Long Term Care in Newfoundland and Labrador


How Nursing Homes are organized and administered

Nursing homes in Newfoundland & Labrador are residential long term care facilities that provide accommodation, supervisory care, personal care and nursing and medical services on a 24-hour basis. They are designed for seniors who can no longer be adequately cared for in the home and require on-site professional nursing services. Care and accommodations for these residents is subsidized by the Department of Health and Community Services. As the existing facilities are accredited public facilities, they are not currently licensed.

Assessment, waiting lists and admission into a nursing home are managed by the Regional Health Authorities (RHAs). The RHA will conduct an in-home assessment to determine a client's needs and will help the client transition into a nursing home. Placement is based on the organization's ability to respond to the individual's assessed needs and preferences

Eligibility/Requirements for Admission

To be eligible for admission into nursing homes an individual must:

  • be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada,
  • be a resident of Newfoundland & Labrador,
  • have been assessed as needing nursing home level of care.

Income/Asset Test

Clients who can afford to pay the full cost of their services do not require a financial assessment.

Those who feel that they cannot afford long term care must undergo a financial assessment. The RHA will assess whether the client is eligible for subsidization based on income tax returns.  The Department of Health and Community Services sets the fees of nursing homes and provides funding to the RHAs for subsidies to those who are eligible. Nursing home fees are currently $2,990/month, regardless of the type of accommodation. If a client is unable to pay based on a financial assessment conducted by the RHA, the government will pay the difference between the income of the client and the cost of the nursing home, leaving  $150/month for the client as spending money.

Costs for Nursing Homes

Nursing home fees cover the services provided by long term care facilities such as professional nursing care, medical services, social work services and personal care services, food, accommodation, pharmacy services including documentation on medication procurement, therapeutic rehabilitative and restorative services that are designed to meet the assessed needs of the residents.


How Retirement Homes are Organized and Administered

A retirement home in Newfoundland and Labrador is a multi-residence housing facility that provides accommodation and services such as meals and cleaning for older people. Retirement homes in the province are privately owned and operated and not administered by the provincial government. Each facility usually provides a private or semi-private room or complete living suite and then also provides common living quarters, including a lounge area, a common dining room, recreation rooms, cleaning services, social and/or religious programs and some basic health care services. The unit can be paid for on a monthly fee basis, like an apartment, or can in some instances be bought the same way as a condominium.

Admissions, fees and waiting lists for retirement homes are controlled by the homes themselves, not by the government. Admission usually depends on the ability to pay and absence of serious medical conditions that require professional nursing care. Residents are responsible for paying their own fees and government subsidies are not available for accommodation in a retirement residence.

Costs for Retirement Homes

Type of Accommodation  Provincial Median Provincial Range St. John's Median St. John's Range
Private Rooms (per month) $2,500.00 $2,500.00 - $4,050.00 $3,200.00 $2,500.00 - $4,050.00
One-Bedroom Suites(per month) $4,393.75 $3,350.00 - $5,050.00 $4,900.00 $4,750.00 - $5,050.00


How Government-subsidized home care is organized and administered

Home support services are designed to help clients remain independent and in their own home as long as possible. Home care services include professional health care services as well as personal care services such as bathing, dressing, grooming and light household tasks that help to maintain a safe and supportive home.

In Newfoundland & Labrador, public home care is managed by Regional Health Authorities (RHAs). The RHA will conduct a phone consultation followed by an in-home assessment to determine the needs of the client. A service delivery plan is then developed in collaboration with the individual and service providers. The number of hours of subsidized home care allotted to a client depends upon assessment and regional availability, however, a rough maximum is 8 hours day. 

Eligibility/Requirements for Admission

To be eligible for public home care an individual must:

  • be a citizen or permanent resident of Canada
  • be a resident of Newfoundland & Labrador,

Income/Asset Test

There is no income or asset test.


There are no fees for public home care.


Home care resources through the RHA are limited and go to the neediest. As a result, many seniors get inadequate amounts of home care services and have to rely on private home care services to receive the appropriate amount of care.

