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