Frequently Asked Questions
Do You Have a Question?
What is Long Term Care and what are the costs?
Long term care (LTC) includes a variety of services which help meet both the medical and non-medical needs of people with chronic illness or disabilities who can no longer care for themselves. LTC is regulated by the provincial government (including the accommodation rates) and is intended to be all-inclusive (providing room, meals, primary medical care, housekeeping, social activities, etc.), and we are happy to provide enhanced services for an additional fee. The current rates are as follows:
What type of rooms do you offer?
Northcott has 27 semi-private rooms, 16 private rooms (with a shared bathroom), 2 private rooms (with private bathroom) and 1 private respite room (with private bathroom). New admissions are usually admitted into a smaller semi-private room and are placed on an internal waitlist to transfer into a larger semi-private room or a private room. Wait times to be offered a room change will vary and are difficult to predict.
What is respite care?
Respite care meets the needs of eligible residents based on the principles of accessibility, affordability and appropriate environment. It provides the following benefits to the resident and primary caregiver:
- Enhanced quality of life for the resident and caregiver including coping skills and increased morale.
- Receive care in a safe and comfortable setting during the absence of the primary caregiver.
- Caregiver’s capacity to provide care will be enhanced through regular ongoing support.
What items should I bring when I move in?
The smaller semi-private rooms have limited space so you will be restricted as to what items and the number of items you can bring initially. Generally, the most common items to bring include:
- TV (no larger than a 42 inch screen)
- Own pillow or blanket
- Personal effects (small objects that remind you of home or family)
- Toiletries (including toothbrush, hairbrush, large and small nail clippers, electric razor, etc.)
- Clothing (enough daywear and nightwear for 7 days) and appropriate footwear
Please make sure all items are clearly labelled, except the clothing which we will label for you on the day of admission.
Generally, when starting out in your first room, you would want to look at bringing small things from home that make your loved one’s room more comfortable and familiar. Due to the size of admission rooms, you will be unable to bring in large items such as large dressers. Once you are offered a larger room or a private room, you will have more space to bring in larger items such as a dresser, mini fridge, etc.
For safety and infection control reasons, the following items are not permitted to be used by residents at any time: electric (heating) blankets, space heaters (including electric fireplaces), air conditioners, and humidifiers.
The use of hot water bottles and / or microwaveable hot packs are strongly discouraged unless under the supervision of staff at specific times. Please speak with the physical therapist if a hot pack is required.
Fans are permitted and encouraged to help residents stay cool during the summer months.
What can I expect in the first few days after admission?
Moving into a long term care facility can take time to adjust to. The day of admission is usually very busy with completing forms, meeting different staff and being introduced into a new environment with unfamiliar routines. In the days that follow, the staff will do their best to help new residents get familiar with their new environment. It can take several weeks for a new resident to get used to the routines of a long term care facility; and it takes that same amount of time for our staff to learn the preferences of each new person. New residents will be greeted by different team members to introduce a variety of options such as exercise, recreation activities, etc. It is not unusual for new residents to be sad and refuse to participate at first. Adjustment takes time, and a concerted team effort by both the family and our interdisciplinary team is required to make the experience positive for any new resident.
Who will be involved in my care?
We have an interdisciplinary team made up of a variety of different disciplines. Each discipline will be involved in your care at some point in time. These disciplines include the following: Physicians, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Social Worker, RN/LPN’s, Health Care Aides, Dietitian, rehab assistants, general services staff (housekeeping, dietary, laundry), maintenance staff, recreation staff, and unit clerks.
Who do I talk to if I have a concern?
If you have a concern, please try to speak directly to the staff involved when your concern arises. Many concerns can be resolved quickly and satisfactorily this way. If the staff member is unable to resolve your concern to your satisfaction, you can contact the department supervisor (i.e. General Services Supervisor, Nursing Supervisor, Recreation Coordinator, etc.). Our Site Manager is also available to help resolve concerns that department supervisors are unable to resolve.
What happens if I need to see a dentist, eye doctor or a specialist?
