What you need to know about residential care for seniors in Saskatchewan
October 26, 2017
Whether you are a member of the “sandwich generation” with young children and older parents or you are a senior yourself, sooner or later you will need to understand the residential care options in Saskatchewan for individuals who can no longer live at home, and how much they cost. Typically, residential facilities are characterized as either retirement homes or government-subsidized nursing homes. In the discussion below we distinguish between the two, the services provided and how much they cost.
A retirement home in Saskatchewan is a multi-residence housing facility that provides accommodation and services such as meals and cleaning for older people. Retirement homes in the province are privately owned and operated and not administered by the provincial government. Each facility usually provides a private or semi-private room or complete living suite as well as common living quarters, including a lounge area, a common dining room, recreation rooms, cleaning services, social and/or religious programs and some basic health care services.
The unit can be paid for on a monthly fee basis, like an apartment, or can in some instances be bought the same way as a condominium. Admission, fees and waiting lists for retirement homes are controlled by the homes themselves, not by the government. Admission usually depends on the ability to pay and absence of serious medical conditions that require professional nursing care. Residents are responsible for paying their own fees and government subsidies are not available for accommodation in a retirement residence.
Costs for Retirement Homes*
|Type of Accommodation||Provincial Median||Provincial Range||Regina Median||Regina Range||Saskatoon Median||Saskatoon Range|
|Private Rooms(per month)||$2,475||$1,500 – $5,500||$2,850||$1,800 – $5,500||$2,425||$1,600 – $4,000|
|1 Bedroom Suites (per month)||$3,415||$1,580 – $4,170||$3,750||$3,500 – $4,100||$3,150||$1,580 – $4,042|
Government-Subsidized Nursing Homes**
Nursing homes or special care homes, as they are called in Saskatchewan, are residential long term care facilities that provide 24-hour professional nursing care and supervision for people who have complex care needs and can no longer be cared for in their own homes.
These facilities are owned and operated by municipalities, religiously affiliated organizations and private, for-profit organizations. However, nursing home fees are set by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health.
Admissions to residential long term care facilities are managed by local Regional Health Authorities (RHAs). An intake coordinator or social worker from the RHA conducts an in-home assessment with clients and their families to assess care needs and program options, to coordinate access, explain fees and coordinate placement into long-term care facilities.
A report of the assessment is sent to the Regional Committee, who decides on acceptance. Clients who are eligible for access to a long term care bed generally access the first available bed in the system and then transfer to a facility of choice. A chronological wait list is maintained by the RHA to ensure fair and equitable access to a facility of choice.
Eligibility/Requirements for Admission
To be eligible for subsidized care services, a client must:
- Be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident over 18 years of age.
- Require ongoing care (usually 24 hour care, seven days a week) due to age, disability, injury from accidents, or long-term illness.
- Hold a valid Saskatchewan Health Services card, or be in the process of establishing permanent residence in Saskatchewan and have applied for a Saskatchewan Health Services card.
The client’s income is assessed by Saskatchewan Health. Income Tax returns of applicants are reviewed once the Regional Committee has approved the admission of the client into a nursing home. The client’s application is sent by the RHA to the nursing home, which in turn sends it to Saskatchewan Health for income assessment.
A resident pays the standard resident charge ($1,086 at July 1, 2017) plus 57.5% of the portion of their income between $1,413 and $4,200. For married residents, including common law couples, the couple’s income is combined, divided equally and then the above formula is applied.
The resident and spouse (if applicable) are required to provide:
- The most recent year’s Notice of Assessment(s) from CRA, or
- Pages 1 to 3 of Income Tax Return(s) upon admission and annually thereafter.
If income information is not provided, the resident charge will be assessed at the maximum rate.
A resident admitted for temporary care must pay the income-tested resident charge if their stay is more than 60 consecutive days.
Examples of resident charges at various income levels
|Monthly Income||Monthly Resident Charge|
Married residents living in separate special care homes
Married residents who live in separate dwellings for reasons beyond their control may choose to complete an Optional Designation Form.
- With this designation, only the resident’s income is considered when calculating the charge.
- Choosing this designation does not change a couple’s marital status.
In addition to the resident charge, there is an additional cost for prescriptions, medications, incontinence supplies, and certain medical and personal supplies and services.
There is also a $21.25 monthly supply charge for personal hygiene items, such as shampoo, conditioner, soap, denture cream, toothpaste, mouthwash, etc. This charge is adjusted annually based on increases to Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement benefits
|Written by Sheryl Smolkin|
|Sheryl Smolkin LLB., LLM is a retired pension lawyer and President of Sheryl Smolkin & Associates Ltd. For over a decade, she has enjoyed a successful encore career as a freelance writer specializing in retirement, employee benefits and workplace issues. Sheryl and her husband Joel are empty-nesters, residing in Toronto with their cockapoo Rufus.|