Costs of Private Home Care

Type of Service  Provincial Median Provincial Range St. John's Median St. John's Range
Meal Delivery (per meal) $7.50 $7.50 - $8.00 N/A N/A
In Home Meal Preparation (per hr) $28.16 $24.70 - $30.00 $27.50 $24.70 - $29.04
Laundry/Housecleaning  (per hr) $28.16 $24.70 - $30.00 $27.50 $24.70 - $29.04
Personal Care (Bathing/Dressing) (per hr) $28.08 $25.00 - $30.00 $27.50 $24.70 - $28.16
Companionship/Supervision (per hr) $28.16 $24.70 - $30.00 $27.50 $24.70 - $29.04
Skilled Nursing* (per hr) $60.00 $45.00 - $65.00 $62.50 $60.00 - $65.00
Physiotherapy (per hr) $120.00 $95.00 - $125.00 $110.00 $95.00 - $125.00
Occupational Therapy (per hr) $125.00 $125.00 - $150.00 $125.00 $125.00 - $150.00
In Home Relief (per hr) $28.16 $24.70 - $30.00 $27.50 $24.70 - $29.04
Palliative Care (per hr) $29.04 $24.70 - $60.00 $29.04 $24.70 - $60.00
24 Hour Care (per hr) $26.20 $24.70 - $28.75 $24.70 $24.70

N/A = Insufficient sample size obtained to justify inclusion
* Fees listed are for RNs however, these fees may vary depending on the type of nurse, such as a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), delivering the care.

How Adult Day Programs Work

Adult day programs are designed for dependent adults/seniors, physically located in the community, to provide a safe group setting during the day when family members are not available to care for them. These centres are usually open daily, Monday through Friday (some on Saturday as well). They provide a secure, caring and positive setting for those who are experiencing memory loss, communication disorders, social isolation or physical disabilities. Nutritious lunch meals are provided which usually accommodate any special diet, along with an afternoon snack. Participants need to be mobile, with the possible assistance of a cane, walker or wheelchair. Adult day programs can be public or private, non-profit or for-profit.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, it is the individual facilities themselves that manage and operate their own day programs. Seniors pay daily fees to cover part of meals & activities.

The purpose of an adult day program is:

  • to provide dependent adults/seniors time to enjoy a setting outside of their house where they can obtain both mental and social encouragement and stimulation and any required health care
  • to provide family caregivers with a much-needed break in order to focus on themselves, take time and relax or go to work

Candidates for adult day programs may be:

  • challenged either physically and/or cognitively, but do not require 24-hour supervision or,
  • in the early stages of dementia or,
  • in need of social contact and stimulation.


Type of Program

Provincial Median

Provincial Range

Program with meals and transportation



Scenario 1: Low level of care (early in the crisis management stage of care)

Mrs. Williams is an 85 year old widow living in her own home. She has osteoarthritis and leg edema. She must wear support stockings to relieve her edema and because her fingers and back are arthritic, she needs help getting dressed. To get around her home, she uses a walking support device or rollator. Both of Mrs. Williams' daughters help her out regularly on weekends and evenings while her son-in-law helps maintain the house and takes care of the lawn.

After fracturing her femur in a significant fall 9 months ago, Mrs. Williams' mobility has been severely decreased and she lost 9 kg or almost 20 lbs as a result. She tells her daughters that she forgets to eat and the food in her refrigerator is spoiled. During their visits, her daughters notice she eats very little and sometimes chokes on her food.

To help her eat safely and address her other needs, Mrs. Williams and her daughters agree it's time for some formal care. She needs her meals delivered to her home, someone to supervise her meals and assistance with dressing and bathing. She would also benefit from a home safety assessment.

Care plan to assist family caregivers part-time

  • Meal delivery - 2 meals a day on weekdays provided by Meals on Wheels or another meal delivery program
  • Meal supervision - 1 hour a day on weekdays (to include a record of food intake and assistance if patient chokes)
  • Personal Care (bathing, dressing) - 1 hour a day on weekdays
  • Occupational therapist: to provide initial home safety assessment and recommendations
Services Required Frequency Covered or Subsidized  by Government (1) Services Required to be paid by client Cost per unit Monthly Cost
Meal Delivery (meals/wk) 10 0 10 $7.50 $322.50
Meal Supervision (hrs/wk) 5 0 5 $28.08 $603.72
Personal Care  (Bathing/Dressing)(hrs/wk) 5 2 3 $28.08 $362.23
Total per month n/a n/a n/a n/a $1,288.45

In addition, there will be expenses for two visits of an occupational therapist including a 1 hr. initial assessment and 45 min. follow up after equipment has been installed. The two visits will cost $218.75 altogether.

Scenario 2: Intermediate Level of Care (late in the crisis management stage of care)

Mr. Leung is a 72 year old widower. He lives with his daughter and her husband in a small community outside the city. Mr. Leung has cataracts in both eyes. He also has dementia which has progressed to the point where he requires continual supervision. He forgets to take his medication, does not eat properly and cannot safely prepare meals. He needs cues for dressing and bathing.