Specialized services such as needing to see a dentist, an ophthalmologist, or a specialist will require that you go out for appointments. Families are responsible for arranging these appointments, for arranging for transportation to and from appointments, and for accompanying you to the appointments. Always keep the facility updated about upcoming appointments. For transportation options, please speak to a staff member. If a resident needs to be transported by stretcher for a non-medical appointment, transportation options are available. All transportation costs for non-medically required appointments are the responsibility of the family and/or the resident. If a specialist provides you with a prescription for a medication, please give it to your nurse once you return so we can get it approved by your physician and supplied by our pharmacy.
Can I take my loved one out of the facility?
You are welcome to take your loved one out of the building for appointments, social outings or even just for a walk. Please ensure you let the nurse or unit clerk know in advance so that we can make sure your loved one is ready to go and has anything they might need to take with them (i.e. medication list, medications, Goals of Care, etc.). Transportation can be booked by family using the wheelchair van, a private company, or in your personal vehicle if the resident is able to safely transfer with your assistance.
How do I get a phone or cable hooked up?
Hooking up cable for your TV must be through Shaw Cable, while your phone can be hooked up through Telus. Cell phones are also welcome. Once you have brought a phone and/or TV into your loved one’s room, you then will need to call the provider (Shaw or Telus) to send a technician for installation. Please schedule installation Monday-Friday between 8:00 a.m. –4:30 p.m. while our maintenance staff are onsite to assist. Shaw and Telus will invoice you directly each month; we are not involved in their pricing or billing.
Is laundry done onsite?
Families have the option of having laundry done onsite by the facility (for an additional charge) or doing the laundry themselves at home. All clothing will be labelled with the resident’s name (for a onetime fee) and returned to the resident’s room within the first 48 hours, regardless of who does the laundry. Large commercial washers and dryers are used to do the laundry so delicate materials are not able to be washed by our laundry team. If you decide that you want to do your loved one’s laundry yourself, please speak to the staff about what is required.
Do you segregate residents or have a dementia unit?
No, we do not segregate our residents based on diagnoses or medical conditions. All residents of all ages and conditions live together on the units and attend all meals and activities together.
Are you a privately owned facility?
We are a privately owned and publicly funded facility. This means that we are accountable to Alberta Health Services for all of the care that we provide and are monitored and audited regularly by Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services. We are required to meet all Continuing Care Health Service Standards and Long Term Care Accommodation Standards set by the Alberta Government.
Do you provide hospice care?
No, we do not have hospice care rooms, however, our staff are trained to provide end-of-life care for our residents, with the primary focus being to keep the resident comfortable at their end-of-life. For any resident that is in the end stage of life, and currently resides in a small semi-private room, a private room can be offered if available. This room provides more space and privacy for families and their loved one during this difficult time.
What type of recreation programs do you have and will someone bring my loved one to programs?
We have a variety of recreation programming including bingo, card and board games, reminiscing programs, chair dancing, sing-a-longs, crafts, and sporty games like horses races, bowling and balloon volleyball. The recreation team will go to each unit to ask residents if they would like to participate and will porter them to the activity if assistance is required. We also host many bigger events such as the Remembrance Day services, and our Hallowe’en party. Visitors are welcome to attend any program with the resident but must currently always keep their mask on.
Are there church services available and/or can my minister or priest visit me?
Our recreation team arranges a number of services each month with churches in the community. Your own minister or priest is welcome to visit the facility in accordance with current visitation protocols. If communion is going to be provided, please ensure that he/she is aware of any diet restrictions for the resident. This would be important for any resident on a minced or pureed diet and/or for those that require thickened fluid consistencies.
Are there currently visiting restrictions?
At this present time, there are no visiting restrictions. All visitors enter and leave the facility through our main entrance to support physical distancing and screening protocols for COVID. We have a COVID screener at that entrance daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Although our COVID screener is only here during that time frame, your visitation is not limited to those hours. There are currently no limitations with regards to how many family members can visit at a time, as long as you’re being mindful and respectful to your loved one’s roommate and are able to properly physically distance from others. Continuous masking in all areas is mandatory; please always keep your mask on at all times.
Is the food prepared onsite?
