Learning and growing together

As our progressive and inclusive society ages — so, too, does the demand for CHAA care homes to support and embrace members of the LGBTQ2+ community. Our mission and values around family, love, compassion ,and equity mean our care homes are committed to learning from each other and our residents about welcoming and better supporting a diversity of individuals and couples in congregate care settings. No matter who you love or which gender you identify with, you are always welcome in a CHAA care home.

Keeping partners and companions together

Alberta’s single-point-of-access continuing care system has struggled for years with the promise of keeping couples together. Whether a heterosexual, same-sex, or other diverse couple relationship, there are several realities that have historically reduced the ability of our care system to welcome couples in care homes:

  • Couples in which one person needs facility-based care and the other is able to live independently have always had challenges finding options where both can live in the same location.

  • Care homes often have specific ‘care levels’ associated with them (according to their licence and funding agreements) — meaning only individuals with certain care needs are permitted. Couples whose care needs are different are often forced to live separately because other higher-needs residents on the waitlist will generally be placed sooner.

  • Our central access system priorities the highest-needs residents for placement — which is an individual rather than a ‘couples’ approach to admission to care homes/

  • The COVID-19 pandemic led to a move away from shared rooms — meaning there are increasingly fewer spaces across the continuing care system for couples to live together.

The Facility-Based Continuing Care (FBCC) Review, as well as CHAA’s submissions to the FBCC, stressed the urgent need to create sufficient capacity across the continuing care system to accommodate couples and ensure seniors aren’t separated from their life partners as they age together. We’re continuing to advocate for policy changes as well as physical design changes (e.g., moveable walls) that will allow care home spaces to flex and adapt to resident needs.

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