Rates Changed For Nursing Home Residents

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About 6,500 long-term care clients have received information on adjustments to their costs for long-term care accommodations.

Under its long-term care policy, the Department of Health pays the health-care portion of costs for Nova Scotians in licensed long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes and residential care facilities. Residents are responsible to pay for their accommodation costs and items of personal need.

Adjustments are made to accommodation costs that residents pay. They reflect annual increases to facility operating costs, changes in individual incomes, and increases to the old age security and guaranteed income supplement program.

"Through our 10-year Continuing Care Strategy, we are committed to providing Nova Scotians with quality care in a place they can call home," said Health Minister Chris d'Entremont. "Annual rate reviews and adjustments are necessary to make this valuable service affordable to residents and sustainable over the years."

Letters explaining the revised rates were mailed to home administrators, long-term care residents and people with powers of attorney on Sept. 25. Long-term care clients waiting for placement in a home have also received their letters.

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Effective Nov. 1, the standard accommodation charge for a nursing home has increased to $86.50 per day, up from $79 per day. For a residential care facility, it has increased to $52, up from $50.50. For a community-based option, it has increased to $47.50 from $46.50.

The daily respite charge in long-term care has increased to $30.20 per day from $29.75. Residents can apply and may qualify for a reduced accommodation rate based on their previous year's income.

The department has made other adjustments effective Nov. 1. in keeping with this year's increase to the federal government's old age security and guaranteed income supplement.

Single seniors are able to retain about 15 per cent of their income or $2,700 per year, whichever is greater, before they pay accommodation charges. This reflects a $48-increase from the previous year.

Spouses who live in the community can retain $16,165 per year. That is an increase of $173 from the previous year.

The department's 2008-09 budget for long-term care services is about $377 million.

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