Quebec Seniors (English)

Placement of adults in residential and long-term care centres or foster homes

Depending on your health and level of independence, you may be admitted to a public institution or other appropriate resource, such as an intermediate or family resource.

Application for admission
If you still live in your own home, you must contact your local community services centre. If you are not able to do so, a family member or friend can do it for you.

If you are in a hospital centre, the application will be handled by the institution.

Description

A person with diminished autonomy due to aging or a physical or mental impairment may be admitted to a residential and long-term care centre or a foster home.

A CHSLD accommodates, temporarily or permanently, adults experiencing a loss of functional or psychosocial independence, who can no longer live at home, in spite of support from family and friends.
An intermediate resource accommodates persons experiencing a loss of independence or whose condition requires bed, board and support or assistance services. An intermediate resource is operated by a natural person, a legal person or a partnership recognized by a health and social services agency. It is bound by a service contract to a public institution, for example a health and social services centre.
A family-type resource or a small intermediate resource is operated by a natural person who accommodates at his or her main residence a maximum of nine adults entrusted by a public institution. The resource must meet their needs and provide them with living conditions that resemble as closely as possible those of a home environment. The services provided are bed, board and support or assistance.

If the person is still living in his or her home, the request for placement may be made by the person, a family member or a friend. If the person is already admitted to a care unit of a general and specialized hospital centre, the hospital will take care of finding a suitable resource.

A social worker or nurse will meet with the person and a few family members to ascertain the person’s degree of autonomy. The person’s treating physician will conduct a medical assessment. Those assessments determine, in particular, the senior’s level of independence and his or her accommodation needs.

Clientele and Requirements

People age 18 or over who have lost or are losing their physical or mental autonomy.

A person who wishes to apply for accomodation for himself or herself or a relative should contact the local CLSC.

To obtain the contact information for a CLSC, it is recommended to use the online tool Info-Santé 811, available on the website of the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.

Devices that compensate for physical deficiencies

If you have a motor impairment and must wear or use a device to go about your daily activities, and are insured under the Québec health insurance plan, you may be eligible for the program respecting devices that compensate for physical deficiencies.

The Program for Devices That Compensate for Physical Deficiencies is intended for persons insured by the Québec health insurance plan who have a physical deficiency and need to wear or use a device to compensate for the deficiency.

The devices covered are orthotics, prosthetics, ambulation aids, standing aids, locomotor assists and posture assists (refer to the definitions), as well as their components, supplements and accessories.

A person who is eligible for this program is entitled to the purchase, adjustment, replacement, repair and, in some cases, the adaptation of these devices.

Ambulation aid
A device that facilitates or permits walking. Ambulation aids include crutches, canes, walking frames and walkers.

Standing aid
A device that supports the trunk and lower limbs, thus enabling a person to assume an upright position (for example, a parapodium or an orthopodium).

Locomotor assist
A device used for moving about. Locomotor assists include manual and powered wheelchairs, wheelbase systems, orthomobiles and children’s strollers.

Posture assist
Device used to support one or more parts of the body (head, upper or lower limbs, spine) in a sitting position in a wheelchair or on a wheelbase system.

Orthotic
A device that is designed to correct a deficient function, to compensate for a deficiency or to increase the physiological performance of the trunk or of a limb that has lost its primary function, never fully developed or is affected by a birth defect (for example, a tibial orthotic).

Prosthetic
A device that is designed to fully or partially replace an amputated limb or a limb that is completely or partially missing, and to restore its primary function or original appearance (for example, a leg or foot prosthetic).

Clientele
Any person insured by the Québec health insurance plan who has a physical deficiency.

General requirements 
It is necessary to have a medical prescription written by a medical specialist (orthopedist, physiatrist, neurologist, neurosurgeon, rheumatologist or geriatrician) or a general practitioner or pediatrician associated with a hospital or rehabilitation centre.

A general surgeon may write prescriptions for lower-limb prostheses and a plastic surgeon may write them for upper-limb or lower-limb orthoses.

Certain devices and services provided in cases of severe cardiovascular or cardiorespiratory failure must be prescribed by a cardiologist or pneumonologist.

The medical prescription must

  • describe the insured person’s physical deficiency or functional impairment;
  • confirm that the person needs to wear or use a device;
  • provide instructions on how the device should be used.

The devices and services must be provided by a public facility or a private laboratory accredited by the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.

An orthotic is insured if, on the recommendation of a physician, it has to be worn every day for a minimum of

  • 6 months, for a lower-limb orthotic;
  • 3 months, for a spinal orthotic;
  • 1 month, for an upper-limb orthotic.

In the case of an insured person under age 19 who needs an orthosis to correct a deformation, there is no set minimum period.

A walking assist device (see the Definitions) is eligible only as part of a rehabilitation process and if it is used daily for at least one year.

