Why would an elderly couple be sent to separate care homes?
Different provinces have different policies, but most don’t have long-term care homes that accommodate a spouse who doesn’t have severe health needs. Despite the need for both spouses to receive care, they may still be separated if there are no beds available.
According to the NDP, Ontario’s new regulation, which took place on Jan. 1, 2018, requires all long-term care homes to have at least two beds for spouses. Similarly, the health system in B.C. makes no promises. In the case of a couple with only one member eligible for long-term residential care, the health authority and the couple will explore those options that can keep their relationship intact.
Health ministers in Manitoba have voiced their opposition to expanding the criteria for placing healthy spouses in long-term care facilities because it would reduce the number of beds available to those who qualify.
The Alberta Health Authority considers options like private living suites in a long-term care facility for the Farnells. However, the only option for the spouses can stay together is a personal care home, which would cost about $9,000 a month.