A Globe and Mail Worksheet
How much does long-term care cost?
Canadians are living longer and as we age, we require more hands-on care and medical attention. That can include staying at a long-term care facility, a place that offers seniors 24-hour nursing and personal care.
For many Canadian families, the long-term care system represents a “safety net” should they become unable to care for themselves or a loved one. But staying in such a facility, despite being subsidized by the government, is generally not free. Accounting for the cost of long-term care can be an important part of retirement planning.
We developed this calculator to help readers understand, estimate and plan for the cost of long-term care in government-subsidized facilities. Select your province and the amount of time for which you think you might need care, and the calculator will show you the total estimated cost at current rates.
Keep in mind that although the calculator shows a lump sum, the costs are charged monthly by the facility and can be offset by any monthly income you or your family members have. In addition, long-term care facilities often have different options (such as private or semi-private rooms) that can affect the total cost. Where possible, we’ve included these options to illustrate how different choices affect the final tally.
The average length of stay in a long-term care facility is about 18 months, according to the Canadian Institute for Health Information.
Notes and Assumptions
Unless otherwise noted, costs listed are maximum rates. For provinces that list daily costs, a monthly rate was calculated by finding the annual total and dividing it by 12. Individuals may also be responsible for other costs, such as prescriptions and hygiene products. Some provinces use a formula to calculate a rate based on the individual’s financial means. Depending on the province, subsidies may be available to cover a portion of the resident’s fees. Different pricing may apply for married residents and common-law couples. The rates listed for Nova Scotia are for nursing homes, rather than residential care facilities. Check your provincial website for up-to-date pricing as rates are subject to change.