Hearing devices

If you have a hearing impairment and are eligible for the Québec health insurance plan, you may be entitled to the purchase, replacement or repair of your hearing aids or assistive listening devices. Certain conditions apply.

If you think you qualify
Consult an ear, nose and throat specialist, an audiologist or an audioprosthetist.

The Hearing Devices Program enables persons insured by the Québec health insurance plan who have a hearing impairment to obtain or replace a hearing device or have it repaired, provided certain conditions are met.

Hearing devices can be used to improve hearing (hearing aids) or to compensate for a hearing impairment (assistive listening devices).

The program covers the following type of hearing aids:

  • analogue (in-the-ear, behind-the-ear, body and eyeglass);
  • digitally controlled analogue (in-the-ear and behind-the-ear);
  • digital (in-the-ear and behind-the-ear).

The program also covers certain assistive listening devices, such as

  • decoders;
  • teletypewriters;
  • telephone amplifiers;
  • adapted alarm clocks;
  • ring detectors.

 

Procedure for obtaining a hearing device
A person seeking to obtain a hearing device must first obtain a precise evaluation of his or her condition in order to determine whether a hearing device is required or whether another solution is appropriate. To do so, the person must consult an ear, nose and throat specialist or an audiologist. The medical certificate issued by the healthcare professional must be presented in order to obtain a hearing device.

To consult an audiologist, contact a hospital, a local community services centre or a hearing deficiency rehabilitation centre in the local area. Services rendered by an audiologist are free if they are provided in a hospital, a local community services centre or a hearing deficiency rehabilitation centre. However, services rendered by an audiologist in private practice must be paid by the patient.

A person seeking to obtain a hearing aid must consult a hearing aid acoustician and present the required documents.

A person seeking to obtain an assistive listening device must consult a distributor of assistive listening devices and present the required documents.

Depending on the situation, the following documents may be required in addition to the medical certificate:

  • an audiogram from an ear, nose and throat specialist or an audiologist;
  • an attestation of the need for a hearing device from an ear, nose and throat specialist or an audiologist;
  • an attestation of current enrolment in a recognized program of studies;
  • an attestation for a student or a worker showing, as applicable, that the person is enrolled in a recognized program of studies or is engaged in paid employment or employment providing a benefit (persons in the latter category may include self-employed workers, workers benefiting from support for workplace integration and job retention, or trainees developing employability skills).

 

Clientele
Any person insured by the Québec health insurance plan who has a hearing impairment.

Special requirements for hearing aids
To be eligible for the Hearing Devices Program and receive a single hearing aid covered by the program, a person must

  • be under age 12 and have a hearing impairment that might jeopardize speech and language development;
  • be age 12 to 18 and have an average hearing loss of at least 25 decibels in one ear;
  • be age 19 or over, have an average hearing loss of at least 25 decibels in one ear and be pursuing studies leading to a diploma, certificate or attestation recognized by the ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport;
  • have an average hearing loss of at least 35 decibels in the better ear (persons of all ages);
  • have other impairments, in addition to a hearing impairment, that hamper the person’s integration into society, the school environment or the workplace (persons of all ages).

Generally, the program makes it possible to obtain one hearing aid per insured person. In certain cases, it is possible to obtain a second hearing aid if the person meets one of the following conditions:

  • is under 19 years of age;
  • is visually impaired.

A person 19 and over may obtain a second hearing aid if the device enables him or her to pursue studies recognized by the ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport or remunerated employment, either as a self-employed worker, a worker receiving support for workplace integration and job retention, or a trainee developing employability skills.

 

Special requirements for assistive listening devices
A person with a severe hearing impairment or a severe problem of sound discrimination may, under certain conditions, receive an assistive listening device, provided the device is essential for

  • learning;
  • family life;
  • safety;
  • integration into the school environment or the workplace;
  • continuing to live independently in his or her own home.

 

Optometric services covered

Certain optometric services are covered by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec.

If you are 65 or over and have a valid health insurance card, you are entitled to one complete eye examination and one colour vision test each calendar year.

Certain services rendered by optometrists are paid for by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec.

A complete eye examination and a colour vision test are covered

  • once a year for persons under age 18 and persons age 65 or over;
  • once ever 2 years for recipients of last-resort financial assistance and their dependants.

Also, any person insured by the Québec health insurance plan may be treated free of charge by an optometrist for a sudden eye problem such as conjunctivitis, inflammation of the eyelid or a foreign body on the surface of the eye.

For the Régie to pay for covered optometric services, persons seeking treatment must present the following documents to the optometrist:

  • their health insurance card;
  • their claim slip, if they are recipients of last-resort financial assistance.

