Navigating Continuing Care

Determining the right care and navigating through the health system can be an overwhelming and sometimes confusing process. We understand that making a move from your home can be a hard decision, but it can also be very positive and rewarding. Below is a quick, helpful guide to navigating the continuing care system.

Step 1: Assessment

Step 1: Assessment

The first step in determining the right care is to contact Alberta Health Services (AHS) to arrange for an assessment by a Case Manager. An assessment looks at current health conditions and considers personal needs and preferences to determine the appropriate level of care. AHS uses an internationally-recognized tool, the InterRAI Assessment. There are a number of outcomes of the assessment:

  • Long Term Care - great for those who are unable to safely stay at home or in supportive living, often because of complex or unpredictable needs and require monitored care by a Registered Nurse (RN).
  • Supportive Living (SL3, SL4, SL4-D) - allows individuals to enjoy a home-like setting with the comfort of having health care services provided. It is a great option for individuals who may have medical needs that can be managed to maintain a semi-independent lifestyle.
    • Supportive Living with Dementia Care (SL4-D) – for those who have been diagnosed with dementia and need a secure environment.
  • Home Care – allows individuals to stay in their homes or other private residential setting (example: retirement community) by providing care services at home
Step 2: Choose a New Home

Step 2: Choose a New Home

With assessment results in hand, the next step is to research and determine your preferred living location and sites. When researching, it is important to keep in mind the care each location provides and any of the desired amenities or features. The Case Manager needs to know the one or more preferred sites that match the required care needed. 

Step 3: Waitlist

Step 3: Waitlist

Once the preferred sites have been shared with the Case Manager, your name will be added to the waitlist. It is important to remember that each individual provider, for example Shepherd’s Care, does not manage the waitlist, but rather AHS. They do their best to place you in your preferred site, but an alternate site may be offered first.

Step 4: Available Space

Step 4: Available Space

Once your name is at the top of the waitlist, you will receive a notification from the Case Manager. You will have 48 hours to ask any questions and make a decision. Once a decision has been made to accept the available space, your move in date and other details will be determined. If you choose not to accept, you will work with the Case Manager to determine your next steps.

For more information about navigating continuing care, please visit Alberta Health Services

Age in Place

At Shepherd’s Care, one of our pillars is age-in-place. We strive to offer opportunities for our residents to stay within one campus of care as their needs change. Unfortunately, this is not always possible. We must follow the processes of the AHS system and residents must first be assessed and added to the waitlist before moving into a new area of care, for example, from an Independent Living condo into Supportive Living (SL4).

Here is the story of Susan to highlight the steps:

Susan is living in the Independent Living condos at the Kensington Campus. She owns the condo and an AHS assessment was not required to move in. Last month, Susan had a fall and has not recovered as well as she had hoped. She requires more assistance with daily activities and help with medication management. Susan decides she would like to move into another area of the Kensington Campus that offers her more support and services.

First, Susan must contact Alberta Health Services to get an assessment from a Case Manager. After being assessed for SL4, she adds Kensington Campus to her preferred list and is placed on the waitlist. Luckily, a suite became available and she was at the top of the AHS waitlist. Susan was able to stay within the same campus and receive the added support she needs. 

If a suite was not available first at Kensington, but at another location, she could transfer to the available suite and still keep her name on the waitlist for Kensington. Once a suite became available at Kensington and Susan’s name is at the top of the AHS waitlist, she would be able to move back to the campus.