Age and health conditions can make independent living difficult. In Ontario, you have a range of options to help you get the support you need.

Care in your own home and community

Many people are able to stay in their own homes with health and personal care support.

Your local Home and Community Care Support Services organization can:

  • arrange for nurses and other health professionals to visit you in your home
  • help you access equipment and supplies

Services such as those offered through the Community Paramedicine for Long-Term Care program or community support services may provide additional care to support you staying in your home.

Some of these services are government funded, some require a client co-payment, and others are offered by private companies for a fee.

For privately funded services, the Ontario Caregiver Organization is a resource for people caring for loved ones living with:

  • a physical or cognitive condition
  • acute or chronic illness
  • injury or mental health
  • addiction issues

Learn more at Ontario Caregiver Organization where you can access live chat for information or answers to your questions or call the Ontario Caregiver Helpline at 1-833-416-2273.

Find more information about home and community care

Retirement homes

If you don’t need a lot of outside help, but no longer want the workload of managing your own home, or feel isolated living on your own, a retirement home may be right for you.

Retirement homes are privately owned. You pay rent, plus fees for any extra services you buy.

Each retirement home is different, but most offer:

  • private rooms or apartments
  • full wheelchair access
  • housekeeping, meals, laundry (for a fee)
  • social and recreational programs
  • shared dining rooms and common areas or lounges
  • gift shop, beauty salon, chapel
  • library, gardens

Retirement homes do not provide 24-hour nursing care. However, depending on the home, there may be a doctor, nurse or pharmacist on site to provide health services.

The Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) regulates all retirement homes in Ontario. The RHRA enforces care and safety standards and supports the rights of residents through:

  • licensing
  • conducting inspections
  • investigating complaints

Find more information about retirement homes

Long-term care homes

Long-term care homes provide much more care than retirement homes, including:

  • help with most or all daily activities
  • access to 24-hour nursing and personal care

Types of homes

Long-term care homes in Ontario are regulated and funded by the government and must have a licence or minister’s approval to operate.

Long-term care licences are issued to:

  • not-for-profit homes, such as homes run by a charity
  • homes run by for-profit companies

Minister’s Approvals are issued to:

Accommodation charges are the same at all homes, regardless of the type, but fees for optional services will vary.

Services and facilities

You can expect to receive the following in a long-term care home:

  • an individual care plan (reviewed at least every six months)
  • access to 24-hour nursing and personal care
  • help with activities of daily living
  • meals (including special diets)
  • medical services
  • access to health professionals
  • social and recreational programs
  • individualized religious and spiritual services
  • shared dining room, TV rooms and other living areas
  • furniture in your room
  • housekeeping
  • bed linens and laundry
  • personal hygiene supplies
  • medical or clinical supplies (such as walkers and wheelchairs for occasional use)

The Ontario government will pay for your personal and nursing care in a long-term care home. You must pay for accommodation charges, such as room and board.

Optional services, where they are offered, such as hairdressing, cable TV, telephone, Internet and transportation, are available for a fee.


To live in a long-term care home, you must:

  • be age 18 or older
  • have a valid Ontario Health Insurance Program (OHIP) card
  • have care needs that:
    • require 24-hour nursing care and personal care
    • require assistance with the activities of daily living
    • require on-site supervision or monitoring to ensure safety or well-being
    • cannot be met through publicly-funded community-based services and other care-giving support in the community

For more information or to apply for long-term care, contact your local Home and Community Care Support Services organization.