Resource Guide for Family Caregivers
From a care facility to a hospital, and back

According to the policy of the BC Ministry of Health, a resident may be temporarily absent from a long-term care facility for reasons of hospitalization or admission to an assessment and treatment centre. Cumulative absences for personal reasons due to hospitalization are not limited during the calendar year.  As a general guideline, a long-term care facility bed can be held for 21 days when a resident is in the hospital. The decision as to when a resident can be returned to a care facility is made as follows.

Extended care

The decision regarding the return of  a resident to an extended care facility is negotiated between the hospital and the extended care facility. The LTC Facility Coordinator and/or the Community Liaison Nurse are usually involved in the process if holding the bed is going to extend beyond the 21-day guideline.


The Community Liaison Nurse is responsible for making the decision that the resident is stable and ready to go back to the facility.

In some situations, it is in the patient’s best interest that the bed being held is extended. Some indicators of this include the resident making good progress in his or her recovery, and there is consensus amongst the hospital care team that the resident will recover and be able to return to the facility within a reasonable time frame.

When a resident is on temporary leave from the care facility for a hospital admission, the facility’s Director of Care (DOC) or the social worker will be in regular communication with the resident and family members. After 21 days, it is a judgment call as to whether the resident loses the bed; however, the facility will hold the resident’s belongings, and the resident will be given priority, if applicable, when he/she is ready to be discharged from the hospital.