FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is advancing the implementation date of a permanent increase in funding to adult residential facilities by three months, representing an extra investment of $6.8 million in 2022-23.

A permanent increase of $10 per resident per day, previously slated to take effect on Jan. 1, will now be retroactive to Oct. 1, 2022.

“We decided to advance the implementation date because of the inflationary pressures facing this vital sector,” said Social Development Minister Dorothy Shephard. “Adult residential facilities play a key role in providing essential services to 7,000 seniors and adults with a disability. Thanks to these facilities, residents get the care they need in their own communities, thus avoiding more costly services such as nursing home placements and hospitalization.

Implementing the increase on Jan. 1 would have represented an annual increase in funding of $27 million. The earlier implementation represents an overall increase of $33.8 million.

The Department of Social Development provides per diems to adult residential facilities for subsidized clients based on an established rate and assists clients with the cost of living in these facilities when they are unable to pay the full cost. In special care homes, about 90 per cent of long-term residents and all the clients of the Disability Support Program are subsidized.

The department has been working with its partner, the New Brunswick Special Care Home Association, to evaluate the per diems and establish a funding model. Following the complete implementation of the increases, the per diem will vary between $100.86 and $163.91, depending upon the level of care provided to the resident.

“Owners of adult residential facilities are pleased to see the value of their important services being recognized and supported by the provincial government,” said Jan Seely, president of the New Brunswick Special Care Home Association. “Our members are dedicated to providing quality services to our residents, but they are not immune to the rising costs of food, supplies and many other things. This added support will help to address some of the pressure. We look forward to continuing our work with government to ensure this valuable sector is adequately funded and our employees are compensated fairly. These efforts are to ensure we remain an essential and sustainable partner in helping our province handle our ever-increasing long-term care needs.”

There are about 475 adult residential facilities in the province providing care and services to about 7,000 residents. The breakdown is as follows:

  • Special care homes provide care to about 4,000 seniors as well as to 1,863 adults with disabilities.
  • Memory care and generalist care homes provide care to 532 people.
  • Community residences provide care to about 595 people, the majority of whom are adults with a disability.

The long-term care system in New Brunswick offers a continuum of support to people who can no longer live safely in their own homes. Special care, memory care and generalist care homes and community residences provide varying levels of service to clients. Care and supervision in these types of facilities is provided primarily by personal support workers or human service counsellors. Nursing homes provide care to people who benefit from access to 24-hour nursing care. Per diems differ for each type of facility.