 

Clientele
Any person who is insured by the Québec health insurance plan and who

  • is under age 18;
  • is age 65 or over;
  • is age 18 to 64 and has been a recipient (or a dependant of a recipient) of last-resort financial assistance for at least the past 12 consecutive months;
  • is age 60 to 64, has been receiving a spouse’s allowance for at least the past 12 consecutive months, and would be entitled to last-resort financial assistance if he or she were not receiving a spouse’s allowance;
  • is visually impaired and is registered with an accredited rehabilitation centre;
  • has a sudden eye problem.

 

The principal optometric services covered are

  • examination of the oculo-visual system, which makes it possible to detect vision disorders, monitor their evolution and assess eye health;
  • examinations specific to a particular condition, such as strabismus or aniseikonia (a condition in which the image seen by one eye differs from that seen by the other);
  • evaluation of colour vision, visual field, eye motility and light adaptation;
  • prescription of eyeglasses or contact lenses following an examination, prescription of exercises to improve vision, or referral to another healthcare professional such as an ophthalmologist.

 

Registering for the public prescription drug insurance plan

The public plan covers prescription drugs that are purchased in Québec and are on the list published by theRégie de l’assurance maladie du Québec.

You are between 18 and 64
If you are not eligible for a private plan
You must register with the Régie for coverage under the public drug insurance plan.

You are 65 or over
You are automatically registered for the public plan. If you are eligible for a private plan, you must choose one of the following options:

  • the Régie’s public plan only;
  • the Régie’s public plan and a private plan that provides additional coverage;
  • your private plan.

If you keep your private plan, you must cancel your registration for the public plan by calling the Régie or going to a Régie office during business hours.

All citizens of Québec, including children under age 18, must be covered by a prescription drug insurance plan. Citizens of Québec who are not eligible for a private prescription drug insurance plan must register for the public plan administered by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec. Certain persons are automatically registered.

A person not covered by a prescription drug insurance plan (public or private) will have to pay Revenu Québecan amount equal to the public plan premium for each full month during which the person had no coverage. TheRégie regularly carries out verifications in collaboration with Revenu Québec.

 

Parents registered for the public plan must register their children under age 18 if the children are not eligible for a private plan. Children can remain covered by their parents’ plan until their 26th birthday, provided they meet certain requirements and their parents request an extension of the coverage.

Deregistration from the public prescription drug insurance plan
Persons registered for the public plan who become eligible for a private plan must join the private plan and deregister from the public plan.

Persons registered for the public plan while they are eligible for a private plan will have to repay the Régie any amounts they received for prescription drugs during the period in which they were not eligible for the public plan.

Certain persons may be automatically deregistered.

Death
When a person registered for the public prescription drug insurance plan dies, no steps need to be taken to cancel his or her registration if the death was declared to the Directeur de l’état civil. The Directeur will automatically notify the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec of the death.

Reimbursement of prescription drugs purchased before registering for the public plan
Under the Act respecting prescription drug insurance, prescription drugs purchased within 3 months preceding registration for the public prescription drug insurance plan may be reimbursed. Persons who have just registered for the public plan and were not covered by any plan prior to that time should ask their pharmacist to verify whether the prescription drugs purchased in the preceding 3 months qualify for a reimbursement.

Persons not yet registered for the public plan may apply to the Régie for a reimbursement of the prescription drugs purchased, provided they register for the plan by the prescribed deadline.

Clientele
Citizens of Québec not eligible for a private prescription drug insurance plan

Eligibility requirements
To be eligible for the public prescription drug insurance plan, a person must

  • be a resident of Québec within the meaning of the Health Insurance Act ;
  • be duly registered with the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec under that Act;
  • hold (or be entitled to hold) a valid health insurance card.

The child of a person covered by the public plan is also eligible, provided the child meets the following conditions:

  • he or she is not eligible for a private plan; and
  • he or she is either under age 18, or is age 18 to 25 inclusive, is a full-time student, does not have a spouse and lives with his or her parents.

Note
The following persons are automatically registered for the public prescription drug insurance plan by the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec:

  • holders of a claim slip and their children under age 18;
  • persons who have turned 65;
  • newborns whose parents are covered by the public plan.

The following persons do not have to deregister as the Régie will automatically deregister them:

  • persons who no longer hold a claim slip and their children under age 18;
  • persons registered as children when they turn 26;
  • persons who have turned 18.

 

Low-rental housing program

If you are an autonomous, low-income senior, you may be eligible for subsidized housing under the Low-rental Housing Program managed by the Société d’habitation du Québec.

Available dwellings are allocated on the basis of certain criteria (seniors, families) and according to the number of persons who will live in the dwelling (alone or with a spouse and/or children).

he low-rental housing program is for low-income households selected on the basis of their socio-economic condition. Under the program, they pay rent corresponding to 25% of their income.
The Société d’habitation du Québec entrusts management of low-rental housing to housing bureaus or, in some cases, non-profit organizations.

