Health & Wellness

New Law Will Prevent Senior Couples From Being Separated

Nova Scotia will enable couples to stay together in long-term care even when they need different levels of care

By Erika Morris

Photo: iStock/gpointstudio. 

Having to leave home and move to a long-term care facility can be a frightening experience for many seniors, and the possibility of being separated from a spouse only compounds the distress. But if the two members of a couple require different levels of care, separation is a distinct possibilty.

Now the province of Nova Scotia is moving to change that. Health Minister Randy Delorey last month introduced new legislation—The Life Partners in Long-Term Care Act—which mandates that when two people enter a long-term-care facilities, they will be able to live together regardless of the level of care each requires. The law would also ensure that if one spouse requires long-term care before the other, the other will be prioritized for placement in the same facility.

The health minister told the media, “This is the right thing to do,” adding that when couples have been able to stayed together in care facilities, the outcome has been positive, especially for the person who requires more care.