Understanding Designated Supportive Living in Alberta

If you or your loved one plans to move to a residence with elevated support, consider designated supportive living (DSL) as a potential option. 

Most individuals should begin by connecting with a case manager through Alberta Health Services. With their assistance, you can access DSL services provided at over 650 government care centres in the province, including hospitals and clinics. These services are also offered at supportive residences like Seasons Retirement

However, before contacting a case manager, it’s essential to understand what designated supportive living entails and who qualifies for this type of residence. Look at the factors below so you can start making your plans!

What is designated supportive living (DSL3)?

Designated supportive living 3 (or DSL3) offers older persons a comfortable, private home with on-site health services and personal care. 

This type of care is catered toward those who require assistance with day-to-day tasks but don’t require constant care provided by LTC. 

Instead, DSL3 offers housekeeping, meals, recreational and linen services, and other accommodations allowing older persons to simplify their daily lives while enjoying their independence and privacy.

What are the benefits of DSL3?

Older persons can enjoy many benefits when living in a DSL3 residence, which will allow them to simplify their life and focus their energies on recreation, personal well-being, and increased quality time with friends and family! 

As mentioned above, tasks like cleaning, cooking, changed-out linens, and recreational services are provided daily, allowing residents to reduce the impact of their daily responsibilities.

For those who wish or need to keep particular food and beverages on hand, many DSL3 homes will provide kitchenettes where these items can be more easily accessed. 

These homes are also outfitted with larger bathrooms that make getting around much more manageable and aid in providing home assistance for various issues. 

Healthcare services are also provided on both a scheduled and unscheduled basis, depending on the needs of individual residents. 

Regarding accommodation fees, most residences will include rent, housekeeping services, meals, amenities, and recreational services in the price, ensuring older persons residing in a DSL3 home receive all their expected care services without worrying about extra costs.

Which care services are included in DSL3?

As previously mentioned, DSL3 homes handle daily chores such as meals and housekeeping. Depending on a person’s care plan, healthcare services are also offered on a scheduled and unscheduled basis. 

DSL3 residents will receive assistance from Health Care Aides in the comfort of their homes. However, those who require further professional care can receive help from nurses, rehabilitation therapists, and other similar services arranged by their case manager. 

If residents prefer to be cared for by their family members, those relatives can also participate in the provided care services.

What is not included in DSL3?

While many health, personal care, and recreational services are included in a DSL3 home, those taking up residence are in charge of providing the following for themselves:

  •       Home/room decor and furnishings
  •       Medication
  •       Medical/surgical supplies for chronic wounds
  •       Personal medical equipment
  •       Cable
  •       Phone
  •       Internet
  •       Laundry
  •       Toiletries
  •       Hair salon expenses
  •       Recreational outings

Therefore, when planning to move to a DSL3 home, older persons and their families should consider the expenses above. Ensure that these needs can be met before contacting Alberta Health Services or selecting a place of residence.

What is the difference between DSL3 and DSL4 care?

Both DSL3 and DSL4 are forms of designated supportive living, and it’s essential to understand their differences to ensure you or your loved one is fully informed before meeting with a case manager. 

While DSL3 is intended for individuals who require assistance with day-to-day tasks, DSL4 homes are meant for those with more serious health issues. 

Further, while DSL3 residents enjoy the freedom to spend their time as they please, DSL4 residents may require complete assistance with meals, moving from place to place, and activities such as using the bathroom or taking medication. 

If you or your loved one do not require constant medical care and assistance, request the DSL3 option when discussing this change with your case manager.

Where can I find designated supportive living in Alberta?

If you or your loved one are ready to move into a home with supportive care, contact Alberta Health Services. 

Designated supportive living is provided to older persons who reside in the province of Alberta through Alberta Health Services (AHS) and is granted to those who have been assessed and approved by a case manager.

To contact AHS, you can visit their website and learn more about how their services are facilitated through these homes.

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