Our food, which is delivered by Sysco, is prepared onsite by qualified staff. There is a Spring/Summer menu and a Fall/Winter menu. Each menu is comprised of a three-week rotation, which is reviewed and updated by the Kitchen Supervisor and Dietitian. The kitchen is able to prepare food for special diets such as vegetarian, gluten-free, low potassium, lactose-restricted, etc. Also, the kitchen adheres to the Alberta Health Services texture modified guidelines to prepare meal consistencies such as: regular, easy to chew, dysphagia soft, minced, and pureed. Fluids can be thickened to a safe consistency dependent on each resident’s individual needs. We serve three meals per day. For all meals, a variety of drink options and two protein choices are provided. Snacks are offered three times per day and available on each unit 24/7 upon request.
Can visitors join the residents for meals?
Currently visitors can sit with residents during meals but are not able to eat with them. All visitors must always keep their masks on at all times. Be mindful of whether your loved one requires a special diet consistency before bringing food. Please let a staff member know if you plan to bring in food for your loved one so that they can notify the kitchen.
Parking lot for visitors and handicap parking?
We have a visitor parking lot located in front of the facility. There are two handicap parking spaces in this parking lot close to the main entrance. The entrance is wheelchair accessible and there is a wheelchair ramp to provide easier access to the sidewalk for our residents and visitors. Street parking is also an option.
Does your facility use physical restraints?
Physical restraints can cause increased anxiety, aggression, and injuries in residents. Northcott supports a least restraints philosophy, following Alberta Health Services guidelines. We look at alternative options to restraints which are less invasive and support resident safety. Please speak with staff for more information about our Least Restraint policy.
Is there space for visits?
Northcott has common spaces available for our residents and visitors to access and utilize. There are common areas and TV rooms, the main entrance has seating available, and the activity center provides space for visits. We have an outdoor patio located on the South side of the building with sitting areas for our residents and visitors. We also have picnic tables located on the North side of the facility with more space to be utilized.
Is there an exercise program?
Currently, we have a physiotherapist and a rehab team. Group exercise is offered six days a week. In addition we offer individual and group exercise sessions with our rehab team, which could include walking, standing, or range of motion exercises. The rehab team will come to your loved one and offer these services. If residents would like additional physio, they are welcome to hire an outside service provider to come into the facility. Please discuss these options with our rehab team.
Is equipment provided?
On admission our rehab team meets with each resident to determine their individual equipment needs, including wheelchairs and walking aides. The facility has a variety of loaner equipment available for temporary use and will provide the best match available. The physiotherapist will then work with you on ordering the resident specific equipment through Alberta Aids to Daily Living (AADL) that is appropriate for your loved one, based on their individual needs and requirements. If you have your own walker and/or wheelchair, you are encouraged to discuss with our rehab team what equipment you have available and to determine if it will be appropriate for your loved one to continue to use.
How often do the residents get a bath?
All residents are offered up to two baths per week. The decision about how many baths and what type of bath each resident has is one that is made by each individual resident. Bathing can be done by either tub bath, shower, or bed bath. We utilize communal tub/shower rooms on each resident unit, ensuring appropriate cleaning and disinfecting of equipment occurs after each resident use. As a facility we support the preferences of each resident in determining how often they want a full bath, shower or bed bath, keeping their overall wellness at the forefront of this decision.
Do you have a hairdresser?
We have a hairdresser (Peggy) who works Tuesday – Thursday each week; her salon is located just off the dining room. All residents (men and women) can have their hair cut and styled (for an additional charge). If you are wanting to book an appointment, please contact Peggy by phone or stop by her salon. The hair salon is closed periodically throughout the year for vacations and statutory holidays.
Hours of operation:
Tuesday – Thursday
8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Do you allow pets in the facility?
We encourage families to bring familiar pets to visit their loved ones. All visiting pets must:
- Have current vaccinations on file (please provide recreation with an updated copy each year);
- Be potty trained;
- Be well behaved (no uncontrolled barking, jumping, growling, scratching, etc.).
No pets are allowed in the dining area during mealtimes. Please remember to always watch your pet and clean up after them.
Do I still need to complete my taxes when I move into LTC?
Yearly income tax returns must continue to be completed. It is beneficial for you to complete your taxes in a timely manner each year to ensure you receive the maximum benefits you are eligible for. You and your family are responsible for completing your tax return each year.
Choosing to live with us?
For additional information, please review the information contained within these links for details on how to choose Northcott as your new home.