Mr. Leung's daughter and her husband assist him mornings, evenings and weekends but aren't available on weekdays. For weekdays, they enrolled him in an adult day program 2 days per week and hired someone to accompany him to and from the program. For the remaining 3 days of the week they've hired someone to supervise him and keep him company. They've also arranged help for laundry and house cleaning.

Care Plan to assist family caregiver full days, during the week

  • Companionship/Supervision: 3 times a week, 8 hrs a day
  • Adult Day Program: 2 days a week
  • Safety Supervision: to and from the Adult Day Program - 2 times a week, 30 minutes each way
  • Laundry/House cleaning: 3 hrs a week

Services Required


Covered or Subsidized by Government (1)

Services Required to be paid by client

Cost per unit

Monthly Cost

Companionship/Supervision (hrs/wk)




$28.16 $2,906.11

Adult Day Program (excluding transportation) (days/wk)




$7.00 $60.20

Safety Supervision (hrs/wk)




0 $0.00

Laundry/Housecleaning (hrs/wk)




$28.16 $365.26

Total per month




n/a $3,329.58

Scenario 3: High level of care (in the dependence stage of care)

Mr. and Mrs. Jensen live in a two-bedroom condominium. Mr. Jensen is 93 years old, alert and aware but physically frail. Mrs. Jensen is 88 years old, diabetic and recently had a stroke. Her balance is poor and she's at high risk for falling. She can only walk short distances and needs help to get around. She also has heel ulcers that make walking even more difficult. For longer distances, she uses a wheelchair.

Her family doctor recommends Mrs. Jensen move to a nursing home. But because Mr. and Mrs. Jensen's daughter promised she wouldn't send her parents to a nursing home, she needs to make alternate arrangements. Options include a caregiver to assist Mrs. Jensen with bathing, dressing, toileting, walking, meal preparation, household chores and transportation to and from appointments. A nurse could monitor and chart her medicine use and blood sugar levels, clean her heel ulcers and change her bandages. Mr. and Mrs. Jensen would also benefit from a home safety assessment by an occupational therapist who may recommend safety bars, raised toilet seats, better lighting, removing clutter and securing loose rugs.

Care plan to assist family caregivers full-time, every day

  • In-home meal preparation - 7 days a week, 2 hours daily
  • Private caregiver - 7 days a week, 8 hours daily to assist with bathing, dressing, toileting and walking and relieve spouse of caregiver duties
  • Private Registered Nurse - 4 times a week for 30 minutes to monitor and chart medicine use and blood sugar levels and monitor and change dressing on heel ulcers
  • Laundry - 2 hours every other week
  • House cleaning - once a week for 90 minutes
  • Occupational therapist: to provide initial home safety assessment, recommendations and a 45 minute follow-up after equipment installation
Services Required Frequency Covered or Subsidized by Government(1) Services Required to be Paid by Client Cost per Unit Monthly Cost
In Home Meal Preparation (hrs/wk) 14 0 14 $28.16 $1,695.23
Personal Care (Bathing Dressing) (hrs/wk) 56 40 16 $28.08 $1,931.90
Skilled Nursing (hrs/wk 2 1 1 $60.00 $258.00
Laundry/Housecleaning (hrs/wk) 2.5 0 2.5 $28.16 $302.72
Total per month n/a n/a n/a n/a $4,187.86

In addition, there will be expenses for two visits of an occupational therapist including a 1 hr initial assessment and 45 min follow up after equipment has been installed. The two visits will cost $214.38 altogether.

(1) The hours of care alloted by the RHA mentioned above are an estimate only. Actual hours alloted by the RHA may be more or less depending on a formal assessment and regional availability.

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ASSISTANCE SERVICES GROUP is a comprehensive, impartial service that promotes and supports caregiver wellness and wellness for seniors, enabling families to give the best possible care to aging family members, while also taking best care of themselves. ASSISTANCE SERVICES GROUP has researched and prepared this report carefully. To the best of ASSISTANCE SERVICES GROUP ’s knowledge, all information included is accurate and unbiased. However, ASSISTANCE SERVICES GROUP cannot and does not guarantee the a­­ccuracy or completeness of the information. ASSISTANCE SERVICES GROUP cannot accept responsibility for any problems that might arise in relation to your choice of services, whether or not your choice was influenced by information in this report.

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