Ontario Senior Housing

Ontario Independent living facilities, assisted living communities, home care, nursing homes, and residential care homes in Ontario provide personalized assistance services and health care options to meet the needs of seniors who require help with activities of daily living. Services offered at Ontario senior living facilities typically vary based on the institution. In Ontario, there are three main types of residential senior care: Retirement Homes, Assisted Living/Supportive Housing and Long-Term Care Homes. The main difference between these three options is the level of care and support offered.

Retirement Homes in Ontario

Retirement Homes (also called “Retirement Residences”) are privately owned senior housing facilities for seniors who can live independently with minimal support and are able to pay for their own care. Accommodations range from shared rooms to two-bedroom apartments. Retirement homes offer a range of amenities and services such as meals, housekeeping, laundry, and recreational and social programs. The types and levels of homemaking help, personal care, and health services offered by retirement homes vary significantly, as do their costs. In a retirement residence, the residents are responsible to pay for accommodation, care and services that they receive.

Retirement homes in Ontario are not subsidized by the government. Costs may range from approximately $1500 to $5000 per month for a private room. The rates charged for accommodation and services are not regulated by the government, however rent increases are governed by Tenant Protection Act, 1997.

Ontario Retirement Homes are not regulated by the provincial government except for public health issues which are regulated by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC).The accommodation and food preparation in retirement homes are regulated by the Health Protection and Promotion Act, and the associated guidelines for safe meal preparation, sanitation and water quality. All kitchen facilities are inspected by local Public Health departments. The MOHLTC does not set standards for retirement homes, as they are not government funded. However, the provincial association -- Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA) -- does set standards for retirement home performance.

To apply to a retirement home, you do not need to provide medical history. The retirement home may asses your needs to ensure that it can provide you with appropriate care and support. You can apply directly to the retirement home provider of your choosing.

Assisted Living in Ontario and Supportive Housing

Ontario Assisted Living Residences and Supportive housing are designed for people who require minimal-to-moderate levels of care in order to live independently. Typically accommodation consists of rental units within an apartment building or small group residences. Services usually include on-site personal care and support such as routine hygiene, dressing and washing, daily visits or phone check-ins and can include services like shopping, meals, and transportation.

Residences offering Assisted Living in Ontario are generally privately owned and managed and are often a part of larger retirement community that offers different levels of care. Assisted Living communities provide a wide range of services and amenities to its residents such as housekeeping, meal preparation, entertainment, a variety of health and wellness services as well as nursing services, assistance with personal needs, memory care, different therapies and more. Many Assisted Living Facilities in Ontario are part of ORCA wich sets and monitors industry standards for senior living facilities in the province.

Supportive housing buildings are owned and operated by municipal governments or non-profit groups including faith groups, seniors' organizations, service clubs, and cultural groups. Accommodations, on-site services, costs, and the availability of government subsidies vary with each building. Accommodation costs are based on market rent for similar apartments. They can range from $600 to $1200 per month. If you are eligible, the government may subsidize your rent so that you only pay up to 30% of your household's monthly income. Personal care and support costs are funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

Long-Term Care Homes

Long-term care homes (homes for the aged and nursing homes) are designed for people who require the availability of 24-hour nursing care and supervision, within a secure setting. In general, long-term care homes offer more personal care and support than that offered by retirement residences or supportive housing.

Long-term care homes are owned and operated by various organizations: Nursing homes are usually operated by private corporations. Municipal homes for the aged are owned by municipal councils. Charitable homes are usually owned by non-profit corporations, such as faith, community, ethnic or cultural groups.

Long-term care homes are licensed and authorized as government-regulated residences and receive government funding from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC). Residents are expected to pay a co-payment for their accommodation. Co-payment rates are set by the MOHLTC and change from time to time. This rate covers meals, housekeeping, laundry, maintenance of the home, and administration. There is likely to be a waiting list.

Other Types:

Adult Lifestyle Communities

Adult Lifestyle Communities provide independent living residences for retirees or semi-retirees in a community of peers. Residences may include bungalows, townhomes, small homes or condominiums providing the benefits of home ownership with on-site recreational and community activities. Amenities may include 24-hour security, social interaction with peers along with leisure and recreational activities. Ownership in an adult lifestyle community may range from simple ownership, to condominium style, land lease and life lease options.

Life Lease Housing

Life lease housing is an emerging form of senior housing in Ontario that provides some seniors with the opportunity to live independently in a retirement home setting. Market Value Life Lease projects look like condominium projects, with similar suite sizes, features and monthly fees, however, the owner on title is a not-for-profit or charitable organization. An individual purchases from the sponsor the exclusive right to occupy the suite they select and to use the common facilities. Life lease project sponsors are usually not-for-profit or charitable organizations that have an interest in developing housing to meet the needs of a seniors’ community. Many Life Lease projects offer their occupants on-site support services for a fee.

Compare Senior Housing Options in Ontario

Senior Housing Options in Ontario
Source: Source: Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care