Home, Community and Residential Care Services

Seniors' Care: Long-Term Care Homes

Long-Term Care Homes are places where seniors can live and receive support services. They are often the right choice for seniors who need help with the activities of daily living, access to 24-hour nursing care or supervision in a secure setting.

In general, Long-Term Care Homes offer higher levels of personal care and support than those typically offered by either retirement homes or supportive housing.

Long-Term Care Homes are licensed or approved by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

All Long-Term Care Homes in Ontario (including those formerly known as Nursing Homes, Municipal Homes for the Aged, and Charitable Homes) are governed by the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 (LTCHA). The requirements in the LTCHA ensure that residents of these homes receive safe, consistent, and high-quality resident-centred care in settings where residents feel at home, are treated with respect, and have the supports and services they need for their health and well-being.

You can learn more on this page about:


Accommodations

Long-Term Care Homes offer a variety of options. People living in a Home pay a fee for accommodation that is based on the type or style of accommodation. A Home may offer "Preferred” accommodation, which is a private or semi-private room with special features, as well as “Basic” or “Standard” accommodation.

It is important to remember that the features of basic and preferred accommodation will vary, depending on when the particular Home was constructed or renovated.

All Long-Term Care Homes have dining rooms and common rooms, and some may also have features such as a lounge, gift shop, beauty salon, chapel, or garden.

Services

All Long-Term Care Homes offer 24-hour supervision and nursing care.
The basic accommodation package includes the following services:

  • Furnishings (for example, bed and chair), meals (including special diets), bed linens and laundry, personal hygiene supplies, medical/clinical supplies and devices (for example, walkers and wheelchairs for occasional use), housekeeping, pastoral services, social and recreational programs, medication administration, and assistance with the essential activities of daily living.
  • Nursing and personal care on a 24-hour basis and access to a physician and other health professionals.

Optional services are usually available for a fee. They may include services such as hairdressing, cable TV and telephone services, transportation.

Homes must prepare a "plan of care" for each resident, outlining the care requirements and levels of service offered. This plan must be reviewed at least every three months and adapted as the needs of the resident change.

Costs

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) provides funding for Long-Term Care (LTC) Home services.  The amount paid by residents for their LTC Home accommodation is called a "co-payment".  The co-payment contributes to the meal and accommodation services received by residents in LTC Homes.

There are three types of accommodation services provided in LTC Homes:

  1. Long-Stay
    • This is permanent accommodation for an indefinite period of time.
  2. Respite Care
    • This is a short-stay program for people whose caregiver requires temporary relief or for people who require temporary care.
    • The maximum number of days a person can stay in a LTC home for respite care is 60 continuous days or 90 days in a calendar year.
    • The ministry sets a fixed co-payment rate for short-term respite services. (See chart below.)
    • People can be admitted to this program directly from their home in the community or from the hospital.
  3. Convalescent Care
    • This is a short-stay care program for people who need to recover strength, endurance and function.
    • The maximum number of days a person can stay in a LTC home for convalescent care is 90 days in a calendar year.
    • People can be admitted to this program directly from their home in the community or from the hospital.
    • Residents in convalescent care beds are not required to pay a co-payment.  The goal is to help them return to the community with or without support.

The MOHLTC sets co-payment rates for accommodation. The following table shows resident co-payment rates effective July 1, 2013.  The co-payment rates change from time to time (usually, annually).  For the most up-to-date rates, contact the staff at your local Community Care Access Centre.

The following Bulletin provides important additional details on the July 1, 2013 changes to the co-payment rates for basic and preferred accommodation:

Maximum allowable co-payment charges Type Of Accommodation Co-Payment Daily Amount Co-Payment Monthly Amount
Long-Stay Program
Basic or standard accommodation Various styles (Depending on when the Home was constructed or renovated) $56.14 $1,707.59
Preferred accommodation Semi-private room $66.14 (Basic plus a maximum of $10.00) $2,011.76
Preferred accommodation Private room $77.64 (Basic plus a maximum of $21.50) $2,361.55
Short-Stay Program
$36.34 N/A

Notes: Optional services (e.g. cable TV or hairdressing), can be purchased for an additional fee. There is no preferred accommodation surcharge for short-stay residents in the respite care. Residents in the interim bed program pay the applicable long-stay program rate based on type of accommodation.

Residents of LTC homes and their families should also become familiar with section 245 of the Long-Term Care Homes Act legislation which outlines "Non-allowable resident charges".

– Overview of Preferred Accommodation Rates in Long-Term Care Homes

A LTC Home may offer basic or preferred accommodation. The latter is either a private or semi-private room with special features. LTC Homes may not use more than 60% of their licensed capacity for preferred accommodation.

It is important to remember that the features of basic and preferred accommodation will vary, depending on when the particular home was built or renovated.

Residents of LTC Homes who choose to stay in a semi-private or private room may be required to pay a higher rate than basic accommodation. All residents admitted to preferred accommodation in a LTC Home are required to sign an agreement which provides details of the co-payment rate they will be required to pay on a daily/monthly basis.

Preferred accommodation rates for residents being admitted to a newer LTC Home bed are higher than the rates for residents staying in preferred accommodation in an older bed. The higher preferred rates for a newer LTC Home bed reflect the higher costs of building and maintaining the home. Residents of LTC Homes planning to transfer to another room in their current LTC Home, or planning to transfer to another LTC Home should be mindful that co-payment rates for a similar accommodation type may be higher than what they currently pay. Community Care Access Centres are able to advise on the rates for accommodations in any LTC homes if you are considering a transfer.

