Long Term Care

Continuing Care

Long Term Care

Long-term care facilities licensed and funded by the Department of Health and Wellness provide services for people who need ongoing care; either on a long-term basis (permanent placement) or short-term basis (respite care).

There are two types of long-term care facilities available, nursing homes and residential care facilities.

What are nursing homes?

Nursing homes are important options for people who have difficulty performing everyday tasks such as, dressing, bathing and toileting. Nursing home placement is appropriate for people who are medically stable but have nursing needs that cannot be met through home care.

What are residential care facilities?

When Home Care does not meet the needs of a person and nursing home care is not required, a residential care facility may be the solution. Residential care facilities provide people with personal care, supervision and accommodation in a safe and supportive environment. (People living in residential care facilities must have the ability to self-evacuate in the event of an emergency.)

What services do nursing homes and residential care facilities provide?

Nursing homes provide nursing and personal care on a 24-hour basis including care given under the supervision of a nurse, administration of medication and assistance with daily living. Other services may include physiotherapy, occupational therapy, recreation, and those provided by a Social Worker.

Residential care facilities provide assistance with personal care such as, bathing and dressing, and reminders about daily routines. Personal care and supervision are provided by Residential Care Workers who are available on site at all times.

For both nursing homes and residential care facilities, staff administer all medications for residents. The facilities have medical advisors but residents may continue to visit their family doctor. Residents usually have private bedrooms or share with one other person but common spaces include dining and living areas, bathrooms, and outdoor spaces. Residents are served three meals per day and snacks. Menus consider residents’ preferences, accommodate special diets, and follow Canada’s Food Guide.

How do I apply to Long Term Care?

To apply for residency in a nursing home or a residential care facility, contact Continuing Care, toll-free at 1-800-225-7225 to find out about the application process, to arrange for a Care Coordinator to assess your care needs, and to identify the best method of having your needs met.

How much do nursing homes and residential care facilities cost?

Long-term care costs are shared by you, as the resident, and the provincial government. The Department of Health and Wellness pays for the health care costs, and you pay your accommodation costs and personal expenses.

The Department of Health and Wellness sets standard accommodation charges annually. Those who are able to pay the full standard accommodation charge are not required to complete a financial assessment. Those who cannot pay the standard accommodation charge can apply to have their rate reduced through an income based financial assessment

Learn more about Paying for Long Term Care…

Where are Long Term Care facilities in Nova Scotia located?

Licensed - Approved Facilities

View locations of Approved Facilities with Google Maps

Licensing and Inspection Reports

The Department of Health and Wellness is responsible for licensing nursing homes and residential care facilities under the Homes for Special Care Act. The licensee is responsible for ensuring facilities comply with legislation and requirements for their facility. When deficiencies are identified, requirements are issued to the facility in the form of a licensing inspection report. Facilities are required to provide confirmation of compliance to DHW when deficiencies are addressed.

Licensing inspections are unannounced and occur at least twice annually for nursing homes and once annually for residential care facilities. Facilities are required to comply with about 400 requirements, which are outlined in the Homes for Special Care Act, Regulations, and the Long-Term Care Program Requirements. Requirements are broad in type and scope, and it is not unusual for a facility to not meet several requirements upon inspection. Facilities that are non-compliant with licensing requirements in some areas may receive more frequent inspections.

The information contained in the inspection reports details only the areas of non-compliance found during an inspection. Requirements are issued at a point in time and the violations may have since been resolved. Reasons for violations may vary. Specific questions should be directed to the facility.


2020 Inspection Reports


2019 Inspection Reports

Pressure Injury Data

Long Term Care facilities must report monthly the number of residents with pressure injuries. This information is posted at the end of July, October, January and April of each year.

Data and more information about pressure injuries is available on the Pressure Injury in Long Term Care public reporting page.

Policies and Standards

The  Department of Health and Wellness, Continuing Care Division has created  policies and monitoring standards to ensure that there is a consistent quality  of care for those who need services outside of the hospital, in  their home, or in the community.

Visit Policies and Standards page.