Assisted Living in Ontario
Overview of Assisted Living in Ontario
These senior-specific residences are designed for individuals who require assistance with activities such as dressing and bathing, but are not in need of continuous medical care. Privately funded by resident fees, Assisted Living facilities are often a component of a much larger retirement community – ensuring plenty of opportunities for social interaction and recreational activities. Services such as housekeeping and laundry are provided, as well as a variety of physical, psychological, and social therapies.
With over 12 million residents, Ontario is easily the most populous province in the entire nation. 14.2% of Ontario's population are senior citizens. The largest city in the province is Toronto, which boasts a population of almost 4 million. 12.4% of the residents are senior citizens – a figure that is projected to grow to 20%+ by 2036.
Costs of Assisted Living in Ontario
Costs for Assisted Living in Ontario can range from 1500 to 5000 on a per-month basis, dependent on the level of care you have selected. Many Assisted Living facilities can accommodate on-site physiotherapy, optometry, and even blood work. Residents seeking to lower their monthly fees can choose to opt out of any elective service.
The province's Residential Tenancies Protection Act regulates all matters concerning rental increases, repairs, and maintenance. They also provide conflict mediation and resolution for any disputes between tenant and landlord.
Government Programs and Subsidies for Assisted Living in Ontario
There are no provincial subsidies available for private Assisted Living facilities, but Ontario does offer several financial aid programs for seniors. Low-income seniors who are CPP recipients are eligible to apply for assistance via the Guaranteed Annual Income System, while retirees with long-term disabilities may qualify for up to 75% off the purchase price of any assistive device which relates to their condition.
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care funds Supportive Housing programs for seniors. Such programs are usually run by non-profit organizations and seniors can receive free assisted living services, however they are still responsible to pay for their own rent, food and clothing. For more information and to find out if you are eligible, contact your local housing authority.
Ontario Assisted Living Regulations
All Ontario Assisted Living facilities must be licensed by the Retirement Home Regulatory Authority, who exercise a zero-tolerance policy when handling neglect or abuse-related issues. They are also responsible for investigating complaints, issuing penalties, and ensuring that care and safety regulations are being followed.
Policies pertaining to treatment, care, and the rights of seniors fall under the jurisdiction of the Retirement Homes Act, which is enforced by the Retirement Home Regulatory Authority. The Retirement Homes Act ensures that all privately funded Assisted Living facilities in Ontario adhere to their safety and administrative standards. Any amenities or buildings which receive external funding are governed by special legislation such as the Homes for Special Care Act and the Long-Term Care Homes Act.
Health regulation and inspection is provided by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, which also provides regular news updates for Ontario seniors via their website. Food standards are maintained by the province's Health Protection and Promotion Act – which ensures that healthy and fresh meals are being served in a sanitary and comfortable environment.
Majority of Assisted Living Residences in Ontario are members of ORCA (Ontario Retirement Communities Association) a non-for-profit organization which inspects and oversees the operation of Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities in Ontario. To retain member status, residences must pass and maintain high ORCA's standards. ORCA sponsors Retirement Home Complaints Response and Information Service which Ontario residents can contact free-of-charge charge for advice and assistance with any senior housing-related matters. Seniors and their caregivers can get help with questions and complaints about any retirement residence in Ontario.
Written by Josh Byer
Image by Ed Yourdon of Flickr