrobe, chair, and dresser)
- meals and snacks
- laundry services
- social programs
- medication administration
- assistance with Activities of Daily Living
- physician care
- pastoral services
- personal care services
- basic medical supplies
- professional nursing care
- some mobility aides for general use
Programs and Services That Are Not Covered
The following programs and services are not covered by either resident accommodation fees or government subsidy, and therefore required resident out-of-pocket costs.
- T.V. cable for personal use
- personal newspaper delivery
- tuck shop
- dry cleaning
- some medical equipment for individualized use
- personal in-room phone
If a drug is not covered under the Prescription Drug program, you will be required to pay for the medication.
New Brunswick Nursing Home Policies, Programs, And Services
Although nursing homes vary according to some programs and services, the following are fairly standard across all nursing homes.
- All nursing homes permit visitors, however each home can determine their own visiting hours.
- Residents are able to bring in personal items to make their room feel like home. It is recommended to bring in items such as pictures, a bedspread, and decorations depending on room size and dimensions.
- Residents are permitted to bring some personal appliances, however all must be approved by the home to ensure that they meet safety requirements. Some examples of appliances that are not permitted due to safety concerns are a hot plate, kettle, electric blanket, heating pads, toaster, iron, coffee maker, and heater.
- Homes are required to have an attending physician, however some homes may allow a resident to keep their own doctor if he/she has visiting privileges in the home.
- The home will tailor meals and snack according to a resident’s dietary restrictions. Some residents may need to be referred to a registered dietitian for an assessment.
- Nursing Home residents must be given the opportunity to support, establish, and sustain a Resident’s Council. Although the Department of Social Development does not monitor Resident’s Council, the Council is required to keep minutes of each meeting.
- Nursing home family members should be given the opportunity to establish, support, and sustain a Family Council.
- Each nursing home must provide activity programs and some programs should be offered in the evening, weekends, and outside the facility.
- Each nursing home should provide spiritual or religious programs.
- All nursing homes differ in the degree to which they offer palliative care. Some homes may provide comfort measures to a resident in their final hours, whereas other homes may also have a separate room for palliative residents. The room may allow family members to spend the night with the dying resident.
Although homes may vary in their use of restraints, they should all have a least restraint policy, which typically requires that restraints are only used if:
- it is used as a last resort
- the resident is harmful to self or others
- all other interventions were unsuccessful
- the restraint is as minimal as possible
- the resident is assessed on a regular basis to ensure the resident’s safety and comfort, and to establish if the restraint is still required
- the family is informed
- the use of the restraint is documented, as well as each time the restraint is assessed
Leave of Absence
Regardless of the reason for the absence (i.e., hospital stay, psychiatric leave, vacation, weekend leave), you cannot be away from the nursing home for more than 30 days per calendar year. During your absence, the nursing home will hold your bed, however you must continue paying the accommodation fee. If you wish to extend the absence, you must go through an application process and explain the reasons for the extension.
New Brunswick Nursing Home Regulations And Inspections
Nursing homes must abide by the Nursing Home Act and its regulations. As part of the Act, a nursing home must operate with a valid license, which must be posted in a conspicuous location in the home. Although nursing homes do not have be accredited, some choose to be part of this program by Accreditation Canada (formerly the Canadian Council for Health Services Accreditation). Accreditation Canada is an independent, non-government agency that evaluates health care facilities. This is a voluntary program, and a home can operate without this designation. Homes that have been through this process, and have been granted accreditation are presented with a plaque, which most homes prominently display.
Nursing Home Inspections
At least once a year, the Department of Social Development inspects each nursing home. Inspections occur at least one month prior to the expiry date of the nursing home’s license. An inspection takes 2 days, and culminates with a meeting with the Administrator to advise of any findings or areas of non-compliance. The Administrator will soon receive a report summarizing the outcome of the inspection, and the inspector will give the Administrator deadlines to correct concerns. The Administrator, in turn, must send the inspector a letter indicating that the concerns have been rectified, along with supporting documentation. If the Department of Social Development approves the report, and the home is fully compliant, the Administrator will complete a form to renew the license within 60 days of the license expiring.
If, however, the home has not corrected all concerns, they will only be issued a modified license. Once the home corrects all violations, they will be able to apply for a full license.
If you have a concern with the nursing home, first speak with the relevant staff member to make them aware of the problem and discuss ways to address the issue. If you are not satisfied with this response, contact the Manager of the department. Serious issues, or concerns that are still not corrected, should be brought to the attention of the Administrator.