Placement into preferred living option | HQCA Focus

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Designated Supported Living

Placement into preferred living option

Percentage of residents placed into their most preferred designated supportive living (DSL), or long term care (LTC), living option for each quarter. (see data dictionary)

Alberta Health Services, Analytics. “Living Options – Preferred and Temporary”. (2019). [Dashboard showing percent placed in preferred and temporary living option, by province, zone, and level of care, by fiscal year]. AHS Tableau Reporting Platform. Retrieved from

What do you think?

  • Looking at these results over time, are there differences between zones? Between designated supportive living and long term care? What factors could account for these differences?

Understanding “placement into preferred living option”

This measure reports the percentage of residents that are placed into their most preferred living option. These results do not include placement into other preferred living options.

An individual is asked to choose at least one most preferred living option and other preferred options when transitioning into designated supportive living or long-term care. Possible sites for them to identify as their most preferred or preferred site are based on options that are able to meet a resident’s assessed unmet needs (e.g., assistance with activities of daily living like meal preparation and toileting, ventilator support, a secured unit). Some factors that can influence a resident or alternative decision-maker’s preference include age of the site, location and the distance for loved one’s to travel, being able to live with a family member, and the cultural or religious affiliation of the site.

Individuals are offered a living option based on standardized guidelines for vacancy management. Most living option sites have a waitlist of residents who have accepted a temporary location while they wait for their most preferred site, in addition to other individuals who have identified the site as most preferred or preferred.

It can be difficult for the continuing care system to place people in their most preferred living option. The system must balance individual preferences and care needs with the available spaces and the wider preferences and care needs of the larger population.

Residents who accept a preferred or temporary living option are automatically placed on the waitlist with priority ranking for their most preferred living option. When residents are offered to relocate to their most preferred site, many elect to stay in their preferred site. This is not captured in these results.

Considerations when viewing the results:

When thinking about placement into a preferred living option, providers and leaders can consider a number of things to better understand and improve these results. Some questions they could ask before taking action include:

  • How does capacity or available spaces impact whether a person gets placed into their most preferred living option?
  • In addition to capacity, what other factors can prevent potential residents from getting into their preferred living option?
  • Beyond those mentioned above, what are some common criteria residents and their loved ones use to identify their most preferred living option?
  • What resources and information are available to help residents and family members identify their most preferred site (e.g., word of mouth, the Alberta Health Services Continuing Care Facility Directory)? How is the public informed about these resources and information? Are these resources and information being shared consistently? If not, how might this be improved?
  • Who is the primary decision-maker around the preferred living option? The resident or loved one? How might this change which living option is identified as the “most preferred”?

Alberta Quality Matrix for Health

The Health Quality Council of Alberta uses the Alberta Quality Matrix for Health as a way of organizing information and thinking around the complexity of the healthcare system. This measure can be used as input to assess supported living’s performance in these dimensions of quality: Acceptability, Accessibility, Appropriateness, and Efficiency.