The table below provides an overview of the preferred accommodation rates that apply to residents being admitted to LTC Homes on or after July 1, 2013. An older LTC Home may only charge the lower rates. A newer LTC Home may charge the higher rates if authorized by legislation.

Maximum allowable daily co-payment charges for newer vs older LTC Home beds, effective July 1, 2013 *
Accommodation type Higher Rate Lower Rate
Semi-private $66.14 $64.14
Private $77.64 $74.14

Please note that table shows the maximum rates that LTC Homes can charge. A home may charge less than these rates.

If you are applying for LTC Home admission, the placement coordinator from the local Community Care Access Centre will advise you which rates a LTC Home can charge. If you are already living in a home and have questions about the preferred accommodation rate change, please speak with the staff in your home. If you would like to find out which rates a LTC Home can charge, please check the following list.

Rate Reduction - Government Subsidies for LTC Accommodation Costs

Residents in a long-stay or interim bed with basic accommodation, who cannot afford to pay for the LTC co-payment, may be eligible to have their co-payment amount reduced. This is known as a rate reduction.

You can learn more about the rate reduction system   on this website, or talk to your local Community Care Access Centre
Government Legislation and Quality Inspection

There is important legislation in Ontario that helps ensure Long-Term Care Homes provide a high standard of care.

The Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 (LTCHA) and Ontario Regulation 79/10 (Regulation) came into force on July 1, 2010 and are the single legislative authority for safeguarding resident rights, improving the quality of care and improving the accountability of Long-Term Care (LTC) Homes for the care, treatment and well-being of over 76,000 residents.

The LTCHA sets out the requirements for LTC Home resident rights and protections, services, accountabilities, placement rules, system management and compliance inspection and enforcement. The Regulation provides the details to support the requirements of the LTCHA.

The LTCHA and Regulation were developed to improve the resident experience and quality of life in LTC Homes.

To accompany this new legislation, the MOHLTC created the Long-Term Care Homes Quality Inspection Program (LQIP), which is designed to safeguard residents’ rights, safety and security, improve quality of care and create a culture that is focused on resident outcomes.

LQIP safeguards residents’ well-being by continuously investigating complaints, concerns and critical incidents, and by ensuring that all Homes are inspected at least once per year.  The mandate of the Long-Term Care Homes Quality Inspection Program (LQIP) is to:

  • protect over 76,000 residents in Ontario’s 630 LTC Homes
  • safeguard resident rights, safety, security and quality of life and
  • ensure LTC Homes comply with legislation and regulations,.

At the end of every inspection an MOHLTC inspector prepares an inspection report.  You can read public versions of these inspection reports which are available from:

  • LTC Homes, which are required to post these reports
  • The family council of an LTC Home (if a family council has been established)
  • The ministry website, where inspection reports are published.

All Homes must post and follow a Residents' Bill of Rights. The MOHLTC encourages Homes to get accredited by Accreditation Canada or the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilityties (CARF) by providing a funding incentive to accredited Homes.

A Guide to the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 and Regulation 79/10

As part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to improve the quality of care and quality of life for residents, and our ongoing efforts to promote communication and transparency between the long-term care home sector, the public and the Government, we are pleased to introduce Phase One of “A Guide to the Long-Term Care Homes Act, 2007 and Regulation 79/10” (the Guide).

This Guide provides a general overview of the Act and its Regulation. The Guide does not address all aspects of the Act and its Regulation and is made available for convenient reference only. It should be read in conjunction with the Act and its Regulation and, in the case of any conflict; the provisions of the Act and its Regulation are authoritative. Users should consult their own legal counsel for all purposes of interpretation.

This Guide is designed to align with the Table of Contents of the Act and its Regulation.  This Guide is divided into ten Parts, reflecting the ten Parts of the Act and its Regulation as set out in the Table of Contents:

Document Download

Phase One of the Guide reflects Parts One, Two and Four of the Act and its Regulation.   [PDF]

Phase Two of the Guide will reflect Parts Three, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine and Ten of the Act and its Regulation.

Note: The Guide is provided solely as an on-line reference tool. Users who require hard copies of the Guide are directed to the links above, so that they may print off hard copies for themselves. The Ministry does not provide hard copies of the Guide.

Making a Complaint

Quality care matters. If you want more information, have a concern, or want to register a complaint about a Long-Term Care Home, call this toll-free number:

Long-Term Care ACTION Line 1-866-434-0144
7 days a week, 8:30AM-7:00PM

See the Making a complaint about a LTC Home  section of this website for more information

How to apply

All applications to Long-Term Care Homes are coordinated by your local Community Care Access Centre (CCAC). Once your CCAC has determined that you are eligible, your next step is to choose the Homes you wish to apply to. You may apply to a maximum of five Homes. Your local CCAC will provide you with lists and information about Homes in your area. You can also find a Home in your area by using the Home locator on this site.

Your CCAC can also provide more detailed information about how to apply for and select a Home, and also prepare for a move to a Home.

See the Finding a Provider section for tips on selecting a provider and the Links and Resources section for more information.

Related links
For More Information

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