Keeping continuing care affordable for residents
Alberta will keep subsidizing accommodation charges for Albertans living in continuing care by paying for the first three months of this year’s increase.
Albertans are struggling with the rising cost of living due to inflation. Alberta’s government continues to look for ways to make life more affordable, especially for seniors and those on fixed incomes living in publicly funded continuing care homes.
From July 1 to Sept. 30, Alberta’s government will continue to subsidize accommodation charges. Keeping the subsidy in place for three more months will save the average resident $135 a month.
“One of our top priorities is making life more affordable for all Albertans, especially seniors and vulnerable citizens. Providing financial relief for residents in publicly funded continuing care homes is the right thing to do. It will help to lessen the financial burden on residents, as well as their families who are supporting their loved ones.”Jason Copping, Minister of Health
Annual accommodation charges are tied to changes in the consumer price index in legislation and were set to increase by 3.6 per cent on July 1. Applying this year’s high inflation rate to accommodation charges may put financial and emotional strain on residents and on families supporting their loved ones, which is why Alberta’s government will keep the subsidy in place until Sept. 30.
Since July 2022, the government has provided $24.8 million to offset residents’ accommodation charges in continuing care. This includes $13.7 million from July 1 to Oct. 31, 2022, paid directly to operators on behalf of residents to offset the full 5.5 per cent increase due to unusually high inflation, plus $11.1 million from Nov. 1, 2022 until June 30, 2023, to subsidize 2.3 per cent of the maximum legislated accommodation charges for 2022-23.
- The government will pay the 3.6 per cent increase directly to operators on behalf of residents during this period. This financial support will amount to about $6.8 million.
- The province will also continue to pay operators the ongoing accommodation charge subsidy from 2022-23. The subsidy will amount to about $17.4 million.
- Alberta has the second-lowest maximum continuing care accommodation charge of Canada’s provinces, second only to Quebec.
- The government sets the annual maximum rate that operators are allowed to charge for accommodation in continuing care homes, which is regulated by legislation.
- Annual increases are based on the percentage increase in the Alberta consumer price index, for the 12-month period ending on Feb. 28 of that same year.
- Alberta has the lowest consumer price index increase of any province in the country.
- Accommodation charges reflect the cost of providing such things as:
- resident rooms
- meals and meal service
- laundering of towels and linens
- housekeeping services
- routine building maintenance
- general administration
- Low-income residents who qualify for the Alberta Seniors Benefit or the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped program are protected from these changes because their benefits offset increases in annual charges.
- The government provided a six per cent increase to these core benefits in Budget 2023.
- The minimum monthly disposable income for Alberta Seniors Benefit clients in continuing care is among the highest in Canada.
- Helping continuing care residents with inflation (Jul 27, 2022)
- Relief from high inflation for continuing care residents (Apr 5, 2022)