Clientele
Low-income households.

Conditions
To qualify for the low-rental housing program, the applicant must:

  • be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act and be a Québec resident;
  • not have an income that exceeds the maximum income limit, which varies according to the number of people in the household and to the region;
  • have resided in Québec or in the territory of the municipality for which the housing application is being filed for at least 12 consecutive months in the last 24 months;
  • be able to take care of his or her essential needs independently or with outside help or the help of a caregiver, in particular those needs related to personal care and ordinary household tasks.

Other conditions may apply.

 

Restrictions 
The following persons do not need to have resided in Québec or, if the lessor’s by-law provides for it, in the lessor’s selection territory for at least 12 of the last 24 months preceding the application:

  • a disabled person who, due to a motor disability, is likely to have difficulty entering a dwelling or moving around in it, or a household that includes such a person;
  • a victim of conjugal violence. An attestation issued by a shelter, a police force or an institution in the health and social services network must confirm the situation.

In the case of dwellings belonging to a housing cooperative or a non-profit organization, households must meet other conditions specific to that organization.

Criteria used to evaluate housing applications
Applications are evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

  • the household’s financial situation (total income and property);
  • the number of minor children in the applicant’s custody;
  • the date on which the application was filed.

Points are awarded on the basis of each criterion, and the total number of points obtained determines the household’s position on the waiting list.

The lessor may provide, by by-law, for the allocation of additional points in the following situations:

  • the applicant is disabled and, due to a motor disability, cannot enter his or her domicile or move around in it safely to perform daily activities;
  • the applicant’s present dwelling is located in an environment that is prejudicial to him or her.

Other situations may apply.

The basic rental charge is equal to 25% of the household’s total income for the calendar year preceding the signing of the lease. This amount includes the cost of heating.

However, depending on the services included in the lease, certain charges may be added to cover the cost of electricity, parking or air conditioning.

In addition, depending on the clientele, fees are sometimes charged to cover the cost of special services, such as nursing care or cafeteria services.

Residential Adaptation Assistance Program

If you have a disability and your participation in everyday activities in your home is limited, you may be eligible for the Residential Adaptation Assistance Program.

The program grants financial assistance to homeowners for eligible work to adapt a dwelling to meet the disabled person’s needs. The work must provide simple and economic solutions.

The Residential Adaptation Assistance Program is intended for people with disabilities whose limitations affect their ability to perform everyday activities in their home. The program provides homeowners and landlords with financial assistance to cover the cost of eligible work designed to meet the needs of disabled people. The work must offer simple, cost-effective solutions.

Examples of eligible work include:

  • installation of an exterior access ramp;
  • remodelling of a bathroom;
  • widening of door frames.

The Société d’habitation du Québec administers the program in partnership with regional county municipalities and certain municipalities.
The Société’s municipal partners determine whether the work in question is eligible on the basis of a report by an occupational therapist.

Eligible buildings
Any building that serves as a disabled person’s home, such as:

  • a single-family house;
  • an apartment building;
  • a rooming house;
  • a mobile home;
  • a condominium apartment;
  • a seniors’ residence housing nine people or less and certified by the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux.

 

Clientele
Anyone with a disability whose limitations affect his or her ability to carry out everyday activities at home.

Requirements 

To be eligible to the residential adaptation assistance program, the handicapped person must:

  • reside in Québec, outside of a native reserve;
  • provide a report by an occupational therapist demonstrating that their impairment is significant and persistent and requires alterations to their home.

Restrictions 
The handicapped person must not be eligible for residential adaptation assistance from any other source, including the insurance plans offered by the Société d’assurance automobile du Québec or the Commission de la santé et de la sécurité du travail.

 

This program does not apply to certain types of buildings, such as

  • seniors’ residences not certified by the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux or housing more than 9 persons people;
  • low-rental housing owned by the Société d’habitation du Québec or a municipal habitation bureau;
  • housing cooperatives which annual operation losses are subsidized by the Société d’habitation du Québec or the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Other conditions may apply.

The financial assistance granted under the Residential Adaptation Assistance Program covers the cost of work recognized by the Société d’habitation du Québec for making alterations authorized by the Société or one of its municipal partners, up to the maximum amount fixed under the program. The assistance is paid to the owner of the building where the disabled person lives, when the work has been completed.

The financial assistance is paid in the form of a grant of up to $16 000 per eligible person. In certain specific cases, the Société d’habitation du Québec may pay additional financial assistance of up to $7000.

In cases requiring specialized equipment, additional assistance not exceeding $10 000 may also be paid, based on certain criteria set by the Société d’habitation du Québec.